June 15, 2009

Gulf Coast Deco VI

All but one of the following structures was built during the 1940s. According to the Art Deco Wikipedia entry:

Art Deco experienced a decline in popularity during the late 30s and early 40s, and soon fell out of public favor.

...Art Deco slowly lost patronage in the West after reaching mass production, when it began to be derided as gaudy and presenting a false image of luxury. Eventually, the style was cut short by the austerities of World War II.

Further information from this site:

The period termed "art deco" manifested itself roughly between the two world wars, or 1920 to 1939. Many actually stretch this period back to 1900 and even as far as the late 1950's, but work of this time is generally considered to be more of an influence to the Art Deco style, or having been influenced by the style.

So the the following six and a half buildings might have been considered "gaudy" when they were constructed, and I can see that. It is also possible the designers of these structures were more influenced by Art Deco style than actually designing Art Deco buildings (that's a bit of a paradox, no?). But to my eye, looking at them some sixty-plus years later, all of these most certainly are Art Deco, at least what I perceive of as being Art Deco (based on a rudimentary understanding of its attributes).

knapp chevrolet co.
Knapp Chevrolet Co. (1941)

knapp chevrolet co.
I knew this place existed but had not planned on photographing it this go around. The fact it was in the same area as something else I had on my list to photograph was a nice coincidence, indeed. According to the information at Houston Deco, this 1941 structure is unaltered:

"The design combines Art Moderne streamlining with an Art Deco pylon. The glass blocks in the pylon, lighted at night, mark the showroom entrance."

Apartment at 5507-5515 San Jacinto St. (c. 1947)

These are currently named Lurie Apartments, but I couldn't tell if people still lived here or not.

dahlgren's cabinet shop
Dahlgren's Cabinet Shop/
Dahlgren's Furniture Studio (c. 1930, expanded 1940)

From Houston Deco:

The one-story section housed Karl Dahlgren's original cabinet shop. By the time the two-story addition was completed, he had already renamed the business Dahlgren's Furniture Studio.

dahlgren's cabinet shop
the original, 1930 structure

dahlgren's cabinet shop
the 1940 expansion

peterson's pharmacy
Peterson's Pharmacy (1940)

kurth building
Kurth Building (1940)

kurth building kurth building

weiner's dry goods store no. 12
Weiner's Dry Goods Store No. 12 (1946)

weiner's dry goods store no. 12

weingarten's big food market, store no. 16
Weingarten's Big Food Market, Store No. 16 (1941)

Joseph Finger was the architect on this building, which has been altered. Ironically, Weingarten is now a name associated with the demolition of Houston's greatest Art Deco treasures. Let's hope they stay away from this former business location of theirs!

weingarten's big food market, store no. 16

  • Perhaps you'd also like my Houston Deco and Art Deco flickr sets.
  • Gulf Coast Deco
  • Gulf Coast Deco II
  • Gulf Coast Deco III
  • Gulf Coast Deco IV
  • Gulf Coast Deco V
  • Gulf Coast Deco VII
  • Gulf Coast Deco VIII
  • Gulf Coast Deco IX
  • Gulf Coast Deco X

    Other Art Deco sites:
  • Art Deco Buildings
  • Art Deco Blog

    Anonymous said...

    Another fantastic installment in you Houston Deco series. Not sure which building I like the best maybe the apartments, or the Chevy dealer or the pharmacy or ... they are all great.

    Chris said...

    Thanks, David! It is hard to pick a favorite out of this batch. The apartments are just so evocative of that era, I think I have to go with them.

    Gunnar and Sherry said...

    Nice post Chris! Cool buildings. Makes me want to visit. By the way, I know you're a Rat Pack fan and I just did a post you might like to see about Steubenville, Ohio, birthplace of the great Dean Martin.

    Amy said...

    For me, it's a toss up between Weingarten's Food Market (just love the curves and stainless steel rimmed overhang) and the pharmacy - love the Pepto pink, even if it isn't original, and the end curve to the window on the right side.

    The Top Dollar Pawn sign really adds a certain je ne sai quoi to the Weiner's Dry Goods building, don't you think? That should be a fineable offense!