Marker No: 18524
Aluminum 27 x 42 Subject Marker
Geographic: 28° 39.514′ N, 97° 22.981′ W
Location: 925 South Highway 183, Goliad
Marker Text: Completed in 1937, the Goliad Memorial Auditorium was built to commemorate the Texas Centennial. The 43rd State Legislature allocated $3 million for the centennial and the 44th Legislature created the Commission of Control for the Texas Centennial celebrations to approve plans and funding. County Judge James Arthur White (1878-1953) lobbied for the designation of a State Historical Park and construction of an auditorium. Goliad received a $100,000 grant from the Texas Centennial Commission and the United States Centennial Commission, with $70,000 set aside for the project.
The auditorium complex was designed by architects Raiford Stripling and Samuel Charles Phelps Vosper and the decorative embellishments were by sculptors Hugo Villa and Hannibal Pianta. Willard Simpson, Sr. was the structural engineer and the general contractor was H.J. Rosenberg. Construction began in March 1937 and was completed by October. The dedication of the building on Dec. 3, 1937, featured a turkey show as a nod to the area's farms.
The design and details of the auditorium are a mix of the Beaux-arts and Spanish Mission styles, featuring a flat roof, walls with high octagonal windows, recessed doorjambs and plaster moldings depicting pioneer life and the various ethnic groups who contributed to life in Goliad. The auditorium itself features an elevated stage, narrow plank floors and a proscenium arch with bas-relief decorations. The auditorium was used for big band dances in the 1940s and continues to serve the community as a space for cultural events. (2016)