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Southern Minerals Company Building

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1953, Wyatt C. Hedrick. 801 N. Upper Broadway

The colorful structure represents a 1950s hybrid aesthetic, a building style recalling the 1940s, but not yet fully integrated into modernism. The three-story, crisply edged edifice spectacularly displays the use of terra-cotta, a then-outdated material. Fully sheathed in three shades of the product, gray, pink, and bright green, it is remarkable for its profusely decorated splayed window surrounds. The building housed the pioneer energy firm that started, almost overnight, the oil boom in Nueces County with the opening in 1934 of the massive Saxet Field (Texas spelled backwards) at the western edge of Corpus Christi. In contrast, the Vaughn Petroleum Building (1954), at 719 N. Upper Broadway, also by Fort Worth–based Hedrick, is a small-scaled modern design with a full-height glass curtain wall indicating his experimentation with a newer vocabulary in the latter portion of his career.

North Upper Broadway, once the residential abode of entrepreneurs and cattle barons in the late nineteenth century, began its transition to commercial use in the early 1920s. Mansions gave way to high-rises created by port development pressures reverberating throughout the city.

Writing Credits

Gerald Moorhead et al.


What's Nearby


Gerald Moorhead et al., "Southern Minerals Company Building", [Corpus Christi, Texas], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Texas

Buildings of Texas: Central, South, and Gulf Coast, Gerald Moorhead and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2013, 236-236.

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