Meredith McClain, PhDPicture of Dr. McClainWelcomeAdobe Garden

Simple Benefits, Enduring Beauty

Buffalo Skull on Adobe Wall

Adobe is simply such a part of the style, culture and iconography of the American Southwest, it may be easy to overlook some of adobe's inherent qualities and characteristics. It is organic, the main ingredients being mixtures of sandy soil and clay; it provides density to structures and thus shielding from temperature extremes; and it is durable, even in some of the most harsh living environments humans have ever habitated. It is also fascinating that the driving force behind adobe—ingenuity, adaptability and survival in extreme desert climates—has also provided some of the most pleasing and beautiful architectural forms. Adobe style is commonly referred to as hormonious and able to blend with its natural surroundings, and this is an integral part of its aesthetic.

The many benefits of adobe building and architecture have been known to indigenous peoples in desert climes for centuries, and as "green" building strategies and Earth-friendly initiatives become ever more important, adobe stands as a venerable, time-tested building and living style.

Historic Home

"The Adobe," as it is known, was designed by Ms. Olive Holden, for Dr. W. I. Robinson, a professor of geology at nearby Texas Tech University. The home's locale at the time was somewhat remote from downtown Lubbock, and served by a dirt road (of course, some years later the area would become a bustling Lubbock neighborhood). The Adobe was completed in August of 1937, though due to her tragic, early death, the designer may never have seen the completed structure she so competently designed.

In adobe style, the home was designed around a center courtyard, and featured a combination living/kitchen room (including a corner adobe-style fireplace), one bedroom and bathroom, plus a plus a basement, the original pit from which the dirt for the adobe bricks was taken.

Photo Gallery

The Robinson Adobe has been well-chronicled in photographs, even including early photos of the Adobe's construction. The collection illustrates various changes and developments through the years, and how the property has changed over time. Within the last three decades, in particular, a wealth of photos has accumulated into a full archive. In addition, Texas artist Kathy Hinson painted several beautiful works based on photos of and actual locations inside and outside the home.

Visit the Adobe Photogallery for a sample of the photograph archive, which also illustrates various seasons at the Adobe.