Texas made more than a few national headlines in the past week. Some local news is equally important to the building community in the Lone Star State.

As we still coped with the recent tragic shooting deaths of 13 at Fort Hood, we remembered and honored those 12 who lost their lives on on the
tenth anniversary of the Texas A&M bonfire collapse in College Station , where the George  Bush Presidential Library & Museum happens to be located and holds the archives of the forty-first president. 

P
lans were unveiled for what will be Texas' third presidential library, the George W. Bush Presidential Center, to be built in Dallas at Southern Methodist University and designed by New York architect Robert A.M. Stern. In an exclusive interview with the Dallas Morning News, former first lady Laura Bush said the library will "include a museum and a policy institute. . . " And, it "will not be a shrine." SMU is the former first lady's alma mater.

The name "presidential center" hints at the inclusion of the policy institute, which many believe will be a conservative think tank and oppose its addition to the project. One SMU professor told a reporter it is "disturbing." But building the center will have its own challenges. Landscape architect Michael Van Valkenburgh told the Dallas Morning News the site is an "albatross." 

The Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library & Museum in Austin was Texas' first presidential library. LBJ was from Central Texas, where this week there was at least some good news. A surge in
existing home sales were up a whopping 38 percent in October. That made front-page headlines above the fold of yesterday's Austin American-Statesman. If "Keeping Austin Weird" means people want to live here and buy real estate, I'm all for it, as much as I dislike that ridiculous branding.

Fort Worth, by contrast, has the good sense not to have tagged itself as "weird." The city is proud of its cultural district, and boasted this week in more than one story in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram of its newest addition,
the $80-million Fort Worth Museum of Science and History,which opened yesterday and is designed by local architects Gideon Toal. It happens to have a lovely glowing lantern that tops the building, a touch that is strikingly similar to that in the design plans for Dallas' Bush library. Columnist Bud Kennedy makes this observation with good humor in today's Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

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