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Modern in Houston - Endangered


Photograph: W. Irving Phillips, Jr.


Entry from Street, 2009


Street facing facade, 2009


Interior from entry door, 2009

William A. Vinson Branch Library
Architect: Clovis Heimsath Associates
(1969)
3100 West Fuqua Road

Heimsath entrusted the design of this small and remote public library branch building to his associate, W. Irving Phillips, Jr., a recent (1964) graduate of Cornell University`s Master of Architecture program where he studied under the well-known architectural historian Colin Rowe. The result was introverted and enigmatic: a 9,000 square foot top lit brick cube, its perfect geometry deformed to accommodate programmatic requirements. Today the Vinson Branch is in a distressing state of disrepair.

The Houston Public Library has now replaced it with a “Multi-Service Center” approximately four times as large about 1/4 mile away. The future of the existing structure is uncertain.

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