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My sister found a list of murals in Waco, some we’d seen, some we hadn’t so we set out to hunt them all down and take pictures. I’m not going to waste any time letting you know which ones I liked the best. They were the ones on the Lazy Fisherman (a closed restaurant in East Waco). They were done by native Wacoan Ira Watkins back in 2001. They cover both sides of the building, and one section has been vandalized, but it is still a great display of talent. I hope the building gets bought and put back to use and the people preserve these great murals.

Nearby is another one I like, it used to be bigger, but someone has peeled away the plaster from the brick destroying part of the mural.

A couple of the murals I’ve never really considered to be murals because they are the names of a business, but they were on the list so here they are.

The goodwill murals are nice too.

Some of the murals have a religious theme.

One is a replica of a famous painting.

On the side of the East Waco Library is a collage.

Some were ethnic.

And some are “abstract” which means I have no idea what they are.  I appreciate that they are better than a blank wall, but I don’t really like them.

After doing the volksmarch at Singing Wind Park we did some sightseeing. Our first stop was at the Museum of Western Art where two sculptures are on display out front.

“Out of the Mystic Past” by Fritz White is of a Native American shaman.

“Wind & Rain” by William Moyers is of a cowboy and his horse.

Leaving the museum we headed into town for an assortment of sights.

“Lupe” by artist GiGi Miller, is a mosaic Gudalupe Bass located in Louise Hays Park.

A very nice mural on the wall of the McDonald’s.

Mural on the top floor of the public library.

Mosiac mural is on the outside wall of the library. Can you name the books the scenes are taken from?

Opened in 1926, the Arcadia now sits unused.

Masonic Building occupied by Kerrville Lodge No. 697 A.F. & A.M., from 1891 until 1927.

A former post office, this art deco building was constructed with federal Treasury Department funds in 1935. It is now Kerr Arts & Cultural Center.

“Mother’s Love” an abstract design by James Avery.

Clock tower is one end of a skybridge over HWY 16 for City Hall employees to reach the parking garage. City Hall complete with clock tower and skybridge opened in 2012.

1936 County Marker in front of the courthouse.

Lehmann Memorial Gazebo on the courthouse lawn.

In loving memory of those who made the supreme sacrifice and in honor of all who served.

Snail sculpture near the entrance to Kerr Arts & Cultural Center

One side of a carving in the Kerr Arts & Cultural Center

The other side of the same carving.

A general store started in 1869 by Mr. Schreiner and a partner. This building was erected in 1919.

The 1915 Southern Pacific brick depot has been made into a restaurant.

Before we left Kerrville we headed over to “The Coming King, Sculpture and Prayer Garden”. After our GPS sent us to the wrong place we found the entrance. If you want to vist the correct entrance location is 30.071197, -99.115820. Keep right to reach parking area.

Hidden amongst the glass, chrome and skyscrapers are some pretty wonderful things to see. Like the 1910 Harris County Courthouse.

Traditional Building Website
Built in 1910 in the Beaux-Arts style, the Harris County Courthouse in downtown Houston, TX, is one of the most significant historic courthouses in the state. The elegant, 152,936-sq.ft., six-story structure was designed by Charles Edwin Barglebaugh of the Dallas firm of Lang & Witchell.

A renovation in the 1950s removed most of the historic fabric in the interior and significant elements on the exterior. Floors had been added at each level in the rotunda, closing off the area to natural light that would have come in through the original 80-ft.-dia. art-glass dome. The art-glass dome was gone too; it had been removed because of hurricane damage.  The good news is that the historic building has been saved and restored, as much as possible, to its original 1910 condition, thanks to a $52-million, seven-year restoration, completed in 2012.

Reconstructing the art-glass dome was a significant challenge. The architects had no historic evidence or photos to follow, with the exception of indentations in the base of the concrete piers from the original steel structure. These, at least, indicated the shape and general curvature of the dome.  The ARCHITEXAS team decided to go with a Prairie-style art-glass dome. I.H.S. Studios, Fredericksburg, TX, worked with the architects to detail and construct the new art-glass dome.

The attic level of each projecting bay is crowned with a raking parapet. The architrave and frieze of the dentilled raking cornice are detailed with stylized brickwork and iron grills.  The tympanum contains a large medallion displaying an open book set within the scales of justice and underlined with a bilateral feather ornament. Other conspicuous decoration on the facades of the courthouse includes sculptured female faces which peer out from scroll brackets positioned like keystones above segmentally arched windows of the second floor. Abstractly rendered lion heads with depending floral ornament occur at the frieze level above the rusticated piers on each elevation.

Not far from the courthouse is the Sweeney, Coombs & Fredericks Building.  One of the few Victorians left standing downtown, this narrow, three-story, built in 1889 and capped with a corner turret, was designed by George Dickey as the home of a jewelry firm. 

The building, with its elaborate Eastlake ornamentation, is a beauty to behold.

My next discovery was the old Ritz Movie Theater.  It was done is a Southwest Style, and opened in 1926.  Not sure how long it was open, but today is sport the beautiful neon sign from “The Majestic Metro” another vintage movie theater which didn’t survive the wrecking ball.  Today is it a banquet hall, not a movie theater.

Next door to the Majestic Metro is a mural on Treebeard’s Restaurant.  This is a new mural painted in 2013, I think.  But the restaurant has had a mural of one type or another since 2007.

St. Germain Lofts is the renovated 1913 Kress Building.  The store had eight stories – enough room for retail on the first 3½ floors, Kress’s offices above, and four floors of office space for lease. The store had two facades, one facing Main, the other facing Capitol. It was renovated into loft apartments in 1982.

During renovation the large-scale cornice with its corbels and the roof parapet that held the Kress logo were removed.  But the bas-relief art between the 7th and 8th floors survived the renovations.

The design pattern on the bottom of the building was added during the renovations.

I like the architecture that is candy to the eye.  Modern glass and chrome just isn’t my thing.  I’m glad these treasures have managed to survive in Houston.

 

 

 

After doing a volksmarching event along the river walk in San Antonio we took time to tour Mission San Jose and Mission Concepcion before heading home.

Mission San Jose is first.

We parked in front of this building next to the mission.

Bell tower in the distance.

Statue of the Franciscan monk Fray Antonio Margil De Jesus who founded this mission in 1720.

Outdoor ovens dot the compound.

A diorama of the mission.

Well in front of the mission.

Sculpted in 1775, the Rose Window is considered to be one of the finest examples of baroque architecture in North America.

Doors to the Mission surrounded by artwork. This entrance is not open.

Looking up above the door.

Gateway into the mission on the North side wall.

Support arch.

West side of the mission.

Arches without covers.

This entrance to the mission is the one you enter through.

Alter just inside the door.

Dome with metal chandelier.

Art around the inside door.

Brass metal Stations of the Cross line the wall.

Font for water

Door has intricate design.

Another well we passed on the way out.

We headed over to Mission Concepcion

Big sign at the entrance.

Ruins and the Mission.

Water well in front of the mission

One of the two bell towers.

This entrance to the mission isn’t open.

Arched hallway down the side of the mission.

Gated stairs, they don’t want anyone going up.

Faded artwork on the wall.

Inside of the church.

Artwork surrounding what I think was the bell pull rope.

Faded artwork above an arched doorway.

Close up of the picture of Jesus.

Domed area with a metal chandelier (retrofitted with electric lights).

Outdoor alter across the courtyard.

One final look at the mission as we leave.

We were in Boerne to do the Volksmarching event, so we took this opportunity to visit the nearby Cascade Caverns. While they are not rated very well I enjoyed the stroll in the cool underground. Warning there is constantly dripping water, so you are going to get wet and the footing is slick and puddled in spots. Wear rubber soled walking shoes if you go.

Gated Entrance – You have arrived.

T-Rex next to the parking area. He is made of Styrofoam and plaster and was used in Walt Disney Studios’ 1993 movie “Father Hood”starring Patrick Swayze.

History of caverns which originally opened in 1932.

Original 1932 visitor’s center, not the one you visit now days.

Looking across you see the steps you are going to go down (and climb back up) when you enter the cave.

Wall along the walkway that they claim was done by the WPA (CCC?) but no documentation available.

Tile seating at top of steps.

Little bat (and his shadow) on the ceiling of the cave.

Pretty formation.

Another nice formation.

Water used to cascade down these falls.  Hence the name “Cascade Caverns”.  Now  you see a trickle of water provided by a pump.

Inside this walled area is the remains of a Mastodon’s tusk.

Climbing back out I took advantage of  the tiled benches to catch my breath.

Dam that was built to keep the rain from filling the cavern.

Looking back at the cavern entrance.

Another bench that looks like it could be from the WPA/CCC.

Information about the T-Rex in the visitor’s center.

What is WPA? If you already know, skip this next paragraph.

Wikipedia Says:
It was the largest and most ambitious American New Deal agency, employing millions of people (mostly unskilled men) to carry out public works projects,[1] including the construction of public buildings and roads. The WPA also employed musicians, artists, writers, actors and directors in large arts, drama, media, and literacy projects.

Most of the WPA art was murals placed in WPA constructed Post Offices, some murals are still in those post offices. Some are now in museums like this one in Alvin, TX.

Emigrants at Nightfall by Texas artist Loren Mozley

Here is a map of Texas with the WPA art locations marked on it. Is there one near you? Have you been to the post office and never even given a second look?

This map can be visited at WPA Map. You can click on an icon and it will give you the GPS location of the artwork. Please note the caption for the different symbols on the map. Some of them you aren’t allowed to take pictures of.

I’ve enjoyed looking for these pieces of “Great Depression” artwork in my travels. I hope you start looking for them too. If you would like to post your pictures of the art you can do so at Waymarking.com. It is free to join.

Oh, by the way, Texas is not the only state that has WPA artwork. To check on your state will take a little digging but Living New Deal is a good place to start your search.

One last post from our trip to Austin.  Sparky Park of a former electric substation, the park was created through the efforts and vision of neighbors. Lovely old trees and a unique art wall make this pocket park something special.

Really enjoyed this Grotto Wall!  Had to add a little something of my own to the artwork.