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Fox, Stephen
Fox audio, 1 of 1
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University of Houston. Fox, Stephen - Fox audio, 1 of 1. November 28, 2012. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. April 11, 2021. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/houhistory/item/1650/show/1648.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

University of Houston. (November 28, 2012). Fox, Stephen - Fox audio, 1 of 1. Oral Histories from the Houston History Project. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/houhistory/item/1650/show/1648

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

University of Houston, Fox, Stephen - Fox audio, 1 of 1, November 28, 2012, Oral Histories from the Houston History Project, Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries, accessed April 11, 2021, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/houhistory/item/1650/show/1648.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Compound Item Description
Title Fox, Stephen
Creator (LCNAF)
  • University of Houston
Creator (Local)
  • Houston History Project
Contributor (Local)
  • Levine, Josh, interviewer
  • University of Houston, project
Place of Creation (TGN)
  • Houston, Texas
Date November 28, 2012
Description This is an oral history interview with Steven Fox conducted as part of the Houston History Project. Stephen Fox is an architectural historian at Rice University; he discusses prominent Jewish architect Joseph Finger and his legacy to Houston architecture in the early twentieth century. Stephen Fox says Joseph Finger was an Austro-Hungarian Empire émigré. Fox suspects Finger came to Houston due to the city’s commercial prosperity, where Fox says Finger established himself as a trustworthy architect. Finger brought with him European architectural influences: Sezession, Art Deco, and Modernist. Finger incorporated these styles into buildings he designed in Houston such as: the Turn-Verein, Houston Temple of Congregation of Israel, and A.C. Burton Chrysler Company Sales and Service Building. Fox speaks of Alfred C. Finn, a contemporary architect of Finger, who was both a competitor and collaborator to Finger. The two architects worked on the Jefferson Davis Hospital. The architects were among a few city architects that pushed for modern architectural styles at the time that led away from the dominant styles of the 1920s such as the Georgian, Tudor, and Spanish. Fox talks about Finger designing the many buildings for the Houston Independent School District, one of the largest houses in Houston for James M. West, a wealthy Houston businessman; and the Houston City Hall building, his most prominent public building. Finger ran into controversy for his design of City Hall after a change in mayors. The new mayor publicly questioned Finger’s qualifications; however, Finger maintained support from city council and outlasted the term of the critical mayor. Fox says that the city hall building is conservative in design, yet its internal design use of modernistic techniques is a representation of Houston embracing the new. Fox also cites Finger’s work on the Houston Municipal airport as another public building exemplifying Finger’s modernistic design. Fox says Finger’s firm was closed in 1970 following his death by his business partner George Rustay. However, the firm Rustay, Martin, and Vale continued for some time the architectural style that Finger's firm had pioneered before gradually shifting to the modern architectural styles of the time. Many of Finger’s surviving buildings are now endangered, such as his home on Portland Place, or have been demolished, such as the Houston Turn-Verein. Fox believes that friendlier attitudes towards preservation in Houston that started in 1990s have helped protect Finger’s buildings and encouraged their repurposing, such as Texas State Hotel in downtown Houston or the Levy Store on Main Street, which became the Commerce Building.
Subject.Topical (LCSH)
  • Arts
  • Achitecture
Subject.Name (Local)
  • Fox, Stephen
Subject.Geographic (TGN)
  • Houston, Texas
Genre (AAT)
  • interviews
Language English
Type (DCMI)
  • Sound
  • Text
Original Collection Oral Histories - Houston History Project
Digital Collection Oral Histories from the Houston History Project
Digital Collection URL http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/houhistory
Repository Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries
Repository URL http://info.lib.uh.edu/about/campus-libraries-collections/special-collections
Use and Reproduction Educational use only, no other permissions given. Copyright to this resource is held by the content creator, author, artist or other entity, and is provided here for educational purposes only. It may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without written permission of the copyright owner. For more information please see UH Digital Library Fair Use policy on the UH Digital Library About page.
File Name index.cpd
Item Description
Title Fox audio, 1 of 1
Format (IMT)
  • audio/mp3
Original Item Location ID 2006-005, CD/DVD Box 7, HHA 00800
File Name hhaoh_201503_012_001.mp3
Access File Run Time 00:25:35