Brownsville Architecture: A Visual History reveals the heritage and history of Texas’s southernmost city as told by its buildings. Outstanding architectural images by Pino Shah show the influence of diverse cultures and regional styles that have shaped the border city’s built environment since 1841. Eileen Mattei weaves architectural details and Brownsville history into a narrative that illustrates how buildings mirror the people, the place and the times. Here is a new perspective for looking at more than 100 architecturally significant buildings that are often also historically and culturally important. Pino Shah @ArtByPino is a world heritage, architecture, and performing arts photographer based in McAllen, Texas, and Ahmedabad, India. A freelance writer based in the Rio Grande Valley, Eileen Mattei writes travel, nature and history articles for Texas Coop Power, Texas Highways, and other magazines. She is the author of At the Crossroads: Harlingen’s First 100 Years; Leading the Way: McAllen’s First 100 Years, and For the Good of My Patients: The History of Medicine in the Rio Grande Valley.
1950 Riding an exuberant post-war boom, Brownsville became a global leader in exporting cotton and a major home port for Gulf shrimpers. Mid- ARTBYPINO century Modern architects John York, Bowman & Cocke and William Baxter provided light-filled houses designed for the Valley’s semi-tropical climate and lush landscaping. 16
1950 GUILLERMO PEÑA HOUSE CAUDILL, ROWLETT, SCOTT & ASSOCIATES (BRYAN) 37 S. CORIA STREET, EAST BANKER TERRACE ARTBYPINO Among the middle class Mexican Americans drawn to modern architecture, cotton broker Pena hired Caudill, Rowlett, Scott & Associates (where his brother was an architect-partner) to design his house. 17