Farnsworth & Chambers Building
2999 South Wayside Drive
Houston , 77023
Listed in THC Atlas with minimal information, not searchable
Directions: From Gulf Freeway, Hwy 45, exit No. 42, south on South Wayside, cross Telephone Road, veer left on S. Wayside, cross Wheeler, building is on the left in Gragg Park; marker is in the flower bed, to the left of the entrance doors, and under the portico
Key Time Period: 1946 - Present
Marker Text: The Farnsworth & Chambers Company traces its roots to Louisiana, when in the late 1920s, Dunbar Chambers went to work for the R. P. Farnsworth Construction Company. Chambers and Farnsworth’s son, Richard, were sent to Houston in 1944 to open a new company office, and the firm thrived in Houston, specializing as building contractors. After the death of the firm’s namesake in 1948, the two men formed the Farnsworth & Chambers Company in 1950.
The Farnsworth & Chambers Building, completed in 1957, exemplifies post-World War II suburban development along the newly-constructed Gulf Freeway (Interstate 45) and the trend for new corporate headquarters outside downtown Houston. From 1962 until 1964, the building served as the headquarters for the Manned Spacecraft Center (MSC) of the new National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). In the early 1960s, members of the Gragg family purchased the building and surrounding property, now Gragg Park, and sold it to the City of Houston in December 1976. The city’s Parks and Recreation Department has occupied the building since 1977.
The building was designed by the noted Houston firm of Mackie & Kamrath, whose regional work shows the influence of Frank Lloyd Wright; nationally acclaimed landscape architect Garret Eckbo planned the central atrium and plantings. Battered stone walls and the composition of angled and vertical planes mimic Talud-tablero, the construction method seen in pre-Columbian, Mesoamerican pyramid sites, and the bands of horizontal windows reflect a modern approach to lighting interior spaces.
Recorded Texas historic landmark - 2009
Marker is property of the State of Texas
Marker Type: Marker wall mount
Historical Org: Texas Historical Commission (THC)
Key Map Information: 534 G
GPS Coordinates: 29 42.401, 95 18.961
Precinct No: 2
Marker No: 15710