PRESERVATION TEXAS ANNOUNCES 19TH ANNUAL LIST OF TEXAS’S MOST ENDANGERED PLACES; SPOTLIGHTS THREAT TO THE TOURNALAID HOMES IN LONGVIEW MINERAL WELLS, Texas – Preservation Texas announced its an
May 16, 2023
PRESERVATION TEXAS ANNOUNCES 19TH ANNUAL LIST OF TEXAS’S MOST ENDANGERED PLACES; SPOTLIGHTS THREAT TO THE TOURNALAID HOMES IN LONGVIEW
MINERAL WELLS – Preservation Texas announced its annual list of Texas’s Most Endangered Places on May 11, 2032 at the North Central Texas Regional Preservation Summit in Mineral Wells. This year’s list stretches across the state from El Paso to Beaumont and from Mission to Amarillo, and includes a diverse array of sites in both urban and rural communities.
Preservation Texas supports sites on its Most Endangered Places list by providing advocacy support, publicity, connections to professional resources and assistance in fostering and building community partnerships. The nine sites included on the 2023 list of Texas’s Most Endangered Places join a growing list that began in 2004, all of which merit the investment of time and resources necessary to save them. Of the more than 150 individual sites that have been included on the list over the last 19 years, only 14, or 9%, have been lost.
“Each site represents a chance to reinvest in our historic communities to ensure that irreplaceable landmarks can continue to contribute to the richness of our culture and to the economic vitality of our state,” said Preservation Texas Executive Director Evan Thompson. “In the months and years ahead, progress will be made, and we look forward to a future where each one of these sites are protected, productive, and restored to their proper place as tangible reminders of our irreplaceable Texas heritage.”
This year’s list includes the Tournalaid Homes in Longview, Texas. During the mid-century prefabricated housing boom, the industrial manufacturer R.G. LeTourneau invented the Tournalayer, a machine which would produce a concrete “house-a-day”. Initially used to create modernist housing for his employees, LeTourneau’s machine was later marketed and used all over the world. While the first Tournalaid community took shape in Vicksburg, Mississippi during the early 1940s, construction began on the Longview housing in 1946 making it the second Tournalaid community to be built. Unfortunately, all of the Tournalaid buildings in Vicksburg have been removed or significantly altered. These two homes in Longview are all that remains of the eighty homes that once formed a neighborhood on the southern end of the old LeTourneau Industries Plant. The Longview Tournalaid houses are currently owned by Komatsu and are scheduled to be destroyed in early 2024 as part of the company’s plans to expand and develop the site. Efforts by the Machine-Built Architecture Conservancy are currently underway to permanently relocate these two buildings to a nearby site, but the outcome is far from certain. The plight of these last two Longview Tournalaid homes needs to be broadcast to a statewide audience to cultivate opportunities for the funding and support needed to save these buildings from demolition.
Photos of the Tournalaid Homes can be found here.
The complete list of nine sites included on the 2023 Texas’s Most Endangered Places follows:
● St. John Colony – Near Dale (Caldwell County)
● DeLeon Depot – 280 North Texas Street, DeLeon (Comanche County)
● El Paso County Coliseum – 4100 E. Paisano Drive, El Paso (El Paso County)
● The Tournalaid Homes – 2616 & 2620 MacArthur Street, Longview (Gregg County)
● Courtney & St. Holland’s Schools – 16263 6th Street, Navasota (Grimes County)
● Roosevelt School Auditorium – 407 E. 3rd Street, Mission (Hidalgo County)
● Caroline Gilbert Hinchee House – 1814 Park Street, Beaumont (Jefferson County)
● Historic Resources of East Lampasas – Near 604 College Street, Lampasas
● Amarillo Santa Fe Depot – 401 Grant Street, Amarillo (Potter County)
blog/mep2023 to learn more about each site on the 2023 Texas’s Most Endangered Places list.
Founded in 1985, Preservation Texas is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to offering a range of statewide preservation programs. Preservation Texas protects historic places through direct investments, grants, and by empowering people and organizations through advocacy, collaboration and education. Learn more at preservationtexas.org.