Gonzales Memorial Museum, AmphitheaterPhoto courtesy of Eveline Evans
The commission created by the Texas legislature in 1935 to oversee Texas’ Centennial joined with the public works administration to build a memorial to Texas revolution events in Gonzales. The memorial includes a museum, amphitheater, and reflecting pool designed by acclaimed architects Phelps & Dewees. The art deco museum is built of shellstone, limestone and concrete. It features a rotunda and ornate detailing at the entryway, and in a band below the parapet. It was dedicated in 1937.
A 2003 National Register of Historic Places Registration Form notes that, “The Commission allocated the sum of $30,000 and the Public Works Administration allocated $24,545 for the construction of the Gonzales Memorial Museum and Amphitheater. An allocation of $6,000 was used for equipment and furnishings, and for the construction of a reflecting pool. A $1,500 allocation provided for the marble plaque honoring the Gonzales men known as “The Old Eighteen.” Sixteen bronze plaques relating the early history of the region were provided for the interior by part of an additional $1,500 allocation.”
“Phelps and Dewees, architects, designed the building that was constructed of Texas shell stone and trimmed in Cordova cream limestone. Page & Southerland, architects, designed the monument to the Immortal ThirtyTwo, a shaft of axed Texas pink granite eight feet ten inches in height, tapering from five feet six inches at the base to three feet eight inches at the top, and one foot four inches thick, standing on a three-foot base. The bronze sculptured panel that is attached to its face was designed by Raoul Josset. The hone-finished silver gray Georgia marble plaque to “The Old Eighteen,” set in the inside wall of the museum, was designed by Phelps and Dewees.”* On December 18, 1936, the State Board of Control let the construction contract to the firm of Walsh and Bumey of San Antonio. Groundbreaking took place on January 4, 1937. The final cost was approximately $68,000.’^ The limestone came from Texas Quarries of Travis County, whose quarry was located between Austin and Manor. Their stone was also used in the San Jacinto Monument, several courthouses, and many buildings in Austin, including at least eleven on the University of Texas campus.”
Texas Historical Marker
National Register of Historic Places Registration Form, 2003:(https://atlas.thc.state.tx.us/NR/pdfs/03001414/03001414.pdf), accessed October 22, 2017.
Project originally submitted by Eveline Evans on October 22, 2017.
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