Skip Navigation

The Shape of Texas

From the glittery, kitschy Beer Can House in Houston to the soaring Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, architecture helps tell the story of who we are in Texas. In “The Shape of Texas” video series, you can explore how our built environment holds our history, reflects our diverse cultures and projects our ambitions for the future.

In these 13 episodes, you’ll visit the canyons where the state’s earliest residents left their mark, go backstage at a renowned concert hall, and see how a quaint chapel in the woods pays homage to women throughout history.

This series is produced by KERA. It’s based on a two-minute radio program called “The Shape of Texas,” which was produced by the Texas Society of Architects and The South Texas Public Broadcasting System. It originally aired on KEDT radio in Corpus Christi and public radio stations statewide, and ran for 20 seasons.


Morton H Meyerson Symphony Center, Dallas
Designed by I.M. Pei, the home of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra has been described as “a symphony for the eyes.”

Little Chapel in the Woods, Denton
A deceptively simple stone chapel nestled on the edge of campus at Texas Women’s University in Denton. The Little Chapel in the Woods is believed to be the finest collaboration between noted Texas architects O’Neil Ford and Arch Swank, with help from The National Youth Association.

Seminole Canyon State Park, Comstock
Layer by layer, Seminole Canyon provides some of the oldest indigenous rock paintings in the United States. And one of the deepest glimpses into the history of human life that is found anywhere in Texas.

Beer Can House, Houston
How one man turned his 6-pack-a-day habit into a shimmering city attraction.

McDonald Observatory, Fort Davis
Three massive telescopes search for galaxies and hunt objects at the edge of the visible universe. More than 130,000 visitors attend tours and star parties at this West Texas landmark.

Modern Art Museum, Fort Worth
Renowned Japanese architect Tadao Ando brings light and nature into this soaring concrete structure in the city’s cultural district.

International Festival Institute at Round Top
Musicians from around the world attend the Round Top Summer Festival Institute on this 200-acre campus. The festival concert hall is a marvel of wood craftsmanship, with hand-carved designs covering every inch of its interior.

Downtown Paris, Texas
As its name might suggest, this East Texas town has a 65-foot replica of the Eiffel Tower – topped by a red cowboy hat. The story behind that, and the city’s significant architecture.

Latino Cultural Center, Dallas
A place of celebration designed by Mexican architect Ricardo Legoretta, the Latino Cultural Center brings the spirit of community and a bright and vibrant palate to the Dallas skyline.

Allen Chapel AME Church, Fort Worth
Fort Worth’s oldest African American church serves as the focal point of an historic community east of downtown. It was designed by William Sidney Pittman, the first African American architect to practice in Texas.

Sri Meenakshi Temple, Houston
The Sri Meenakshi Hindu Temple is the only temple of its kind outside of India dedicated to Meenakshi, the goddess of marriage. It was the third Hindu temple erected in the United States.

Morton H Meyerson Symphony Center, Dallas
Designed by I.M. Pei, the home of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra has been described as “a symphony for the eyes.”

Little Chapel in the Woods, Denton
A deceptively simple stone chapel nestled on the edge of campus at Texas Women’s University in Denton. The Little Chapel in the Woods is believed to be the finest collaboration between noted Texas architects O’Neil Ford and Arch Swank, with help from The National Youth Association.


Seminole Canyon State Park, Comstock
Layer by layer, Seminole Canyon provides some of the oldest indigenous rock paintings in the United States. And one of the deepest glimpses into the history of human life that is found anywhere in Texas.

Beer Can House, Houston
How one man turned his 6-pack-a-day habit into a shimmering city attraction.

McDonald Observatory, Fort Davis
Three massive telescopes search for galaxies and hunt objects at the edge of the visible universe. More than 130,000 visitors attend tours and star parties at this West Texas landmark.

Modern Art Museum, Fort Worth
Renowned Japanese architect Tadao Ando brings light and nature into this soaring concrete structure in the city’s cultural district.

International Festival Institute at Round Top
Musicians from around the world attend the Round Top Summer Festival Institute on this 200-acre campus. The festival concert hall is a marvel of wood craftsmanship, with hand-carved designs covering every inch of its interior.

Downtown Paris, Texas
As its name might suggest, this East Texas town has a 65-foot replica of the Eiffel Tower – topped by a red cowboy hat. The story behind that, and the city’s significant architecture.

Latino Cultural Center, Dallas
A place of celebration designed by Mexican architect Ricardo Legoretta, the Latino Cultural Center brings the spirit of community and a bright and vibrant palate to the Dallas skyline.

Allen Chapel AME Church, Fort Worth
Fort Worth’s oldest African American church serves as the focal point of an historic community east of downtown. It was designed by William Sidney Pittman, the first African American architect to practice in Texas.

Sri Meenakshi Temple, Houston
The Sri Meenakshi Hindu Temple is the only temple of its kind outside of India dedicated to Meenakshi, the goddess of marriage. It was the third Hindu temple erected in the United States.
Series Credits
The Shape of Texas video series is based on a radio series created and produced by South Texas Public Broadcasting and the Texas Society of Architects.

Video Series Producer: Dane Walters
Director of Photography: Dane Walters
Video Editor: Dane Walters
Research and rights, digital content: Gila Espinoza, Therese Powell, Kaysie Ellingson
Website design: Chris Anderson, Justin Bowers, Alan Melson
Scripts: Traci Tong, Kaysie Ellingson, Anne Bothwell, Dane Walters
Voiceover: Vanessa DeSilvio
Graphics: E.B. Lutz, Anita Moti, Tanner Griggs
Marketing: Andy Canales, Stephanie Spaulding
Grants and sponsorship: Katie Menzer, Ann Fields, Todd Tedder
Managing Producer, Video: Kaysie Ellingson
VP, Arts: Anne Bothwell
VP, KERA TV: Bill Young
Chief Content Officer/Executive in Charge: Sylvia Komatsu
Advisory Board
Elizabeth Chu Richter
Lauraine Miller Rose
Veletta Lil
John Phillip Santos
Margie Reese

Series Sponsor:

Grant Funders: