Sylvan Blum Haynes: the dean of West Texas architects



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Texas Tech University


Like the native grasses that once covered the high Plains of West Texas, the hardy people who settled there in the late 1800s are evidence that persistence and adaptation can eventually create an abundant culture, even in the face of adversity. Witnessing the "last great land rush and railroad boom"i in the United States, the citizens of Lubbock struggled to make their young community an important agricultural and economic center on the Southern High Plains. In the early part of the nineteenth century, the shortage of water and wood necessary for survival, extremes of weather, and the threat of Comanche raids made the region undesirable to Anglo-American settlers. The removal of the Indians in the 1870s eliminated one obstacle to settlement, but the other problems plagued pioneers for many years. Gradually, technology alleviated the environmental disadvantages of the South Plains--particularly the lack of resources such as water and wood--facilitating the growth of the city of Lubbock. Technological achievements in the twentieth century eventually provided the city with a diverse and healthy economy.