Saturday, November 28, 2015


UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures: Cultural legacy of Rio Grande

Guerra residence

Photo: In 1961, Walter Eugene George reactivated the Historic American Buildings Survey in Texas. The Manuel Guerra residence and store in Roma, Texas, is included in the survey. It was built by Heinrich Portscheller in 1884 on the town plaza in an adapted Florentine Renaissance style. Photo by Walter Eugene George Jr., HABS TEX-3146, July 1961. Courtesy of the Historic American Buildings Survey, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

Share this Story

(Jan. 22, 2014) -- The UTSA Center for Urban and Regional Planning Research in the College of Architecture will sponsor an exhibit and symposium at the UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures, "Walter Eugene George and the Cultural Legacy of the Rio Grande," co-sponsored by the College of Architecture's Center for Cultural Sustainability and the Institute for Economic Development at the University of Texas at San Antonio.

>> Opening Feb. 1, the exhibit showcases 12 photos, a large hand-drawn map and a selection of Historic American Buildings Survey sketches from George's collection. A free symposium, Feb. 6, will include a discussion of the importance of a wide range of historic resources in the borderlands of Texas including the impact of George's work.

Walter Eugene George held the first San Antonio Conservation Society Endowed Professorship in Memory of Mary Ann Blocker Castleberry in the UTSA College of Architecture. During his career, he generated a body of work comprising some 500 drawings and 16,000 photos focusing on the Rio Grande corridor between Eagle Pass and Brownsville.

Culture is the sum of all those factors that define a way of life: the foods people eat, the songs they sing, the images they paint and the places they live. During his life, George captured the culture of the Rio Grande in photos and drawings of its architecture.

"An important part of the symposium, and key to the exhibit, is the appreciation of Eugene George," said Maggie Valentine, exhibit curator and UTSA professor of urban and regional planning and architecture. "His work as a preservation architect, scholar and teacher, taught by example how to recognize, measure, photograph, and restore the South Texas cultural legacy, consisting largely of vernacular buildings of the early ranching communities."

Valentine selected the specific areas of emphasis for the exhibit including San Antonio, Roma, Rio Grande City, Cuevitas and the Viejo Guerrero ghost town in Tamaulipas, Mexico. Viejo Guerrero was lost when the Falcon Dam was built in the 1950s. George reconstructed a map of the city before its inundation and returned to the site in 1983 and in 1995 when drought conditions exposed the ruins. A selection of the Viejo Guerrero drawings is featured.

At the Feb. 6 symposium, scholars and students will lend their perspectives on Eugene George's work, including Mario Sanchez, Texas Department of Transportation; Jesus de la Teja, Jerome H. and Catherine E. Supple Professor of Southwestern Studies, Texas State University; Steve Tillotson, AIA, Munoz & Company; and UTSA professors Richard Tangum, Maggie Valentine and Bill Dupont, FAIA. The symposium will conclude with a panel discussion, moderated by Gil Gonzalez, Director of the Rural Business Program in the UTSA Institute for Economic Development.

The Walter Eugene George exhibit will remain at the Institute of Texan Cultures through Feb. 28. For more information on the free Feb. 6 symposium and to register, call the UTSA College of Architecture at 210-458-3137. Check-in on Feb. 6 begins at 8:30 a.m. Symposium guests will enjoy free admission to the Walter Eugene George exhibit.


The Institute of Texan Cultures is on the UTSA HemisFair Park Campus, 801 E. César E. Chávez Blvd., a short distance from the Alamo and the River Walk. Hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Saturday; and noon-5 p.m., Sunday.  Admission is $8 for adults (ages 12-64); $7 for seniors (ages 65+); $6 for children (ages 3-11); free with membership, UTSA or Alamo Colleges identification. For more information, call 210-458-2300 or visit



Dec. 1, 9 a.m.

CITE Venture Competition & Exposition

The annual Center for Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship (CITE) 100K Venture Competition and Exposition will be held on the Main Campus on Dec. 1. Twenty-eight teams from across the university will exhibit their project; six teams will compete for a prize pool of more than $100,000 in funding to launch their new venture / company. More than 650 students have participated in launching new technology ventures.
Biotechnology, Sciences and Engineering (BSE 2.102), Main Campus

Dec. 3, 5:30 p.m.

UTSA Downtown String Project Winter Concert

This concert features 50 community children performing music in the UTSA Downtown String Project Winter Concert. The children, led by UTSA music students studying to be music teachers, will join together in playing the Theme from Batman at their concert. The Batman of San Antonio, a local celebrity figure, will make an appearance at the concert. This event is free.
Buena Vista Theatre, Downtown Campus

Other Calendars
» UTSA Events | » Academic | » Institute of Texan Cultures

Submit an Event

Meet a Roadrunner

Jennifer Vassell writes children's books about health

Graduate student uses storytelling to highlight important issues facing children

Did You Know?

UTSA writes the book on all-digital libraries

As touch screens and e-books demand more and more attention from both casual readers and scholars, many people say the handwriting is on the wall for the printed page.

At UTSA, the handwriting is on the wall for a library that doesn't have any printed books.

Since March 2010, the bookless library in the Applied Engineering and Technology Building has given UTSA students an innovative way to read, research and work with each other to solve problems.

With ultra-modern furniture and a décor featuring desktop computers, scanners and LCD screens, the AET Library is designed to engage students in an online format. But it also offers group study niches and study rooms with whiteboards and glass walls on which students can write. The space encourages teamwork, communications and problem solving for the next generation of scientists and professional engineers.

Did you know? The UTSA AET Library is the nation's first completely bookless library on a college or university campus. It served as a model for Bexar County's first-in-the-nation public bookless library system and one of its branches, the Dr. Ricardo Romo BiblioTech.

Read More »

UTSA's Mission

The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.

UTSA's Vision

To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.

UTSA's Core Values

We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.

Connect with UTSA News


Related Links

Back to Top

2015 © The University of Texas at San Antonio  | One UTSA Circle San Antonio, TX 78249 | Information 210-458-4011

Produced by University Communications and Marketing