Lighthouse memories in Texas: Selective memories, selective preservation



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This study identifies the public's strong association with the lighthouse tower and the effects that this association has had on lighthouse preservation in Texas. This is achieved by analyzing preservation efforts for Texas lighthouses. Historically, the Texas Coast had a greater number of different lighthouse types than any other state. Establishing that Texas's lighthouse towers were preserved intentionally instead of the other lighthouse types proves that most people relate lighthouses primarily with one particular type.

The public's preference for the lighthouse tower is reinforced through the commercialization of the lighthouse form along the Texas Coast. Evaluating Texas coastal communities where the lighthouse form is used in either commercial or civic settings will illustrate that the lighthouse tower form is usually chosen in preference to other lighthouse types, including local historic lighthouses.

This study addresses the negative effects that an iconic building form can have in the preservation efforts of a building type. While the study focuses on lighthouses, other building types with an iconic building form, including log cabins, barns, windmills, and other vernacular and utilitarian structures have the same risks.



Architecture, Texas lighthouses, Lighthouse preservation, Iconic building preservation, Lighthouse tower, Lighthouse evolution