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Old and New Brazosport High School


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Brazosport High School in Freeport is getting a new school building. Actually, from what I can see it's about 99% complete. I'm sure it's great for the students, but I'm sad to see one of the great MCM buildings of that area (the other being Mackie and Kamrath's 1957 Dow Chemical Admin Building) gone. I didn't go to school there, but I visited many times and remember the soaring folded-plate breezeway, the courtyards and green spaces between the classroom wings, the lovely and graceful aluminum-framed window-wall library with sheer curtains, and the (fortunately still extant though now architecturally incongruous) auditorium arcade with sparkles in the sidewalk.

Unfortunately, not a great picture, but the best I could find:

http://www.brazosportisd.net/schools/BPort/Bport.jpg

Here's the new: Inspired by Freeport's nautical/maritime history and heritage, but it leaves me cold.

http://www.brazosportisd.net/bport/AboutUs...chool%20web.jpg

Marty

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Thanks for the picture. It seems that a decent amount of schools incorporated that MCM style. I happened to be in Alvin the other day (oh, I get around), and I noticed another nice mid-century school. The same aluminum window frames, courtyards, etc.

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They just recently tore down the mod-ish Briargrove Elementary on San Felipe - one day, poof! it was just gone.

And, just yesterday I drove to San Antonio, and the really cool Googie rest stops just before SA on I-10 are apparently about to be torn down. I was planning to open another thread and post some pics I took of them last year ....

Edited by GoAtomic
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Subdude, you are correct about schools. The baby boom led to lots of school construction during MCM's heyday. And the south Brazoria County area, which really took off after WWII, was/is a particularly good crucible of MCM schools, public buildings and houses, as others have noted. Unfortunately, to many people of my generation who grew up with that, it looks old and outdated, and a lot of it has been lost and what remains is very poorly maintained.

Brazosport HS was built in 1950-51. It embraced the blue sky and the prevailing breezes from the Gulf of Mexico that was just barely out of sight. It embodied the spirit of learning and excitement that permeated the 50's, and it was far more beautifully detailed than the neo-Brutalist Brazoswood HS that became its larger crosstown rival in 1970. Schools are generally so tied up with our emotions that it's difficult to see the architecture. But that blue-roofed McSchool , though certainly as "modern" for our day as the original was for its day, sure was a jarring sight last weekend.

Marty

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  • 8 months later...
Brazosport High School in Freeport is getting a new school building. Actually, from what I can see it's about 99% complete. I'm sure it's great for the students, but I'm sad to see one of the great MCM buildings of that area (the other being Mackie and Kamrath's 1957 Dow Chemical Admin Building) gone. I didn't go to school there, but I visited many times and remember the soaring folded-plate breezeway, the courtyards and green spaces between the classroom wings, the lovely and graceful aluminum-framed window-wall library with sheer curtains, and the (fortunately still extant though now architecturally incongruous) auditorium arcade with sparkles in the sidewalk.

Unfortunately, not a great picture, but the best I could find:

http://www.brazosportisd.net/schools/BPort/Bport.jpg

Here's the new: Inspired by Freeport's nautical/maritime history and heritage, but it leaves me cold.

http://www.brazosportisd.net/bport/AboutUs...chool%20web.jpg

Marty

I had not heard of this. Is this the one over on Gulf Blvd? I thought that was an elementary school (just breezed by one time). What happens to the old facility?

The first pic is not coming up. I'll post what I have when I get some time to scan and upload.

Bruce - BHS 60

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2vaedj8.jpg

All of the following are from the 1960 Exporter

2cgldex.jpg

West 2nd street at the bottom, which was TX 36 to the left, over the 'bridge built over dry land' (more about that in the Historic Brazosport thread). TX 288 is the highway running north. A portion of Hopper Field is on the left, the upper reaches of the Old River, i.e., Freeport Harbor, are at the top. (Marmer - this isn't for you - I know you know this). Looked a bit different from the aerial above back then.

44j3i95.jpg

48ch2d0.jpg

For 1960, the Exporter staff decided our school colors were black. Their mood was perhaps influenced by the fact the Exporters lost all 10 games that season, a feat I think they managed to equal the following year (no three-peat, though).

3zi74vr.jpg

I have a couple more, but I'm on dial-up and it's been very slow uploading today. I'll try again later.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Interesting. Sorry I didn't see this until now. In those photos the auditorium and library complex, including the wonderful folded plate canopy and breezeway I remember so well, have not been built yet. I didn't realize that those things must have been added after 1960. But the photos you posted really play up the mod style of what there was. Any idea who the architect was? (The architect for the first Pearland High School was Stayton Nunn.) Actually, given some of the modern features at say, Beutel Elementary, which was built about the same time, I wonder if they bought a package deal from some architectural firm as school districts do now.

marmer

Edited by marmer
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  • 2 months later...

Wow, those old photos are amazing!

I just ran across this site, so I apologize for the old response.

I graduated from BHS in 1986, and am just sick to see the new design. I'm guessing it's PBK or Bay Architects by the design. Actually with the 'steeple', I'm going to put my money on PBK. They like to mark their territory with repetitive designs ad naseam.

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Wow, those old photos are amazing!

I just ran across this site, so I apologize for the old response.

I graduated from BHS in 1986, and am just sick to see the new design. I'm guessing it's PBK or Bay Architects by the design. Actually with the 'steeple', I'm going to put my money on PBK. They like to mark their territory with repetitive designs ad naseam.

Yes, I agree about PBK. Their McSchools (or similar ilk) are going up all over Pearland. I actually heard someone say that Pearland's new high school (Dawson) was the exact same plan/design as College Park High School in The Woodlands, as though that was a good thing. There's also a new McSchool replacement for old Lake Jackson Intermediate.

The pics of old Brazosport HS remind me a bit of South Houston High School....must have been built around the same time period. It's still standing.

Yes. I agree, now that you mention it. I'll have to go by and check it out. I think Pasadena HS may also have some similar elements

We drove by the new high school on Mother's Day after eating at On The River. Yum.

The new school, not so yummy compared to the old one.

Agreed about On The River, and you probably passed by some of the original mod houses on Second Street for Dow executives, which were quite celebrated/controversial in their day. You also passed by my former girlfriend's great-grandmother's 1913 cottage, which is still standing and the subject of a modest local preservation effort.

Although I found the new BHS uninspired compared to the old, which probably is largely for sentimental reasons, I did find three things to like about the new one:

1. The cafeteria/food court is a beautiful, soaring, glass-walled space that is a big improvement over the previous low-ceilinged, windowless version.

2. They have a great many well-lighted display cases showing Brazosport memorabilia for the entire history of the school.

3. They renovated and modernized the existing auditorium in a sympathetic way.

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