Sunday, December 7, 2008

From grime to glam: Brazos Valley Decorative Center

Brazos Valley Decorative Center, south view

A midcentury building at the corner of 29 St. and Main in downtown Bryan for years housed a grimy tractor dealership. Nothing wrong with tractors; the building just seemed utilitarian rather than remarkable. Remarkably, though, it was designed by Raymond Loewy, the father of industrial design and the designer responsible for the Shell Oil Co. logo, a Greyhound bus fleet logo, NASA spacecraft interiors, the U.S. Mail eagle logo, and the Studebaker car.

Ambrose Furniture Works saw the potential in the building and, with the help of a Downtown Improvement Grant, turned the building into the Brazos Valley Decorative Center. The interior is a sumptuous feast of fabric, color, and texture. The service bays are converted to rental space for other design-focused businesses.

"Originally an International Harvester Service Center designed by Loewy’s firm and built around 1947, the building is being renovated and due to open in mid-July. This time, it will not provide space to service and sell tractors; instead the building will pay homage to its creator as a place for design. Ambrose Furniture Works has developed the Brazos Valley Decorative Center to house their establishment as well as provide space for other design vendors to create a comprehensive home d├ęcor center for local interior designers and do-it-yourselfers alike." (aboutTown Press, July 1, 2008)

“It is an excellent example of post-war modern design. It has high bays, a large footprint, and parking.” said Randall Spradley of Astin Partners, one of the business entities taking a leading role in downtown, quoted in abouTown Press.

Brazos Valley Decoratve Center, north view

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Check out the Brazos Valley Decorative Center's new website at