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A. P. Beutel Building, Dow Chemical Company

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1953, 1958, MacKie and Kamrath. S TX 288
  • (Benjamin Hill Photography)
  • (Benjamin Hill Photography)
  • (Benjamin Hill Photography)
  • (Benjamin Hill Photography)

As Houston's foremost interpreters of Frank Lloyd Wright, MacKie and Kamrath were recommended to the Dow Chemical Company in 1950 by Alden B. Dow. This two-story administration building, located at Plant B and constructed in two phases, was named for the Dow executive who built and managed Plants A and B and the styrene plant. Karl Kamrath made the most of the building's corner site with his 1958 addition of an oversailing second story that sprouts secondary cantilevers. He emphasized linearity with high-set strip windows and marked the entrance bay to the 1953 portion with boldly scaled dark tiles studded with Wrightian red squares. Framed by ornamental date palms, the Beutel Building is an island of suburban composure in an ocean of industrial infrastructure. Visually, and viscerally, viewers understand that this infrastructure is what makes Freeport, according to the regional chamber of commerce, the largest basic chemical complex in the world.

Writing Credits

Gerald Moorhead et al.

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