Houston Deco: Houston's Modernistic Architecture
712 Main St.
Historic name: Gulf Building
Current name: JPMorgan Chase & Co. Building
Completed: 1929
Architect: Alfred C. Finn with Kenneth Franzheim and J.E.R. Carpenter (New York)
City of Houston Historic Landmark; National Register of Historic Places; National Civil Engineering Landmark
GHPA Good Brick Awards, 1987 and 2004

Finn's masterful design makes the Gulf Building one of the most significant examples of Art Deco architecture in the southwestern United States. When the building opened, it boasted Houston's most elaborate Art Deco interiors. The detailing in the Main Street lobby and original National Bank of Commerce banking hall are intact; nothing remains of the ornate interiors of the Sakowitz Bros. department store. The Gulf Building was Houston's tallest skyscraper from 1929 to 1963.

above | building, 2007
detail (top) | main entrance, 2006
detail (upper center) | Banking hall interior, 2007
detail (lower center) | interior metalwork detail, 2007
detail (bottom) | "Modern Houston" fresco, 2007

Photo by Jim Parsons
  Copyright 2014 Preservation Houston | terms of use | contact us