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I am looking for suggestions on the best books, coffe table and/or history, of Houston and Houston architecture. I’ve searched but I would like some educated suggestions.  Thanks. 

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Houston, The Unknown City 1836 - 1946

Houston Lost and Unbuilt

Double Vision: The Unerring Eye of Art World Avatars Dominique and Jean de Menil

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Houston’s Forgotten Heritage, Landscape, Houses, Interiors, 1824 – 1914. Dorothy Knox Howe Houghton, Barrie Scardino Bradley, Sadie Gwin Blackburn; Texas A&M University Press.

 

+1 on Houston Lost and Unbuilt. Stephen R. Strom; University of Texas Press. Mr. Strom was the former curator of the Houston Metropolitan Research Center (The Texas Room) in the Julia Ideson Building, Houston Public Library.

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HOUSTON- The Feast Years by George Fuerman

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All of the above are good choices, to which I'd add (some coffee-table books, and some trade paperbacks, and a few of these are long out of print):

 

Parsons & Bush, Houston Deco

Fox, Houston Architectural Guide (spiral-bound first (1990) or second (1999) editions, or the more recent third (2012) edition, which unfortunately appears to be out of print and expensive now)

Papademetriou, Houston: An Architectural Guide (despite the very similar name, this is a different, much earlier (1972) book than the three editions of the later AIA guide)

Barnstone, The Architecture of John F. Staub: Houston and the South

Fox, The Country Houses of John F. Staub

Barna, The See-Through Years: Creation and Destruction in Texas Architecture and Real Estate, 1981-1991

Milburn, The Last American City

Byrd, Sig Byrd's Houston

Ziegler, Wave of the Gulf

Miller, Ray Miller's Houston

Sister Agatha, The History of Houston Heights 1891-1918

Chapman, Telephone Road, Texas

Hinton, Historic Houston Streets: The Stories Behind the Names

Welling, Cinema Houston: From Nickelodeon to Megaplex

Baron, Houston Electric: The Street Railways of Houston, Texas

Slotboom, Houston Freeways (out of print but a PDF is available at http://www.houstonfreeways.com/ )

 

Several others about notable figures in Houston's history:

Agris, White Knight in Blue Shades (Maaaaarrrrvin Zindler)

Ray, The Grand Huckster: Houston's Judge Roy Hofheinz, Genius of the Astrodome

Fenberg, Unprecedented Power (Jesse Jones)

Kirkland, Captain James A. Baker of Houston

Sterling, Kilman, & Carleton, Ross Sterling, Texan: A Memoir by the Founder of Humble Oil and Refining Company

Kreneck, Mexican American Odyssey: Felix Tijerina, Entrepreneur and Civic Leader 1905-1965

 

And for true crime:

Olsen, The Man with the Candy (Dean Corll)

Craig & Rogers, The Man on the Grassy Knoll (Charles Rogers and consipracy theory)

Vance & Lomax, Murder and Mayhem in Houston

 

Arcadia Publishing also has quite a few nice trade paperbacks containing photos of regional/local interest in their Images of America series - I don't see a way on their website to easily filter on just the Houston-specific ones, but here are the 300 or so Texas-related ones:

 

https://www.arcadiapublishing.com/Search?searchText=&seriesfacet=Images+of+America&statefacet=Texas 

Edited by mkultra25
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I forgot another obvious one, Thompson's Blood and Money. 

 

Also the various Houston Mod publications, but I'm not sure how available these are anymore, as the listing on the website is missing some of the previous publications (such as Jason Smith's excellent overview of William Jenkins' houses):

 

http://houstonmod.net/publications.asp?cat=3

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I’m so excited to throw myself into this list. Fantastic contributions by all. Thanks very much. Grew up in “stinkadena” late 60s— early 80s but adult life, my work and social life were spent in Houston. I loved it growing up.  It is different now in appearance because of many things and it is hard to visit.  I moved away in the late, late 80s.  I want to build my own home Houston library and bring back some of those great memories. Working downtown in the the Texaco building, the wonderful food and fun bar scene.  Music scene was the best.  Thanks for the great list. 

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I might also add "The Big Rich" by Bryan Burrough. It is not entirely about Houston but  it is the story of four Texas oil men and their families that made fortunes in the oil industry, one of which is Hugh Roy Cullen. I can also highly recommend Kirkland's "Captain James A. Baker of Houston." I believe it is the quintessential history of Rice University and Baker's tireless efforts to bring that institution into being in the face of very difficult circumstances. Thanks, mkultra25. 

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I keep thinking of more books (I had forgotten about The Big Rich until Specwriter mentioned it). Another architecture-specific one is Ephemeral City, an anthology of pieces from Cite magazine. 

 

And not exactly history, or even non-fiction, but for capturing the heart and soul of Houston at a particular moment in time, it's hard to beat Larry McMurtry's All My Friends Are Going To Be Strangers and Moving On. 

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If you loved All My Friends, there's a very good chance you will likewise love Moving On. Run, don't walk, to grab a copy. I should have probably mentioned the third book in McMurtry's "Houston trilogy", Terms of Endearment, as well, but despite Terms being much better known by most people thanks to the movie, All My Friends and Moving On have always stood taller in my mind. 

 

All My Friends has always had a special resonance for me, not least because of the role Rice's Fondren Library plays in the narrative. I spent a lot of time in Fondren when I was an undergrad, and at that time there were still many places (and pieces of furniture) within that had remained essentially unchanged since 20-25 years earlier when McMurtry/Danny Deck had roamed the stacks. Now almost all the vestiges of that era are gone, scrubbed away through successive remodelings in the intervening years, but when they were still readily apparent there were more than a few times I'd think of All My Friends while comfortably ensconced in a well-worn, overstuffed chair in one of the reading rooms. 

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