William T. Aldridge House, Brownsville, 1949, Cocke, Bowman & York

Cocke, Bowman & York’s Aldridge House in Brownsville of 1949 shows how Richard Neutra’s postwar work also affected York’s design discipline. This is a plan diagram drawn from memory by the Corpus Christi art dealer Ben Holland—whose father, the Harlingen contractor Andrew Holland, built the house—and Ben’s snapshot of the Aldridge House when new. In conversations I had with York’s collaborators—Gale Cook, David Ashcroft, Edward Glass—no one ever mentioned the study of formal precedents. Instead, they described Cocke, Bowman & York’s design process as guided by the overriding question of how to solve issues of programmatic compliance, site and climatic constraints, and budgetary limitations tectonically.

William T. Aldridge House2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photos and text by Stephen Fox

 

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