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Live Oak Point Lodge

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1982, Charles Tapley Associates. TX 35 at Fulton Beach Rd.
  • (Photograph by Gerald Moorhead )

This corporate recreation and retreat center is located at Live Oak Point, site of the homestead of Irish empresario James Power and his successive wives, the sisters María Dolores and María Tomasa de la Portilla. From 1837 to 1847, it was also the site of Power's short-lived bayport town, Aransas City, and had earlier been the location of a Spanish customs station, Santa María de Aránzazu, guarding the entrance to Cópano Bay. The H. E. Butt Grocery Company of San Antonio retained Houston architect Tapley and his associate Jerry Lunow to design a recreation center for its employees on the one-hundred-acre point. The structure that is most visible from the TX 35 causeway across Cópano Bay is a three-and-a-half-story observation tower, part of a complex that includes a hipped-roofed, insect-screened pavilion raised a full story above grade over a lattice-walled boathouse. Tapley, who is also a landscape architect, and Lunow carefully sited these buildings with respect to views, the prevailing Gulf breeze, and sensitive conditions on the partially wooded, partially open point. Simple geometries and emphatic profiles mark these buildings as well as a series of cabins, whose double-pitched, side-gabled roofs, dropping down over expansive screened porches, reiterate a regionally resonant profile. All buildings are faced with stained cedar siding and wood shingled roofs. Tapley and Lunow's complex is environmentally responsive and echoes shapes that have figured in the architectural history of the Coastal Bend lowlands.

Writing Credits

Gerald Moorhead et al.


What's Nearby


Gerald Moorhead et al., "Live Oak Point Lodge", [Rockport, 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, 495-495.

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