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About the Chihuahuan Desert

The architect Henry Charles Trost (1860-1933) described the Southwest as “Arid America,” a land characterized by the various cultures who have inhabited its vastness as well as by its geology, topography, and climate.

Highway 90 between Van Horn and Alpine in the Big Bend of Texas

“Every one built around a dream”: The Architecture of Mabel Welch

Architectural richness abounds in Arid America, and in honor of its built environment, the architect Mabel Clair Vanderburg Welch (1890-1981) deserves consideration for her prodigious body of creative work whose legacy enriches the borderlands and beyond. From the late 1920s through the early 1950s, Mabel Welch designed and built numerous residences in El Paso and … Continue reading “Every one built around a dream”: The Architecture of Mabel Welch

November’s Upon Us, and I Really Should Be in Alpine

Texas Highway 20 stretches across only two counties, linking Anthony on the New Mexico state line and McNary in Hudspeth County at the confluence with Interstate 10. A relatively short highway primarily known for its route through El Paso and its environs, nonetheless it runs alongside an important, but somewhat forgotten, former military site in … Continue reading November’s Upon Us, and I Really Should Be in Alpine

“The highway never seems to end. There is an occasional brightly lit truck stop and the lights of a bypassed town. Rows of trucks are parked for the night at rest areas, and with the hours of solitary travel there comes a mood of introspection.”

John Brinckerhoff Jackson, “A Sense of Place, A Sense of Time”

Santa Elena Canyon