Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Guest Blog: Mark Wellen's Modern Midland Tour

Mark Wellen, AIA. 
Image courtesy of Cindeka Nealy/Reporter-Telegram

Mark Wellen, AIA
Rhotenberry Wellen Architects
West Texas

On March 30, Midland held its inaugural event observing Preservation Texas’ MODern Month, and I lead a tour of downtown Midland, which emphasized our stock of mid-century modern architecture. Midland rightfully earned its moniker as the “Tall City” by assembling an impressive array of office buildings established through a series of building booms fueled by the boom and bust cycles of the oil industry, which belies expectations of a city with a population of 100,000.

The observance of MODern Month in Midland was the brainchild of Brandon Melland, Planner with the City of Midland Planning Division. The list of notable structures was compiled by my research and a significant dose of data provided by the eminent architectural historian Stephen Fox. The genesis of the tour was about a year ago as a result of a request by the Texas Historical Commission for me to host a similar tour for a regional committee meeting they were holding in Midland.

We hope that the tour will become an annual event and be a stepping stone in the ongoing effort of revitalization of downtown Midland, as well as lead to a growing appreciation by our citizens of the quality of our stock of mid-century modern structures.

Below are pictures from the tour courtesy of Brandon Melland, with the City of Midland's Planning Division, and who attended UTSA's architecture school.

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