Cover

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Half Title, Title Page, Copyright

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Contents

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pp. v-vi

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Foreword

María Eugenia Guerra

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pp. vii-x

With the publication of Master Builder of the Lower Rio Grande: Heinrich Portscheller, Eugene George has left a meticulously documented benchmark for those who will continue to discover the elegant architectural legacy of Enrique Portscheller’s designs and artisanal brick construction in South Texas and northern Mexico. ...

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Preface: The Quest for Heinrich Portscheller

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pp. xi-xiv

German-born Heinrich Portscheller immigrated to the Americas in the mid-nineteenth century. He disembarked at the port of Veracruz, Mexico, and found his way by a circuitous route to Roma in Starr County, Texas. He brought his Old World skills in the building trades, which he integrated with traditional practices used in Mexican construction. ...

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xv-xvi

I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the following: ...

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1. The Beginning

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pp. 1-5

Heinrich Portscheller’s direct line of ancestors goes back to Johannes Pfurtscheller (1696–1765), a master mason born near Innsbruck, Austria.1 Johannes relocated from the Tyrol to the town of Hornbach, Duchy of Zweibrücken, in the Rhineland-Palatinate (Rhineland-Pfalz) region of southwestern Germany near the border with France. ...

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2. The Life and Times of Heinrich Portscheller

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pp. 6-14

Who was Heinrich Portscheller? In late 1963, this inquiry found its way to Hermann Portscheller in Hornbach in the Palatinate. With only inaccurate information to guide him, Hermann’s pursuit of the answer would span seventeen years.1 Finally, perhaps by chance, he found the needed clue in a document of the royal notary at Hornbach dated May 31, 1902. ...

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3. Roma and Rio Grande City in Starr County, Texas

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pp. 15-27

Heinrich Portscheller spent his most productive years in a town on the Texas-Mexico border named Roma, and it contains the largest concentration of his work. However his masterpiece, the Silverio de la Peña Drug Store and Post Office, is located ten miles downriver from Roma in Rio Grande City, the seat of Starr County. ...

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4. The Legacy of Heinrich Portscheller

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pp. 28-61

The Rio Grande trade generated sustained wealth for border merchants. The ferry and steamboat traffic carrying goods and all manner of passengers to near and distant locales called at the Port of Roma, the head of steamboat navigation on the river. Loaded pack trains moving in and out of Mexico used Roma as their base of operations because it was the closest of the Texan border cities to Monterrey, ...

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5. Interventions

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pp. 62-68

Imagine Roma in its prime: the Portscheller years. Portscheller designed and constructed substantial residential and commercial buildings as well as a convent to supplant the makeshift structures of the boomtown period of the 1850s. That they rose in one great building campaign is evidence not only of his organizational skills but also the completeness of his building designs. ...

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Afterword

Stephen Fox

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pp. 69-88

W. Eugene George’s account of the life and career of Heinrich (Enrique) Portscheller focuses on the buildings Portscheller constructed in Roma, Rio Grande City, and Laredo, Texas, between the mid-1880s and the late 1890s. Thanks to the momentum begun by George’s investigations in the early 1960s, Portscheller’s architecture has entered the consciousness of stewards of the cultural heritage of the lower Rio Grande border. ...

Notes

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pp. 89-106

Bibliography

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pp. 107-112

Index

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pp. 113-117

Back Cover

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