January 2021

T E X A R K A N A M O N T H LY

A s a self-described “Army brat,” prominent and nationally acclaimed Architect, John Grable, FAIA spent his childhood moving from city to city and no doubt gleaning a small piece of the landscape at each stop. California, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania and Vicenza, Italy, were all called home for portions of his life. “Upon my father’s retirement from the military,” Grable said, “he was transferred to Texarkana to serve at Red River Army Depot. My family and I were dazzled by the depth and beauty of the environment and culture of Texarkana. Our travels had exposed us to many different cultures, and we knew instinctively there was something special about Texarkana.” Grable is one of four siblings with parents who believed their children were capable of great things and encouraged them to believe it as well. While living in Italy, as a child, John’s mother took him for walks through the ancient streets and as they walked, they discussed the beautiful Renaissance Era structures they saw. She noticed in John a natural aptitude for understanding angles and lines and nudged him in a direction where those skills could be put to use. He recalled with a laugh that his decision to become an architect came, “when my mother told me this is what I would become.” Her encouragement was instrumental in sparking the dream that eventually made him the incredible success he is today. “My architectural education began when I was 16 years old, working for the gifted firm of Moore and Thomas Architects. John Moore was a graduate of the University of Texas in Austin led by the 1950’s era of legendary faculty known as The Texas Rangers. They were immortalized in Alexander Caragonne’s book The Texas Rangers . Caragonne describes them as one of the most significant chapters in the history of postwar American architectural education. Joe Thomas was a graduate of Texas Tech University and both were talented, gifted, modernist architects who were producing a timeless body of work in the Ark-La-Tex area.

BY KARA HUMPHREY

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