Los Vecinos

When Cocke, Bowman & York designed housing for a predominantly Mexican-American community in Harlingen, it was Los Vecinos of 1953, a 150-unit public housing complex built by the Harlingen Housing Authority.

Period photos suggest how, after the Second World War, architecture transformed the ideological image of the Valley from an Exotic Tropical Paradise into a Modern Tropical Paradise.

Yet design and its rhetoric of modern liberation failed to address the asymmetries of wealth, power, and opportunity that were so ingrained in daily life in the lower Río Grande Valley as to be invisible to the people who benefitted from it.

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