PaperCity Magazine

Round Top Winter 2021

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to presenting his retrospective, now to posthumously honor him and the road he and Maryann blazed in Fayetteville. During this COVID era, the allure of the countryside and small-town living beckons, and our desire to be connected and forge community has become increasingly compelling. While Clovis is no longer with us, his mission lives on and life has come full circle. The Heimsaths' elder son, Ben Heimsath, runs the architecture firm his father founded. Fittingly, Austin-based Heimsath Architects will restore the 1875 Knesek Building on the town square, preserving and renewing it for the next generation as the future home for the Fayetteville Community Center & Performance Theater. Fundraising has begun, with a gala scheduled this coming February. We contemplate the words of Clovis Heimsath from one of his most profound books, Pioneer Texas Building: A Geometry Lesson, with photographs by Maryann, and a foreword by the immortal architect Louis Kahn. Published in 1968, it bears images taken throughout the Round Top and Fayetteville region showing 19th-century homes, barns, churches, and commercial structures photographed more than half a century ago. Clovis evocatively writes in the book's postscript: "Life in Central Texas in the second half of the 19th century was isolated, rugged, simple, and hard. The houses reflect the virtue of this life. In our age, jaded by a plethora of forms, by visual stimuli screaming to be heard, it is an experience aesthetically and spiritually to follow again a dusty road, to find again the simple form of pioneer Texas houses." As this article was being completed, a post from José Solís appeared on my Facebook feed. The Cornell B.A. in architecture/University of Michigan MBA/M.S. Environmental Science grad — currently Buffalo Bayou Partnership project manager — grew up in a farmhouse retreat restored by Heimsath Architects. Solís wrote, "A few weeks ago, the person who most significantly shaped the trajectory of my career and, to a large extent, how I see the world, passed away ... no one had a bigger influence on my love of architecture, design, and how we see, interact with, and shape the world around us, than Clovis Heimsath." Solís continues, "I am truly honored that he took me under his wing at such a young age … He was a giant in helping define a truly Texas architecture and blazed a path for many architects to follow. To be with Clovis, you felt as though you were witnessing a mind of both towering intellect as well as childlike wonderment. I am confident that I am far from alone in believing that we lost a truly great Texan. We will miss you, Clovis, and thank you for the mark you left on so many of our lives and the world we see around us." "Clovis Heimsath: A Retrospective," opening Friday, December 10, 4 to 7 pm, at Red & White Gallery, Fayetteville; through January 15, 2022; Clovis Heimsath's Fayetteville Store, 2018 Clovis' canvases line a bedroom wall. Vintage photos and the architect's notebooks Maryann Heimsath with one of her stained-glass creations 48

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