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Goliad Memorial Auditorium

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1936, Samuel C. P. Vosper and Raiford L. Strip-ling. Goliad County Park, U.S. 77-A/183 S

Located in Goliad County Park, the auditorium belongs to a genre of buildings built to commemorate the centennial of Texas's independence from Mexico. Like the San Jacinto Monument ( AT24) and the Texas Hall of State at Fair Park in Dallas, it represents an architecture of Texan identity conceived during the New Deal era, when federal and state subsidies were used to pay for much of this work. Vosper, famed for his facility as a designer, teamed with the young Raiford L. Stripling (the two having worked together in the College Architect's office at Texas A&M earlier in the 1930s). Vosper and Stripling's building is constructed of exposed, board-formed, cast-in-place concrete. The five bays of the auditorium's long west wall (which faces the highway) are delineated by stepped piers, with octagonal clerestory windows interposed between them. Inscribed text panels occupy three of the five front bays. Enhancing the austerity of the entrance elevation is a roster of genius at frieze level, naming the mythic Anglo-American heroes of Texan independence as well as “Señora Alavez”—Francisca Alavez—the Angel of Goliad. Vosper's virtuosity as an ornamentalist is most evident at the entrance, which stands to one side of the building rather than being centered. Its recessed portal is wreathed in cast stone and culminates in an escutcheon bearing the sword-wielding arm of the Goliad independence flag of 1835, flanked by relief medallions of the Angel of Goliad and James Walker Fannin. This austere modernistic building, which is freestanding on an open site, derives its sense of monumentality from its deliberately hermetic composition. J. A. White, county judge of Goliad County in the early 1930s, was the moving force in securing the state and federal funding that not only built the auditorium but reconstructed the Spanish glory of Goliad.

Writing Credits

Author: 
Gerald Moorhead et al.
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Citation

Gerald Moorhead et al., "Goliad Memorial Auditorium", [Goliad, Texas], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/TX-01-GB13.

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Texas

Buildings of Texas, Gerald Moorhead and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2013, 500-501.

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