TexasEscapes.comWe Take Texas Personally
A Texas Travel, History & Architecture Magazine
SITE MAP : : NEW : : RESERVATIONS : : TEXAS TOWNS A-Z : : FEATURES : : COLUMNS : ::ARCHITECTURE : : IMAGES
HOME
SEARCH SITE
RESERVATIONS
Hotels
Cars
Air
USA
World
Cruises
TEXAS TRAVEL
TOWNS A to Z
Towns by Region
Ghost Towns
TRIPS :
State Parks
Rivers
Lakes
Drives
Maps
LODGING
TEXAS
FORUM
FEATURES :
Ghosts
People
Historic Trees
Cemeteries
ARCHITECTURE :
Courthouses
Jails
Bridges
Theaters
Churches
Gas Stations
Water Towers
Monuments/Statues
Schoolhouses
Post Offices
Depots
IMAGES :
Old Neon
Murals
Signs
BOOKS
COLUMNS
TE Site
Site Information
Recommend Us
Newsletter
About Us
Contact TE
 
 Texas : Architecture : Gargoyles
Houston Hotels - Check Best Rates & Save
  • Houston Hotels - Save up to 70%
    hotel.com Best places. Best prices. Guaranteed
  • Houston Hotels - Exclusive Rates
    Lodging.com Lowest Price. 110% Guarenteed
Gargoyles in Texas - Ugly is Beautiful

The Grotesque Brothers of Houston's Market Square
Here's leering at you, Kid.
by John Troesser
Houston Market Square gargoyles and marker
The Unusual Marker in Market Square
TE Photo

Gargoyles are the black sheep in the family tree of statuary. They usually lack the nobility - or at least the posture of their cousins - the military statues and they have absolutely none of the innocence of cherubim. They usually sneer, leer and glare - but occasionally they just blandly stare. It may be that architects placed their ugly mugs on skyscrapers to tone down the high and mighty arrogance of the buildings. It's sometimes comforting for people to look up and spot someone who resembles a family member.

In Houston's downtown Market Square, we're given an opportunity to go up and look gargoyles in the eye. Here is a whole fraternity of gargoyles - heads mounted like deer.


The plaque gives a detailed chronology of this particular city block that dates back to 1836. Houston (or Harrisburg as it was then known) was the hastily designated Capital of the Republic in March of that year. The marker is a short distance from the former Rice Hotel, the site of the first Texas capitol.

Houston Market Square gargoyle
Gargoyle One
TE photo
Houston Market Square gargoyle
Gargoyle Two
TE photo
Houston Market Square gargoyle
Gargoyle Three
TE photo

Our visit was brief, since we were double-parked; so we don't know if information was given as to what building (if any) these stone triplets came from. Maybe they aren't gargoyles at all, but those hapless men of urban legend - the ones that somehow manage to get buried in wet concrete on construction projects.

Or perhaps they are faces from Houston's steamboat era - passengers who were gazing out through portholes on the wrong side of a capsized steamboat who later had their muddy facial imprints filled like the casts from Pompeii.

There is a familial resemblance between the three of them and one looks a little like Art Carney. Their arched eyebrows are Vulcanesque while the tops of their ears are rounded. It's not known if the cracked smiles are the result of vandals, the wrecking ball, or merely a fall from high places.

Houston, Texas

If anyone has additional information on the Gargoyle Brothers, please contact us.

John Troesser

February 2003
HOME
Privacy Statement | Disclaimer
Website Content Copyright 1998-2004. Texas Escapes - Blueprints For Travel, LLC. All Rights Reserved
This page last modified: September 10, 2004