You are here

Joe Barnhart Bee County Library (Praeger Building)

-A A +A
Praeger Building
1906; 2001, Ray Bailey Architects. 110 W. Corpus Christi St.
  • (Photograph by Gerald Moorhead)

A handsome three-bay storefront of buff brick trimmed with dark red brick, the hardware store of Victoria-born merchant Albert Praeger was substantial by Beeville standards at the turn of the twentieth century. The building has been attributed to William C. Stephenson, but since he lived in San Francisco and Buffalo in 1906, this is unlikely. Another candidate is Victoria architect Charles Praeger. In 1979 Houston surgeon Joseph Barnhart, who had grown up in Beeville, bought and rehabilitated the Praeger Building. The foundation he endowed transformed the building into a model small-town public library. Houston architect Bailey preserved the existing features of the building's shell, within which the book stacks and reading, administrative, and work spaces of the library were inserted. A glass-faced side entrance, constructed on the adjoining site of a demolished commercial building, contains a new stair and a glass-sided elevator.

Writing Credits

Gerald Moorhead et al.


What's Nearby


Gerald Moorhead et al., "Joe Barnhart Bee County Library (Praeger Building)", [Beeville, 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, 505-506.

If SAH Archipedia has been useful to you, please consider supporting it.

SAH Archipedia tells the story of the United States through its buildings, landscapes, and cities. This freely available resource empowers the public with authoritative knowledge that deepens their understanding and appreciation of the built environment. But the Society of Architectural Historians, which created SAH Archipedia with University of Virginia Press, needs your support to maintain the high-caliber research, writing, photography, cartography, editing, design, and programming that make SAH Archipedia a trusted online resource available to all who value the history of place, heritage tourism, and learning.