Wednesday, September 02, 2015

UTSA Professor Maggie Valentine writes book on Kampmann legacy

Maggie Valentine

UTSA Professor Maggie Valentine and new book

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(March 11, 2014) -- UTSA architecture professor and historian Maggie Valentine has written a book that describes the history of Texas builder, architect and developer John Herman Kampmann.

Valentine's book, "John H. Kampmann, Master Builder: San Antonio's German Influence in the 19th Century" (Beaufort Books, February 2014), tells the story of an architect who made his mark on San Antonio with a number of familiar buildings.

Kampmann arrived from Germany as a young, highly skilled builder who left a promising career to find his future in San Antonio, Texas, which in the mid-19th century was a hot, dusty place that starkly contrasted to the high European civilization he left behind.

As San Antonio developed from mud-laden streets and adobe huts into a vibrant city of office buildings, streetcars and luxury homes, Kampmann's influence became more and more evident. Often referred to as "the busiest man in town," he changed the architectural face of the city he chose to settle in.

Valentine discovered Kampmann while she was designing a research project for one of her architecture classes. Based on her own research and the research of her students, Valentine brought to light a man of great influence in his own day, but who over time had receded into the lost pages of history.

Valentine's narrative transports the reader back to a time when San Antonio was about to experience enormous change, creating an opportunity for young John Kampmann to put his building and design skills to work. Interestingly, though San Antonio has grown into America's seventh-largest city, Kampmann's work is still evident in many office buildings and private homes including the world-famous Menger Hotel.

"Kampmann represented the young, German professional fleeing from European oppression, often with political ideals embracing social equality for all men," said Valentine. "Kampmann's individual initiative, even under the harshest of conditions, organized institutions for culture, education and hygiene. He personified the German ethos for dedication and hard work toward a goal to make life better and keep the German culture alive."

"Maggie Valentine's thoroughgoing account of the life and work of San Antonio architect John H. Kampmann adds an important chapter to the story of building in 19th-century Texas. Meticulously researched, lucidly written and well illustrated, it is a signal contribution," said Christopher A. Long, a professor at the University of Texas at Austin.

Today, Kampmann's work is seen in such buildings as the Lone Star Brewery, St. Mark's Episcopal Church, St. Joseph's Catholic Church, street names, and many commercial buildings and residences downtown. Valentine's research includes unearthing primary sources and archival documents that have never been published before as well as more than 100 photographs and ground plans.

Valentine was born and raised in Southern California. She graduated from UCLA with a Ph.D. in architecture and urban planning. She has taught architectural history and planning at UCLA, California State University and Montana State University, and is currently a professor at The University of Texas San Antonio. In addition to her critically acclaimed book, "The Show Starts on the Sidewalk," she has been published in several anthologies on regional architecture and cinema history.

For more information, contact Felicia Minerva at 212-727-0222.

 

 

Did You Know?

Football standouts make Roadrunner history

For Ashaad Mabry and Triston Wade, football is not just a passing fancy. Both players were part of the UTSA football program almost from the beginning. When UTSA opens the 2015 season Thursday at Arizona, it will be the first time the Roadrunners take the field without them. But Mabry and Wade will still be playing football; their uniforms will just be a different color.

Mabry, a defensive tackle from San Antonio's MacArthur High School, was an honorable mention All-Conference USA selection his final two seasons as a Roadrunner and second among the team's defensive linemen with 49 tackles last year. Wade, a defensive back from Tyler, was the most decorated player in school history. He was a semifinalist for the 2014 Jim Thorpe Award – for the nation's top defensive back – a three-time all-conference honoree and two-year team captain who set a school record of 293 tackles in his career. Both men had outstanding college careers that allowed them to make UTSA history.

Did you know? Mabry and Wade both agreed to terms as undrafted free agents with the New Orleans Saints and Seattle Seahawks, respectively, becoming the first UTSA players to move to the professional ranks.

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