skyhouse reception and tour

date: saturday, august 19

location: 2817 Belvoir Dr, San Antonio, TX 78230-4405

time: 5-7 pm, lecture/tour begin at 5:30 pm

FREE! rsvp required

Mid Tex Mod is thrilled to host a reception and tour at “Skyhouse,” completed as part of San Antonio’s “Winter Wonderland of Homes” in 1961. Join us to meet this home’s new owners, who are excited to show off their midcentury gem! We’ll explore Skyhouse and take a short walking tour of the neighborhood’s other model homes by San Antonio architects including Marmon Mok (designers of the U.S. Pavilion and Confluence Theater at HemisFair ‘68) and Cyrus Wagner (designer of the Woman’s Pavilion at HemisFair ’68). 

This reception and walking tour are open to the public and free of charge. Drinks and light refreshments will be served. Donations in support of Mid Tex Mod’s mission are appreciated.

RSVPs to are required. Space is limited, so reserve yours today!

Sponsored by Hicks & Company.

A “Winter Wonderland of Homes” showcased two of San Antonio’s neighborhoods in the early 1960s. From February 12 through March 12, 1961, Colonial Hills and Dreamland Oaks on the city’s northeast side featured twenty-four model homes “of every style and fashion from split-level to ‘Wisconsin Barn’…by the area’s top builders.” The neighborhoods were the work of local developer L.R. Pletz, with the model homes designed by different architects and constructed by a number of local builders. From contemporary Modern to Colonial, Jeffersonian, and French provincial, the model houses provided “the greatest variety of home architecture ever presented at any one time in any one location.” With interiors from various furniture companies in San Antonio, each house was designed as “part of a picture reflecting splendor and extravagance.” Each home also included a fully finished and heated garage to serve as a “winter playroom.” Some even had inlaid shuffleboard, bowling alleys, and hopscotch patterns on the floor. Tens of thousands of people were said to have attended the showcase, where homes were priced between $20,000 and $50,000. 

Fifteen of the twenty-four Winter Wonderland model homes were built in a cluster on Belvoir and Marlborough streets in the Colonial Hills neighborhood. With names such as “The Ranchero” and “Shibui Ie,” all of these houses are still standing with very few modifications. “Skyhouse,” designed by the architecture firm Hesson & May and built by E.H. “Cotton” Jaroszewski, sits on a small rise and is a modern split-level home with exterior stone, a wide, low-slung gable roof, and exposed wooden beams. Hesson & May, which later became Hesson Andrews Sotomayor, also designed “The Ranchero” in Winter Wonderland and subsequently went on to design numerous churches and schools throughout San Antonio. “Skyhouse” was noted for its spacious floor plan, central fireplace, and balcony accessed through the master bedroom with an impressive view of the downtown skyline. Furnishings for this house were selected by Karotkin’s North Star, combining modern, contemporary, and traditional styles. 

We’ll see you there on August 19! And don't forget to RSVP.

celebrate fehr & granger's legacy with two special open houses this fall

Mid Tex Mod is excited to host two open houses in celebration of Fehr & Granger, Architects - Austin Modernists, an exhibit presented by the Austin History Center (AHC) in conjunction with AIA Austin. This selection of midcentury photographs of the firm’s midcentury works draws from the AHC’s collection and will be on display at the Austin Center for Architecture (801 West 12th Street) from August 15, 2017 to November 15, 2017. Festivities kick off with the exhibit opening on Tuesday, August 15 from 6:30pm to 8:30pm. This event by the AHC and AIA Austin is free and open to the public, with refreshments provided. See AIA Austin’s website for details.

Mid Tex Mod will host the following open houses, inspired by the exhibition, at Fehr & Granger-designed homes. Each event will feature a brief discussion with the homeowners and their preservation architects. 

Refreshments provided, and RSVPs to are required.

As always, donations in support of Mid Tex Mod’s mission are greatly appreciated!

darnall house

date: thursday, september 7 
location: 2805 Wooldridge Drive 
time: 6pm to 8pm
FREE! rsvp required

The Dr. Charles and Gertrude Darnall House is one of Fehr & Granger’s earliest works, and one of the earliest built International Style residential designs in Austin. This newly-designated City of Austin Landmark has been lovingly rehabbed by its current owenrs with architect Derek Barcinski of Atlantis Architects. The owners purchased the home from the Darnall family in 2014 and have meticulously preserved its extensive original hardware and built-ins from 1941.

Darnall House, 1941 (Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, AR-2009-014-001, Photograph by St Thomas NY)

RSVP to by Tuesday, September 5.

granger house and the perchIMG 2081

date: tuesday, september 19 
location: 805 West 16th Street 
time: 6pm to 8pm 
FREE! rsvp required

Charles Granger designed his own home in Austin’s Judges Hill neighborhood in two phases. The Perch, a tiny International Style garage apartment, was completed in 1938 after Granger’s return to Austin following a stint working for Richard Neutra in Los Angeles. The larger Granger House followed in 1951, with a masterful design which marks the evolution of the architect’s style. Its current owerns, working with Jay Farrell Architect, have been stewards of this architectural treasure for nearly 20 years. It is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and designated a City of Austin Landmark.

Photo: Granger House in 2017.

RSVP to by Friday, September 15.

about fehr & granger

Arthur Fehr (1904–1969) and Charles Granger (1913-1966) were pioneers in Central Texas Modernism. Both Fellows of the American Institute of Architects, their award-winning work garnered national attention and helped put Austin, still small city dominated by state politics and the University of Texas, on the map for modern design at midcentury. Fehr & Granger’s nearly thirty-year partnership was broken only temporarily by World War II, and then finally by Granger’s untimely death in 1966. The firm designed every building type, from the now-demolished Robert Mueller Municipal Airport (1958) to the St. Stephen’s Episcopal School campus (mid-1950s). Architectural Record and Progressive Architecture regularly featured their works, reinforcing the firm’s influence as well as its place in Austin’s architectural legacy.