Friday, February 28, 2014

1950’s O’Neil Ford House Demolished

In his October article for The Dallas Morning News, Mark Lamster explains the demolishing of “the Tinkle residence, a midcentury gem by architect O’Neil Ford.” The house was located in a small community of modern homes known as “Culture Gulch,” along the banks of Turtle Creek in the Dallas County city of University Park.
            Ford’s house, which in the early ‘50s was commissioned for the family of local writer Lon Tinkle, was built with Mexican brick, stone and wood, and had a signature library that protruded over the creek.

            According to the article, the loss of the Tinkle residence reinforces the need for Dallas residents to pay closer attention to the architectural history of the city and to protect it.
Read Lamster’s full article here.
O’Neil Ford, accredited for some of the most famous architectural landmarks in Texas, such as the Texas Instruments Semiconductor Building in Dallas, the Little Chapel in the Woods at Texas Women’s University, and various college campuses, is the center of Mary Carolyn Hollers George’s biographical account O’Neil Ford, Architect. Using extensive interviews with Ford and over 30 years of his diaries, George’s book – made available again by Texas A&M Press in 2013 -- traces Ford’s life and work as well as the people important to him.

More information on George’s book can be found here

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Work on Conserving USS Monitor Ceases as Funding Runs Low

 In his January 26 article, journalist Steve Szkotak stated the conservation of Civil War ironclad warship USS Monitor has been nearly halted due to diminishing funds from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration amid budget cuts.

The iron-hulled warship, which sunk on New Year’s Eve in 1862 and was rediscovered in 1973, was lifted from the ocean floor in 2002. The Mariner’s Museum was appointed with the task of conserving and restoring the Civil War artifacts, and five years after its reemerging from the waters of the Atlantic, a $30 million exhibit was opened to display pieces from the wreck.

Now, work on conserving the Monitor in the labs of the Mariner’s Museum has been slowly decreasing as money runs low. According to the article, the original goal of completing the restoration and conservation in 15 years has now been estimated to take up to five decades.

James Delgado, director of the NOAA’s Maritime Heritage Program and author of the 2012 book Misadventures of a Civil War Submarine: Iron, Guns, and Pearls (Texas A&M University Press, 2012), told the Associated Press that the agency will support the museum’s work ‘as appropriations allow.

Read the full Associated Press article here.

 In his 2012 TAMU Press book USS Monitor: A Historic Ship Complete Its Final Voyage, recently retired archaeologist of the NOAA John D. Broadwater explored the history of the Civil War ship, from its first battles to its rediscovery and restoration. Lavish illustrations compliment this informative and readable account of the first ironclad warship commissioned by the U.S. Navy during the Civil War that established its own type of warship design.

Both Delgado and Broadwater’s books were Honorable Mentions for the 2013 John Lyman Book Award.

More information on Broadwater’s book can be found here, and more on Delgado’s book can be found here

Monday, February 17, 2014

Choice Magazine Names Two Texas A&M Press Books Outstanding Academic Titles for 2014

COLLEGE STATION—Choice Magazine has named Late Pleistocene Archaeology and Ecology in the Far Northeast, edited by Claude Chapdelaine and Texas Labor History, edited by Bruce A. Glasrud and James C. Maroney Outstanding Academic Titles for 2014.
Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries is a magazine that annually reviews more than 7,000 academic books, electronic media and Internet resources of interest to those in higher education. The books reviewed in Choice are given recommendation levels to indicate to readers which books are essential to their collections of academic books.
            Each January Choice also releases a list of Outstanding Academic Titles that were reviewed in the previous calendar year; only about 10 percent of the thousands of books reviewed annually are selected to be a part of this list. Choice editors look at several criteria when identifying the best titles: overall excellence in presentation and scholarship, relative importance to other literature of the field, originality or uniqueness, value to undergraduate students and importance in building undergraduate libraries.
            An Outstanding Academic Title, Late Pleistocene Archaeology and Ecology in the Far Northeast focuses on the Clovis pioneers and their eastward migration into the Far Northeast, a peninsula incorporating the six New England states, New York east of the Hudson, Quebec south of the St. Lawrence River and Gulf of St. Lawrence and the Maritime Provinces, inhospitable before 13,500 years ago, especially in its northern latitudes.

            In Texas Labor History, the editors and contributors tackle a number of presumptions—that a viable labor movement never existed in the Lone Star State; that black, brown and white laborers, both male and female, were unable to achieve even short-term solidarity; that labor unions in Texas were ineffective because of laborers’ inability to confront employers— and lay the foundation for establishing the importance of labor to a fuller understanding of Texas history.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Texas Co-op Power Magazine Reflects on Life of Conservationist Ed Harte

            In this month’s issue, Texas Co-op Power contributor Melissa Gaskill celebrates the life and work of renowned conservationist, philanthropist, journalist and newspaper executive Ed Harte.
            Harte, who served as vice chairman of the newspaper conglomerate Harte-Hanks and publisher of The Corpus Christi Caller-Times from 1962 to his retirement in 1987, had a passion for the national seashore, especially that of Texas. He often worked behind the scenes in supporting the preservation and research of Texas’s coastline, particularly in Corpus Christi.
            In 1962, Harte successfully campaigned to designate 67 miles of Padre Island as national seashore, and in the early 1970s he was able to allocate nearly4,000 acres of Mustang Island as a state park. According to the article, Harte donated a 66,000-acre family ranch to the Nature Conservancy, which led to the land becoming part of  Big Bend National Park in 1985.
            Harte, a World War II veteran and Dartmouth alumni, also donated more than $70 million to various research labs, universities and environmental groups in the Corpus Christi area during his lifetime.
            Harte was “effective at bringing people around to see the value of nature and [motivating] them to do something about it,” according to Texas Co-op Power Magazine.
You can read Gaskill’s full Texas Co-op Power article on Harte here.
In 2000, with a $46 million endowment, Harte established the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. The TAMU Press also has published various books in partnership with the institute. Each title explores an aspect of the Gulf of Mexico, such as seashells and marine plants, ecology, geography and economic factors. The most recent book in the series Beaches of the Gulf Coast by Richard A. Davis, Jr., which is due out in March, explores the dynamics of beach formation, compares natural and man-made beach environments and profiles common marine wildlife along the shores of the Gulf of Mexico.
More information on Davis’s book, as well as the other books of the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies Series, can be found here.