June Texas Monthly: For Years, an East Texas Carpenter Has Been Building a Gothic Contraption of Decks and Spikes in San Augustine's Historic Square

Not everyone in San Augustine is on board for local artist Gary Brewer’s perplexing project,

EDITOR'S NOTE: These paragraphs are from an article on San Augustine which appears in the June edition of Texas Monthly. For the full story, please visit: https://www.texasmonthly.com/the-culture/east-texas-carpenter-gothic-contraption-decks-spikes-historic-square/

Not everyone in San Augustine is on board for local artist Gary Brewer’s perplexing project, which is three stories high and counting.

Because it was involved in so much of the state’s early history, San Augustine calls itself the Main Street of the Texas Republic. Platted in 1833 deep in what is now called the Piney Woods, the town was once a busy stop on El Camino Real de los Tejas, an early trail network that linked Mexico with Louisiana.

During the nineteenth century, streams of American settlers passed through the area, or even put down roots. Although the town’s population has dwindled over time from a peak of 2,930 in 1980 to about 1,900 today, tourists still stop by to admire the historic churches and handsome Greek Revival homes. With its brick storefronts and hand-painted signs, San Augustine’s charming commercial district, centered around the 1927 limestone courthouse, seems to have been frozen in the first half of the twentieth century—with one glaring exception.

Right across from the courthouse, wrapping around and atop a modest single-story 1935 home on Broadway Street, lies something genuinely perplexing: a three-story assemblage of observation decks, pointed Gothic arches, and, somewhat disconcertingly, sharp wooden spikes. Some of the spikes, which are between one and six feet long, hang down like fangs, while others jut sideways, as if they were spears ready to stab the air.

For a link to the full story from the June edition of Texas Monthly, please visit: https://www.texasmonthly.com/the-culture/east-texas-carpenter-gothic-contraption-decks-spikes-historic-square/

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