NORMAN D. BROWN, Editor
The Architecture of John F. Staub: Houston and the South. By How-
ard Barnstone et al. (Austin: The University of Texas Press, 1979.
Pp. 363. Foreword, preface, illustrations, bibliography, glossary,
A native of Knoxville, Tennessee, John F. Staub moved to Houston
in 1921. Prior to his move to Texas he had earned a degree from the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology and had served an apprentice-
ship with Harrie T. Lindeberg, a prominent New York architect. Dur-
ing a career in Texas that spanned a half century, Staub designed large
houses for numerous prestigious clients, including Miss Ima Hogg, for
whom he designed Bayou Bend, a beautiful mansion-incorporating
Colonial Revival features-that is now a museum.
With the assistance of joint authors David Courtwright, Jerome
Iowa, and Stephen Fox, Howard Barnstone, himself an architect of
note, organized this tome into an introduction on John F. Staub and
the city of Houston, a folio of colored illustrations, and a descriptive
folio. These are amplified by a list of Staub's works and a list of books
in his library. A glossary of architectural terms also is included.
In the introduction, following the biographical information, the
authors examine Staub's eclectic work, largely in a context of the con-
temporary situation. Rationalizing Staub's use of the past for sources of
design, they use the terms "esthetic sensibility" (p. 2o) to define a new
context for past historical styles-a condition now being examined by
In some instances Staub's work is interpreted in the light of con-
temporary points of view expressed by other prominent architects and
architectural historians, including Vincent J. Scully, who wrote the
foreword, and William H. Jordy, a Brown University professor. For
example, "An analysis of interior spaces as consisting of what Louis I.
Kahn called 'served' and 'servant' spaces informed Staub's approach to
design" (p. 30). When providing background for Staub's concepts on
the intellectual relationship of architecture to the Southwest, the au-
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 84, July 1980 - April, 1981. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101225/. Accessed October 2, 2014.