Bookish Frog – who lives at TCU Press – answers your questions about Texas and the Southwest. Write him at firstname.lastname@example.org, and he’ll add your name to his pad-to-pad e-mail list.
Dear B-Frog: Is it true that Texas houses one of the largest flower gardens in the world? – Gardener
Yes. It’s reported that the Municipal Rose Garden in Tyler is the biggest rose garden around. Inside this 22-acre site, you’ll find an astounding 38,000 rose bushes and 500 varieties of roses.
Dear B-Frog: Whenever I visit the University of Texas at El Paso, I am always struck by the gorgeous Asian-style architecture of the campus buildings. Where did the design come from, and who made it? – Texas Traveler
The beautiful architectural style at UTEP comes from the Kingdom of Bhutan, and was chosen by Mrs. Kathleen Worrell, wife of the dean of mining at UTEP.
In 1916, a fire destroyed the campus, and a new campus site was sought out. The site chosen was buried in the foothills of the Franklin Mountains, and Mrs. Worrell noted similarities between the site and the rugged hills in Bhutan, featured in a then-recent issue of National Geographic.
Mrs. Worrell suggested that the school’s architecture reflect the grand designs of the palaces in Bhutan. Her proposal won the support of her husband and the university president, and eventually it was approved by the board.
Today, Texas can boast of a unique architectural gem in UTEP's campus buildings, all because of the efforts of Mrs. Worrell. You can read more about Mrs. Worrell and other pioneering women from El Paso in Grace & Gumption: The Women of El Paso, published by the TCU Press.
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