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Category Archive:   historic preservation


  Just off a bit from the main downtown area of Wichita Falls, Texas is the world’s smallest skyscraper.  The Newby-McMahon Building was built in 1919 and its diminutive size is the outcome of a fraudulent investment scheme following a 1918 oil boom.   The building’s owner, Augustus Newby, solicited investors to get in quick […]

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On the heels of the last post, I thought I might say something about another great Western road, one that well pre-dates Route 66 – the Santa Fe Trail. For as challenging as it can be to find vestiges of Route 66, ferreting out the path of the old Santa Fe trail or the Oregon […]

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  I have written in the past about a journey down some portions of the old Route 66 that traverses the U.S. West from St. Louis to L.A.  And my last few posts have been about a trip to Texas that I took the opportunity on my return to travel a few more miles on […]

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On the heels of a post about the amazing masonry of the Mullen Building, designed by Temple Hoyne Buell in 1933, I discovered an even more spectacular brick building that takes masonry construction and design to places I have never quite seen before.  The Bryant Webster Elementary School in Denver’s North Highlands neighborhood was designed […]

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“Quoins” are the exposed stone pieces that you sometimes see stacking up only on the corner of a building. They sometimes look like a zipper applied to the corner edges of a structure.  And their use today is odd and usually fake and is trying to allude to traditional masonry construction and presumably the sense […]

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One of Denver’s sort of hidden architectural gems is the Mullen Building, part of the Saint Joseph hospital complex. Built in 1933, the Mullen Building was designed as a nursing school and dormitory by Denver architect Temple Hoyne Buell.  Buell was from Chicago and like so many Coloradans, came out West for the treatment of […]

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On the east side of US36 that runs between Boulder and Denver, is a large, hulking building that you can just see above the suburban sprawl of car lots and muffler shops.  This massive stone building is currently a Christian school but in its early life it was home to a Presbyterian college called Westminster […]

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So much of our understanding of what makes a building beautiful is based on a notion of discovering or uncovering the perfectly pleasing proportions of an architectural space or facade.  From the earliest writing on architecture in the western world, we have been obsessively concerned with the proper height to width ratio of a column, […]

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