“Garden and Gun” Builds a Profile Around Architects Lake/Flato

When Garden and Gun writer Guy Martin first met San Antonio architects Richard Lake and Ted Flato some years ago, Lake suggested they all sit outside.

“Let’s have drinks on the porch so that you can see that we live our creed,” Lake said, referring to Lake/Flato’s love of the breezy, screened, and shaded spaces that have been part of Texas since before the days of air conditioning. As Martin writes: 

Up in the Air

On September 12, one month after Governor Rick Perry declared his intention to run for president, Luminant, the largest electricity generator in the state, announced that it would partially shut down a huge coal-fired power plant in northeast Texas, close the associated lignite coal mines, and lay off five hundred workers. Not a great headline for the governor to see, since the state’s already overburdened power grid barely kept up with demand during this past summer’s record heat wave.

Farmers Flight!

The first thing a visitor to the Texas A&M campus sees, as he comes into town from the west and makes the turn onto University Drive, is the football stadium, a giant hulk of white concrete with “Kyle Field” emblazoned on one side in huge maroon letters.

Give Me Shelter

Take exit 430A from Interstate 35 in Dallas, then drive north on Oak Lawn Avenue, and you will eventually come to the Ashley Priddy Memorial Fountain, a burbling, five-tiered, stone-and-tile sentry that signals your arrival in Highland Park. As you cross Armstrong Parkway—named for John S. Armstrong, the meatpacking titan who purchased Highland Park’s original 420 acres in 1907—Oak Lawn becomes Preston Road. You’ll notice that the street signs are now blue.

A Mighty Wind

One cool Lubbock afternoon in 1979, Father Joe James made a kite. He nailed together a small wooden cross, glued paper across it, and on the long tail of twine tied streamers every five feet. Then he walked out of St. John Neumann Catholic Church, the energy-saving, below-ground house of worship he had designed, climbed up a modest slope, and launched the contraption above the church’s school and football field. Staring up at the fluttering streamers, he could gauge which way the wind was blowing and where it blew hardest.

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