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.
You are here
Live Oak Point Lodge
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.