Award of Excellence
The Residential Design Award of Excellence is given to the restoration of the George Kraigher House in Brownsville, Texas. Designed and built for Pan American pilot George Kraigher in 1937, the house is the only single-family home in Texas designed by Richard Neutra and the first International Style house built in the state. Threatened by neglect, fire, vandalism, and water penetration, the Kraigher House was the focus of nearly two decades of preservation efforts. Beginning in 2005, a unique partnership of community activists, city officials and, the University of Texas, Brownsville/Texas Southmost College came together to secure and restore the house. Instead of a team of architects and consultants, the restoration team was led by University professor and rehabilitation projects manager Lawrence V. Lof and assisted by his students. A Historic Rehabilitation Practicum evolved from this work and now provides students in the Industrial Technology Department hands-on experience with historic restoration construction.
“Restoration of the Kraigher House is a compelling story of the power of public and private partnerships. Beginning with the grassroots advocacy efforts of Ambrosio Villarreal, to the Kraigher House'S inclusion on Preservation Texas’ and the National Trust for Historic Preservation's endangered lists, restoration of this rare and significant Neutra residence by the Brownsville community is a strong testament to the power of partnerships.”
City of Brownsville and Texas Southmost College – Dr. Juliet V. García, Dr. José G. Martin
Lawrence Lof (Project Lead), Texas Southost College