Friday, June 26, 2009

Governor's Veto of SB 2141 No Longer an Issue

This morning, the Texas Supreme Court overturned a ruling by a San Antonio appellate court that weakened the Statute of Repose. During the legislative session, TSA and CEC worked to get the legislature to pass SB 2141, which would have precluded plaintiffs from designating architects and engineers as 3rd party defendants after the 10-year statute of repose has expired. Although the bill was passed, it was vetoed by the Governor.  The Supreme Court’s action today means the Governor's veto is no longer an issue!

Friday, June 19, 2009

UT Considers Proposals for Brackenridge Tract

Yesterday, New York architectural and urban planning firm Cooper, Robertson & Partners presented two proposals to the University of Texas System Board of Regents for developing the university's 350-acre Brackenridge tract along the Colorado River in West Austin. The recommendations call for downsizing or relocating a biological field laboratory and eliminating 500 student apartments and a golf course to make way for housing units, retail, and parks.

James Huffines, chairman of the regents, said "The board will spend a great deal of time in the coming months, and probably the coming years, studying these plans. And then we will eventually make some decisions. But I want to emphasize: These are just recommendations. We are a long way from making any decisions."

Read the Austin American-Statesman article here.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Homes Tour Spotlights Historic Preservation, Green Renovation

Austin's Hyde Park Neighborhood Association is hosting a historic homes tour this weekend, "If These Floors Could Talk," in celebration of historical preservation and green renovation to the area. More information here.

(Image: Austin American-Statesman, June 18, 2009, Cody Duty. The 1914 McMillen-Falk bungalow includes an addition that doubled the home's square footage. The recent renovation used reclaimed longleaf pine floors and counters made of recycled glass.)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Authors in Architecture Series and Cite

The Architecture Center Houston and the Houston Public Library hold a monthly program called Authors in Architecture. The series highlights one book or publication. It is held every 3rd Thursday of each month with a presentation and discussion at the Downtown Library and a following reception and book signing at the Architecture Center.

This Thursday, June 18, the event will feature Raj Mankad, editor of Cite: The Architecture + Design Review of Houston.

Mankad will discuss the history of Cite, its mission, how article ideas are generated and writers selected, and some details about its production and distribution. Some Cite editorial committee members will also be present and contribute to a discussion of the place of architectural writing in regional and national discourse. The current issue of Cite, which focuses on new “star architecture” in Texas, will be available.

Details: Downtown Houston Public Library (500 McKinney), June 18, 6pm presentation followed by cocktail reception at ArCH (315 Capitol) at 7pm.

(Image and info from OffCite, June 11, 2009)

Friday, June 12, 2009

Austin's Lady Bird Lake Height Limits Ok'd

Austin American-Statesman, June 12, 2009

Developers will be bound by new height restrictions along Lady Bird Lake under rules adopted Thursday night by the Austin City Council.

The limits are mostly a victory for neighborhood activists, who have said for two years that high-rise development could spoil vistas of the lake and block public access.

According to the new rules, buildings along the lake cannot exceed 96 feet in some areas and 60 feet in others.

Thursday's vote was the third and final one and required to enact the height limits. The votes have been spread over six weeks, during which time most disagreements were settled. The remaining sticking point concerned guidelines for the city to grant exemptions to the limits. Click here to read the full article.

(Photo Credit: Ricardo B. Brazziell, Austin American-Statesman)

23rd Annual AIA Houston Sandcastle Competition Winners

Matrix Spencer Architects, CTA Architects Engineers, and Page Southerland Page received the top three awards in the 23rd Annual AIA Houston Sandcastle Competition that was held on Galveston's East Beach this past weekend, June 6. Click here to access more photos and view a complete list of the winners.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Sleepovers Open Architects' Eyes on Nursing Home Design

TSA member David Dillard, president of CSD Architects in Dallas, is requiring senior living architects at his firm to participate in the Sleepover Project, in which they spend the night at a nursing home as though they were a disabled resident. The Dallas Morning News covers this story in a May 27 article. Click here to access the article. (Photo credit: The Dallas Morning News)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Trinity River Corridor Project

The May 29 issue of the Texas Observer has an interesting article about the Trinity River Corridor Project - the largest public works project ever undertaken by the city of Dallas. 

Ian Dille writes that "depending on whom you ask, the project is either Dallas’ opportunity to reinvent itself as a 'world-class city' or an example of the city’s weakness for business-driven policy and political bickering. Or both."

Click here to read the article, then share your opinion on TSA's blog by clicking below on "Comments."

(The award-winning Trinity River Audubon Center, the first major project to be completed in the corridor, is featured in the 2008 Nov/Dec issue of Texas Architect. Click here to read about it.)

(Image above from the May 29 issue of the Texas Observer)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places

AIArchitect, May 29, 2009 - 

The National Trust for Historic Preservation (NTHP) announced last month its 2009 roster of “America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places.” The 2009 roster includes Modernist structures such as Frank Lloyd Wright’s Unity Temple in Oak Park, Ill. (pictured above); Miami Marine Stadium in Virginia Key, Fla.; and The Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles. The list also includes an eclectic mix of historic sites and structures, such as the hangar for the Enola Gay at Wendover Airfield in Utah; Dorchester Academy in Midway, Ga., initially a school for freed slaves; Lanai City in Hawaii, an intact plantation town; Memorial Bridge, the first major "vertical lift" bridge in the eastern United States, connecting the coastal towns of Portsmouth, N.H., and Kittery, Maine; and Ames Shovel Shops, a 19th-century industrial village in Easton, Mass. Read more here.

Where's TA Today? (5/22)

The staff of Texas Architect has unique opportunities to travel and visit interesting architecture. Do you know where we were when we took these pictures?