The first International Style building in Texas?
bubba of the bubbles (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Jul 02, 2013
After learning that the Richard Neutra house (way) down in Brownsville was only the second International Style structure built in Texas, I wondered about the first one. It was a commission for the Magnolia Oil Company (later renamed the Mobil Oil Company; both companies share the pegasus as logos). It was built in 1936 for the Texas Centennial Exhibition celebrating the 100th birthday of Texas (not statehood, mind you...). The architect was the Swiss-American William Lescaze, who is credited
with architecting the first International Style skyscraper in 1932 in Philadelphia. Amazingly, the Magnolia Lounge is still with us!
While up in Dallas late last week, I stopped by the fairgrounds to give the Magnolia a good gawk on the way back to Austin. Given the porthole windows, the rounded glass block walls, and the general nautical feel of the building (see also rails and tarped upper deck), I would have chalked this building up as Streamline Moderne rather than Modern. Some have called it a fusion of Modern and Streamline Moderne, something I would agree with.
A red sofa ditched out the side door.