Makie, Kamrath and consultants: Temple Emanu El (1957)

As I’ve been noting here over several articles, the local connection with the Prairie School of architecture is strong, thanks in large part to Karl Kamrath’s “conversion” to the movement shortly after World War II ended. Although he was already a practicing architect, his meetings with Frank Lloyd Wright changed his direction, and with it […]

MacKie and Kamrath: Texas Medical Center, Part 2

Today we look at two more Mackie & Kamrath works in the Texas Medical Center, one of which is slated for demolition as in the case of the earlier-seen UT School of Public Health. This structure, the University of Houston School of Pharmacy building, went up in the early 1970’s and although not revolutionary […]

MacKie and Kamrath: Texas Medical Center, Part 1

My continuing look at the work of Houston architecture firm MacKie and Kamrath (Karl Kamrath, chief designer) turns now and for the next several installments to the work just south of the “midtown” area in Houston’s hospital district. Paradoxically, the success of the firm in this zone contributed to its later relative obscurity, since structures […]

Mackie and Kamrath: Farnsworth and Chambers Office Building

In the late 1930’s architects Karl Kamrath and Frederick MacKie began a practice in Houston that would shortly change course from traditional revival designs to a local variant of Frank Lloyd Wright’s take on the Prarie School approach. In 1946, Kamrath met Wright and a lifelong friendship resulted. Inspired by Wright’s use of interior […]

5000 Montrose Apartment Building

Originally called “5000 Montrose at the Museum”, this high rise modern apartment building is located about a block north of the grouping of the Glassell School of Art, the Contemporary Arts Museum and the three Museum of Fine Arts Houston buildings proceeding east from the Bissonnet intersection. Its entrance is set considerably back on the […]

Mackie and Kamrath: Big 3 Industries Building

The Prairie School of American architecture, commonly associated with Frank Lloyd Wright, his son Lloyd and other associates had a practitioner locally from the 1940’s through the 1970’s in Karl Kamrath, chief designer of the firm of Mackie and Kamrath, who both officed in a building of Kamrath’s design on Ferndale in River Oaks from […]

Bauhaus Innovation

Ludwig Mies Van der Rohe at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston

From the opening of the 20th century to the present, there are three massive talents in the study of architecture: Frank Lloyd Wright, the midwest American of Prarie School fame, Charles-Edouard Jeanneret (better known as Le Corbusier) of France who popularized the use […]

The Beer Can House

In 1968, John Milkovisch began adorning the exterior of his house in Rice Military with flattened beer cans. Approximately 50,000 cans later, he had transformed his home into a Houston landmark. Today, the Beer Can House stands as a testament to Houston’s heritage and a rebuke those who seek to destroy that heritage.

Until the […]

A Contradiction in The Heights

In my last post, I addressed the recent repeal of Prohibition in The Heights. That action exposed a contradiction in The Heights.

Voters in The Heights favored repealing Prohibition by an overwhelming margin of 63.9 percent to 36.1 percent. While it is impossible to know the motivation of those voters, their actions made it legal […]

A Science Of Shelter: Principles of Architecture

I’ll be commenting repeatedly here on matters of architecture (primarily on local building but with reference to structures and builders elsewhere if relevant to any point) and although I’ve never studied the subject professionally, I have read a bit in esthetics, the philosophy of art. Esthetics in general, though, can be as turgid as statements […]