The Country Houses of John F. Staub

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Texas A&M University Press, 2007 - Architecture - 388 pages
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In the early 1920s, architect John F. Staub, a native of Knoxville, Tennessee, who had studied at MIT and worked in New York, came to the burgeoning city of Houston as an assistant to nationally prominent architect Harrie T. Lindeberg. Staub was charged with administering construction of three houses designed by Lindeberg for members of the city’s rapidly emerging elite. He would go on to establish one of the most influential architectural practices in Houston, where he would remain until his death in 1981.

Over four decades, Staub designed grand houses in such communities as Shadyside, Broadacres, and, perhaps most notably, River Oaks. His clients included the Hoggs, for whom he created Bayou Bend; the Mastersons, his clients for Rienzi; and members of the Wiess, Cullen, Farish, Welder, Fay, and Elkins families. Although Staub also completed commissions for clients elsewhere in Texas and the United States, it was primarily in Houston that his work and influence took root.

This ambitious study of Staub’s work by architectural historian Stephen Fox goes beyond a description of Staub’s houses. Fox analyzes the roles of space, structure, and decoration in creating, defining, and maintaining social class structures and expectations and shows how Staub was able to incorporate these elements and understandings into the elegant buildings he designed for his clients. In the process, he contributes greatly to a fuller understanding of Houston’s emergence as a premier American city.

Stunning color images by architectural photographer Richard Cheek, combined with Fox’s well-grounded and expansive thesis, create a volume that will enchant, inform, and entertain. Students and aficionados of American domestic architecture of the 1920s, ’30s, ’40s, and ’50s will appreciate the wealth of material, and the volume’s contribution to architectural history and the sociology of architecture will commend itself to readers across the nation.

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If you are interested in the architects who made an impact in the Houston luxury living residential market, The Country Houses of John F. Staub is a great book to read. I love the history of Houston. The late John F. Staub is one of my favorite. Another is, certainly, the late John Chase. They were such amazing visionaries of their time. 


John F Staub Houston and the Social Construction of UpperClass Identity l
River Oaks
Small Houses
Grand Houses
Country Retreats
Typif1cation Consensus and the River Oaks House
The Contemporary and the Palladian
Architecture Social Construction and the Country Houses of John R Staub

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Page xiv - My father's columns and papers are now held at the Center for American History at the University of Texas at Austin. In the present volume, his articles appear as originally published, with no substantive changes. Since his editors sometimes were inconsistent in spelling a word such as "programming," I have reconciled these discrepancies.
Page 375 - Cite: The Architecture and Design Reuiew a/ Houston (I: all 1984): 16-18. Kaplan, Barry J., and Charles Orson Cook. "Civic Elites and Urban Planning: Houston's River Oaks.
Page 371 - Blueprints for modern living : history and legacy of the case study houses / exhibition organized by Elizabeth AT Smith ; essays by Esther McCoy ... [et al.]. Los Angeles : Museum of Contemporary Art ; Cambridge, Mass. : MIT Press, C1989.
Page 371 - Santa Barbara Architecture: From Spanish Colonial to Modern. Photography by Wayne McCall. Introduction by David Gebhard. Santa Barbara, Calif.: Capra Press, 1995 (first published 1975). "Art Collection and Home of the John de Menils in Houston's River Oaks.
Page 372 - Empire Building: Orientalism and Victorian Architecture (London and New York: Routledge, 1996). Geddes, P. (assisted by F. Mears), The Proposed Hebrew University in Jerusalem, unpublished (1919). Goren, A., 'Judah L. Magnes and the Early Years of the University

About the author (2007)

STEPHEN FOX is a Fellow of the Anchorage Foundation of Texas.RICHARD CHEEK is one of the foremost architectural photographers in America. His work has been showcased in more than a dozen volumes published by some of the nation's most prestigious presses.

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