RUDOLPH L. BIESELE, Editor
Early Texas Homes. By Dorothy Kendall Bracken and Maurine
Whorton Redway. Dallas (Southern Methodist University
Press), 1956. Pp. xii+ 189. $6.95.
Early Texas Homes is the first publication to present a view of
the historic homes of the various geographical regions of Texas.
As such it is a worthwhile guide book for those who have an
interest in the preservation of our architectural heritage.
The authors' preface reviews the historical background of the
domestic architecture of Central, Northeast, and Southeast Texas
by a thorough and well-documented presentation of the major
influences affecting the design of these homes of a century ago.
This regional presentation is illustrative of the simple architec-
tural truth that good architecture is the expression of the people
and their environment (i.e., local materials and climate).
In the pages that follow the reader journeys pictorially to many
fine houses throughout the state. Accompanying each page of
illustrations is a statement of the historical facts relative to the
owners and families that built and occupied these early dwellings.
These narratives provide a fine background and personality for
each home. The reviewer feels that the inclusion of drawings
of plans and possibly sketches of architectural details, furniture,
and utensils would have contributed much to the purpose of
There is some sparseness in the coverage of the section devoted
to San Antonio. That city contains many examples of century-old
houses that are truly "Texas" in character. One feels the need for
treatment here-as well as in other sections of the book-of the
"little houses" which are so abundant in San Antonio and Cen-
tral Texas. The reference to the fine stone and timber dwellings
outside of San Antonio as being of "ranch style" tends to associate
these fine examples with the present-day realtor-builder "ranch
style" houses to be found throughout the United States. I do not
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 60, July 1956 - April, 1957. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101163/. Accessed March 2, 2015.