Architecture in Texas for the Casual Traveler

Must See Buildings and Structures in America's Lone Star State

Pueblo architecture, with pottery and flags, La Villita in San Antonio, Texas
La Villita in San Antonio, Texas. Photo by Donovan Reese Photography/Moment Mobile Collection/Getty Images

The home state of Former Presidents Bush and Bush (father and son) has a lot more than oil and cattle fields. For travelers who are architecture enthusiasts, here's a selection of historic buildings and innovative new construction in Texas.

Visiting Houston:

Visiting Dallas–Fort Worth

See more Dallas Architecture >>>

Visiting San Antonio:

  • The Alamo
    You've heard the phrase, "Remember the Alamo." Now visit the building where the infamous battle took place. The Spanish Mission also helped to give rise to the Mission Style of home design.
  • La Villita Historical District
    An original Spanish settlement, bustling with shops and artisan studios.
  • San Antonio Missions
    Missions San Jose, San Juan, Espada, and Concepcion were built over the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries.
  • Spanish Governor's Palace
    Constructed in 1749, the building was the Governor's Place when San Antonio was the capital of Texas.

Visiting College Station:

Spotlight on MADI Museum and Gallery Building:

Bill and Dorothy Masterson, lifelong supporters of the arts, were fascinated when artist Volf Roitman introduced them to the colorful and exuberant MADI movement. The Mastersons became avid collectors of MADI art works and spent time with the movement's founder, Carmelo Arden Quin. When Mr. Masterson's law firm moved to a 1970s storefront building, the Mastersons decided to convert the first floor into an art museum and gallery devoted to MADI art.

The building façade, designed by Volf Roitman, became a celebration of MADI with geometric forms laser-cut out of galvanized, cold-rolled steel and powder coated in bright colors. The colorful panels are permanently bolted to the existing building.

Roitman's convex-concave shapes and playful designs created a luscious, almost baroque skin for the once plain, two-story building. The landscape, furnishings, and lighting also reflect Roitman's MADI-ist ideas.

Location: 3109 Carlisle, Dallas, Texas 75204
Built: 1974, renovated in 2002-03
Inaugurated: February 22, 2003
Original Architects: Olds/Udstuen/Thompson, Inc.
Renovation Team Building Concept: Volf Roitman, MADI Artist
View Madi Photo: Copyright © Volf Roitman
What is MADI? Pronounced mah-DEE, MADI is a modern art movement known for bright colors and bold geometric forms.

In architecture, sculpture, and painting, MADI art uses abundant circles, waves, spheres, arches, spirals, and stripes.

The word MADI may have originated in letters taken from the name CarMelo ArDen QuIn, the Argentinan artist who founded the MADI movement in the 1940s. Or, perhaps the term comes from the English word MAD or from the Spanish description of the MADI movement: Movimiento Artistico De Invencion.

MADI ideas are also expressed in poetry, music, and dance. Playful and exuberant, MADI art focuses on objects rather than what they mean. The whimsical combinations of shapes and colors are abstract and free of symbolic meanings.

Also in Texas:

You cannot go inside these privately owned homes, but Texas is filled with interesting residences worthy of drive-by photography:

Plan Your Texas Itinerary:

For tours of historic Texas architecture, visit the National Register of Historic Places. You'll find maps, photographs, historical information, and travel recommendations.