Last month, construction started on a seventy-four-story tower in downtown Austin. With the TBC name of Waterline, this is a tower that will stand 1,022 feet above 98 Red Silver Street, overlooking the Lady Bird Lake, which is meant to open in just over four years’ time in the winter of 2026.
This is an important development for many architecture lovers both inside and outside of the state. Texas is not, after all, renowned for its architectural prowess, but with developers pegging Waterline to be the tallest building in all of Texas, it’s clear that it’s on track for a high-rise building boom.
That’s not to say this is the first of its kind, however. While Texas is largely recognised as a rural state, there are plenty of architectural beauties which are just as impressive as any urban development. These are not high-rise buildings but rather unique design monuments which are steeped in history and culture, making them well worth a visit for any architecture lovers looking for something a little different.
With this in mind, let’s take a look at three of the most beautiful buildings Texas already has to offer:
The Kimbell Art Museum
Designed by Louis I. Kahn and opened to the public in 1972, the Kimbell Art Museum is a mecca of modern architecture. Although the narrow plexiglass skylights and wing-shaped aluminium reflectors suggest a largely modernist design, there are plenty of traditional details, including the grand arches and vaults, which hint toward Ancient Roman architecture. The principle materials include white oak, travertine and concrete, all of which merge to create a truly stunning building.
Temple Beth El
Recent estimates suggest that around 130,000 Jews make up the Texan population, with Jewish history going all the way back to when the first European explorers arrived in the 16th century. There are, therefore, plenty of beautiful synagogues dotted about the state, with the most beautiful taking the form of Temple Beth El in Corsicana. In 1981, it was recorded as a historic Texas landmark, and it is recognised for its unique stained glass windows and stunning green domes which look over Navarro County. The design is striking due to its non-American tendencies. The stained glass windows, specifically, focus on Israeli art and replicate the same colours and themes that Israeli artists are so popular with today, many of whom can be found on israelicentreofjudaica.com.
The Little Chapel In The Woods
From the tallest building in Texas to perhaps the smallest of architectural achievements, the Little Chapel In The Woods remains just as impressive as any of the buildings on this list. It was built during the Great Depression by leading American architect O’Neill Ford, with around 300 students from the nearby Texas Woman’s University designing and creating the building’s artwork (including woodwork, doors, beams and glass windows). It has since been named one of the most outstanding architectural accomplishments in all of Texas. The building attains and tells the history of its time, with various design details representing the struggles and ambitions of women during the period.