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HiWorks goes to Big Bend


There was a time when my college roommate and I would make an annual pilgrimage out to west Texas to explore the natural beauty of Big Bend National Park. As we got older (and got married and had kids) these trips became less frequent. And so when the opportunity arose to work on a project in Big Bend (and get paid to go out to Big Bend) I jumped at the chance to go back. I was also thrilled to collaborate again with Work5hop – a firm that was founded by my college roommate with whom I would often travel to Big Bend.

On paper the project itself isn’t the most exciting – it’s the restoration of a historic motel on the banks of the Rio Grande – but it’s great to have an excuse to go out there again. It’s also an honor to be a part of effort to preserve Big Bend so that future generations of college roommates can make pilgrimages out there as well.

The Ruins of Corpus Christi's Past

A few weeks ago our family drove the two hours south to Corpus Christi. It's the closest beach to San Antonio and makes for an enjoyable day trip. The girls especially enjoyed the Texas State Aquarium and splashing around on the beach. Mommy especially enjoyed the fajitas and the piña colada she had at the seafood restaurant we ate at for dinner.

Daddy, however, was a little disturbed by the buildings.

Corpus Christi is an interesting example of what can happen when a harsh environment exists in a community that, for whatever reason, isn't terribly interested in preserving its past. The 1914 Nueces County Courthouse, for example, exists as a crumbling ruin next to a highway interchange (see image above). The limestone of it's 1936 Centennial Museum has been painted and is being used as a youth boxing ring.

There are examples where buildings have been lovingly preserved and as a city that boomed in the 20th century it has fewer older buildings to preserve in the first place. Still, as far as cities go it is simply not as committed to preservation. That's not to say Corpus isn't a nice place to visit - it is and my family will continue to go there - it just always feels like something is missing. It always feels like Corpus is missing its past.