Historic Preservation graduate students, Izabella Dennis, Catherine Cordeiro, Vishal Joshi and Rebekka Grady, investigated and documented the original materials on the 1934 Civilian Conservation Corps constructed Longhorn Cavern Administration Building in Long Cavern State Park in Marble Falls, Texas. Designed by Samuel C. P. Vosper and George Lewis in the National Park Service "rustic style", the structure made of native stone quarried and cut from the excavated cavern below, local cedar, hand split shingles and iron fixtures. It features a unique central circular lobby surrounded by quartz walls.
Longhorn Cavern, located deep beneath the Administrative Building, has been in use since prehistoric times with the Comanche indian being the earliest inhabitants. It was utilized as a secret gunpowder manufacturing facility by the Confederate Army and is a site to legends of harboring dangerous outlaws from the wild west and hosting raucous parties during prohibition.
Forty-eight samples of masonry, wood, metal and mortar were tested in the UTSOA Architectural Conservation laboratory to help document and articulate a narrative of the local materials and park architecture implemented by the CCC in Texas State Parks. The preservation and documentation of the design is essential for protecting the heritage of the parks, the state and the histories of this unique site. It presents just one example of the rich and unique history imbedded in the material and construction history of Texas architecture.