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Photographer highlights Brownsville architecture in new book

March 25, 2018 GMT

Pino Shah couldn’t believe no one had done a book about architecture in the Lower Rio Grande Valley.

He’d found plenty of great books on the region’s history but nothing on architecture, so he decided to do it himself. The result was “Architecture of the LowerRio GrandeValley: An Introduction,” first published last July.

Now Shah is out with a new book, “Brownsville Architecture: A Visual History,” which came out March 14 and features 114 structures appearing chronologically but also indexed alphabetically, with text by Harlingen-based author Eileen Mattei.

The main cover shot features the restored 1928 South Pacific Railroad Depot at 641 E. Madison St., an example of Spanish Colonial Revival architecture and home to the HistoricBrownsvilleMuseum, part of the Brownsville Historical Association.

Brownsville native Stephen Fox, an architectural historian, RiceUniversity lecturer and probably the leading authority on Valley architecture, advised Shah on the Brownsville and LowerValley projects, as well as for a book on Galveston’s architecture. Also, Shah has published books on Quinta Mazatlan in McAllen and the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi.

“He looked at my photographs online, and he agreed to be my advisor on the (LowerValley) project,” Shah said. “He provided me a list of 420 buildings on the U.S. side, of which I’ve photographed 335 so far. ... Out of the 420 buildings, 125 of them are from Brownsville alone.”

A more complete version of this story is available on www.myBrownsvilleHerald.com