Texas Heritage, Winter 1985

Gano Log House, built near Dallas, (Circa 1845-1846). An example of a dog-trot house. The
arrangement of this type of log house is characterized by an open hall between two rooms under a
single roof. As was typical, the Gano House was enlarged with the additions of a porch, a second
story, and two rear sheds. Photo courtesy oj Michael Yardley.

that properly describes the style of
these buildings, which were primarily
houses constructed by frontiersmen
who were concerned with providing
their families basic shelter as quickly
as possible. As a result, they built functional,
unadorned houses that were
modest and efficient. The buildings
might be categorized as a Vernacular
Style, although the term does not adequately
distinguish these houses from
other types of vernacular architecture.
The Anglo-American and European
frontiersmen constructed their homes
with readily available building materials.
In East Texas they quickly assembled
log cabins in which the round logs
extended beyond the corners of the
building where they were joined with
saddle-like notches. The gaps between
the horizontal logs were filled with
chinking. If a frontiersman was less
hurried, he would probably use square
hewn logs instead so that they would fit
more closely together. The result would
be a log house instead of a log cabin.
The corners of a log house would be
joined by a water-proof joint, such as a
22

dovetail. Some Anglo-American and
European settlers built timber-frame
houses, which was a method of construction
common in the Atlantic seaboard
colonies since the seventeenth
century. The joints of a timber-frame
house were usually mortise and tenon
because manufactured nails were not
available. The timber frame was covered
with weather-boarding or siding.
In those parts of Texas where trees for
lumber were not readily available, the
Anglo-American and European frontiersmen
were likely to construct their
homes with stone masonry.
The log cabins, log houses, timberframe
houses, or stone masonry houses
that were built by the Anglo-American
and European settlers were almost
invariably simple rectangles in plan
with only one or two rooms. The roofs
of these houses were generally the elementary
saddleback type with the single
ridge of the roof parallel with the
front wall of the house and the gables
of the roof at the sides of the house,
where the fireplaces and chimneys
were also most readily located.

Photo Exhibit of
Texas' Most
Significant
Architecture
"Creating Tomorrow's Heritage", a
photographic exhibition being sponsored
by the Texas Society of Architects
will spotlight Texas' most significant
architecture, and will be touring
16 cities throughout Texas. The
museum-quality exhibit, which will
open in early 1984 at the Institute of
Texan Cultures in San Antonio will
conclude its tour in mid-1985. The exhibition
is photographed by renowned
architectural photographer Richard
Payne of Houston.
Conceived by Texas Society of Architects's
President Jerry Clement of
Dallas as a means of increasing public
appreciation of Texas' architectural
heritage, the exhibition will include 20
buildings and locations. In the opinion
of Texas architects, these photographs
represent the state's proudest architectural
achievements. The 20 selections
are based on the results of a statewide
survey in which architects were asked
to nominate up to 10 candidates for inclusion
in the exhibition. The survey
stipulated that nominations fall into
one of the following four categories:
1) an archetype - the best of a particular
breed;
2) a design triumph to which architects
have looked for inspiration;
3) a technological advance which
pointed a direction for future work;
or
4) a component of the brilliant oeuvre
of an influential master architect.
Final selections for the exhibit were
based on the survey results as interpreted
by a jury composed of Houston
architect Ray Bailey, Chairman; UTAustin
architecture professor and historian
Blake Alexander; Texas Architect
magazine editor Larry Paul
Fuller; and architects William T. Cannady,
FAIA, Houston; Frank Welch,
FAIA, Midland; and James Wiley,
FAIA, Dallas.

Texas Historical Foundation. Texas Heritage, Winter 1985. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth45443/. Accessed October 2, 2014.