Modern in Houston

Strake Hall Photo 2008 by Jason Smith

University of St. Thomas
Architect: Philip Johnson
3812 - 3910 Yoakum Blvd

The University of St. Thomas shows Philip Johnson`s Miesian period at its height. Johnson was asked to create a master plan for the university in 1956. His proposal was to face the two-story buildings toward each other with a large green area in the middle of the space. Johnson compared this arrangement to Thomas Jeffersonís Academical Village for the University of Virginia. Johnson also proposed that a chapel be built at one end of the site. The plan was approved and adopted in 1957.

Johnson designed three buildings: Jones Hall (an auditorium and gallery), the first phase of Strake Hall (a classroom building), and Welder Hall (the student center). Since then other Houston architects, such as Howard Barnstone, Eugene Aubry, and Wilson, Morris, Crain, and Anderson, have completed Johnsonís plan for the central campus, and in 1997 Johnson designed the chapel in a postmodern style.

If you would like to contribute more to the story of these buildings, please email info@houstonmod.org.

Text and Photo by Jason Smith

University of Saint Thomas Website
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