Monthly Archives: November 2018

Hipolito F. Garcia Federal Building and United States Courthouse

The Hipolito F. Garcia Federal Building and United States Courthouse is a historic courthouse, federal office, and post office building located in Downtown San Antonio in Bexar County in the U.S. state of Texas. It was formerly the U.S. Post Office, Federal Office Building and Courthouse. It is the courthouse for the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas. It holds a prominent location on Alamo Plaza, across from the Alamo. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as San Antonio U.S. Post Office and Courthouse.

The building was a product of the Federal Public Works programs enacted to relieve widespread unemployment during the Great Depression of the 1930s. Its construction accomplished several goals—generating employment, housing all federal agencies in a single building, and streamlining San Antonio’s quickly expanding postal needs.

Prominent local architect Ralph Haywood Cameron (1892–1970) designed the building in association with renowned Philadelphia architect Paul Philippe Cret under the direction of the Office of the Supervising Architect of the U.S. Treasury Department. Both Cameron and Cret studied at the prestigious École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Cameron, a native Texan who also designed the Dewitt County Courthouse, went on to become one of the leading Beaux-Arts architects of south Texas, and Cret was nationally recognized as one of the foremost practitioners of the style. A ceremonial cornerstone was laid for the new federal building in 1935. Construction was completed in 1936, and the building officially opened in 1937. At that time, the first floor and basement were air-conditioned, a new technology that had not been installed in the any other post office in the country.

Shortly after the building’s completion, noted artist Howard Cook painted an epic 16-panel fresco mural in the entry lobby; it is regarded as one of the showpieces of the federal mural program. Cook was selected from among 185 artists in a national competition conducted by the Treasury Department’s Section of Fine Arts. In 1999, art conservators restored the mural to its original brilliance.

The U.S. Post Office and Courthouse is located in the Alamo Plaza Historic District. In 2000, the building was individually listed in the National Register of Historic Places. It was renamed the Hipolito F. Garcia Federal Building and United States Courthouse in 2004 to honor Judge Hipolito Frank Garcia (1925–2002).

A skillful example of Beaux-Arts classicism, the U.S. Post Office and Courthouse is indicative of the federal government’s goal of expressing democratic ideals through classically derived architecture featuring grand scale, symmetry, and refined details. The six-story building encompasses an entire city block and is constructed of steel and concrete clad in rich local materials—Texas Pink granite and Texas Cream limestone. The building is polygonal in plan, centered on a central light court. Its facade (south elevation) emphasizes a centrally recessed porch behind a screen of six monumental Ionic columns, rising to support an entablature that continues all around the building.

At the first story, the principal approach is created by broad steps of Texas Pink granite spanning the width of the building, leading to three arched entrances with keystones, alternating with four rectangular windows with decorative metal grilles. Limestone masonry walls are articulated by chamfered joints, rising to an overhanging stringcourse. The limestone walls of the upper stories are smooth in contrast, but are also divided into seven bays, featuring rectangular windows at the second story, and elongated fenestration formed by vertically stacked windows at the third and fourth stories. Above the entablature, the attic (sixth) story is similarly clad in smooth limestone veneer with rectangular fenestration flanked by flat pilasters. At the edge of the low-pitched mansard roof, six decorative stone acroteria (urn-like ornaments) are aligned with the pilasters and columns below.

On the interior, the Beaux-Arts tradition of grand entrances and circulation areas is boldly expressed by the entry and postal lobbies’ rich architectural detail and ornamentation. The entry lobby is distinguished by a series of bracketed entryways capped by blind arches with egg-and-dart moldings. Light-colored St. Genevieve marble covers the walls up to the springing course. The most vibrant feature is Howard Cook’s outstanding 16-panel mural, “San Antonio’s Importance in Texas History.” The mural is a fresco, a technique of paint applied directly over wet plaster, and spans 750 square feet (70 m2), making it one of the largest frescoes in the nation. Cook’s mural evokes historical events in Texas, including the arrival of the first Conquistadors, the signing of the Texas Declaration of Independence, and the arrival of the railroad.

The postal lobby features its original bronze and glass-topped tables, with 41 bronze sales window-boxes capped by a continuous band of fretwork and divided by marble Doric pilasters that rise to a wide dentiled cornice. The floors are Tennessee Golden Veined Pink marble, with dark cedar-colored marble bases, and light-colored St. Genevieve marble for the wainscot. Original bronze light fixtures grace the lobby in a variety of decorative motifs depicting eagles and shields.

The ceremonial courtroom, located in the south wing of the third floor, is a light-filled two-story space, featuring six bronze pendant chandeliers and dark-stained wood for the wainscot and all of the built-in furniture, including the original judge’s bench, witness stand and clerk’s desk. Tall, painted pilasters extend from the wainscot to a wide ornamental plaster entablature. The judge’s bench is framed by an arched niche enriched with wide, intricately decorated plaster ornament, moldings, and gilding, contributing to the impressive character of the room.

The U.S. Post Office and Courthouse retains its character-defining details and craftsmanship, and continues to convey its significance as an excellent example of a monumental Beaux-Arts-style public building in San Antonio.

In 1937, New Mexican artist Howard Cook won a national mural competition sponsored by the Treasury Department’s Fine Arts Section to paint a 750 square foot fresco in the lobby of the Federal Building.

“San Antonio’s Importance in Texas History” was completed in May 1939 at a cost of $12,000. The 16 frieze panels depict the history of San Antonio.

The southern wall depicts the exploration and initial settlement of the area. On the left, Spanish conquistadors follow Native American guides. In the neighboring image, Franciscan friars oversee Native American slaves in the construction of the missions. The third image depicts trade in San Antonio Plaza with Canary Island settlers. To the right, townspeople celebrate Mexico’s independence from Spain and the arrival of Mexican soldiers. Next to that image, pioneers led by Stephen F. Austin encounter indigenous communities. At the far right of the southern wall, Ben Milam dies in the arms of Samuel Maverick after capturing San Antonio.

The western wall includes scenes from the Battle of the Alamo. At left, William Travis—flanked by James Bowie on the left and David Crockett on the right—draws a line in the dirt in an appeal for volunteers to defend the fort. To the right, Mexican soldiers lay siege to the Alamo.

The northern wall begins at left with a scene from the Battle of San Jacinto. Mexican General Santa Anna stands with Sam Houston. A surgeon tends to Houston’s leg with “Deaf” Smith at his side. To the right, the 1st Congress of the Republic of Texas convenes with Houston turning over his sword and assuming the role of President. Ministers of Houston’s first cabinet are pictured, including Austin, David Burnett, Lorenzo de Zavala, Mirabeau Lamar, Thomas Rusk, Juan Seguin, Smith, and William Wharton. The neighboring panel depicts tensions between settlers and the Comanche. In a scene from the Council House Fight, tribal chiefs return a child hostage while concealing weapons beneath their blankets. Further to the right, the United States flag is raised in a depiction of annexation. This scene is accompanied by images of the land rush and colonization. At the right side of the north wall, the first locomotive arrives in San Antonio and is met by a torchlit procession. Near the corner, a Confederate flag alludes to Texas’ involvement in the Civil War.

The eastern wall depicts the development of the Texas economy. Cowboys, vaqueros, cattle, rice and cotton fields, as well as an oil gusher all illustrate the role of natural resources in the growth of the state.

Adriano (footballer, born 1984)

Adriano Correia Claro (born 26 October 1984), known simply as Adriano, is a Brazilian professional footballer who plays for Turkish club Beşiktaş JK. One of few players in professional football who are genuinely ambidextrous, he is capable of playing as a defender or midfielder, on both sides of the pitch.

After starting his career with Coritiba, he moved to Spain in 2005, going on to spend several seasons in La Liga with Sevilla and Barcelona and win several major titles with both clubs, including the treble with the latter in 2015.

A Brazilian international for ten years, Adriano represented his country in two Copa América tournaments, winning the 2004 edition.

Born in Curitiba, Paraná, Adriano started professionally for his hometown club Coritiba Foot Ball Club, making his first-team debuts at not yet 18. In January 2005 he joined Spain’s Sevilla FC in a four-and-a-half-year deal, his La Liga debut arriving on the 29th in a 0–4 home loss against eventual champions FC Barcelona; the Andalusians, however, did finish sixth and qualified for the UEFA Cup.

In the following seasons, Adriano continued to feature in several positions for Sevilla with equal success as they won back-to-back UEFA Cups, with the player contributing with 25 games and four goals in both editions combined. In the final of the latter edition, he opened the score against RCD Espanyol in an eventual penalty shootout win; previously, in late September 2006, he had added a further five years to his link.

After three years residing in the country, Adriano was granted Spanish citizenship. He struggled with some injuries during the 2009–10 campaign, but still contributed with 27 matches (no goals) as his team finished fourth and returned to the UEFA Champions League.

On 16 July 2010, Adriano signed a 4+1 contract with Barcelona, for €9.5 million plus a conditional fee of €4 million – it also included a buyout clause of €90 million. He was awarded the No. 21 shirt vacated by Dmytro Chygrynskiy, and made his debut in a pre-season friendly against Vålerenga Fotball, coming on as a second-half substitute; on 14 August he first appeared officially, in the first leg of Supercopa de España, a 1–3 loss at former side Sevilla.

Adriano spent the vast majority of his first season with Barça as a substitute. On 2 February 2011, in a rare start, he scored his first goal for the Catalans, netting in a 3–0 semi-final away win against UD Almería for the Copa del Rey (8–0 on aggregate); due to the illness of first-choice left-back Éric Abidal he became a regular starter from March onwards, although the Frenchman recovered in time to start in the 2011 UEFA Champions League Final.

In 2011–12, Adriano was again mostly a reserve for the Pep Guardiola-led side. On 15 December 2011, however, in the 2011 FIFA Club World Cup, he scored the first two goals in a 4–0 semi-final win over Sadd Sports Club, the first coming after a mistake by the Qatari team’s defense to open the score in the 25th minute.

Early into the 2012–13 season, Adriano played the role of hero and villain in a matter of days: in the Spanish Supercup second leg he was sent off midway through the first half of an eventual 1–2 away loss against Real Madrid (4–4 aggregate defeat on the away goals rule), for bringing down Cristiano Ronaldo as the last man; On 2 September 2012, he scored the game’s only goal at home against Valencia CF, through a spectacular right-foot curl.

On 28 May 2013, Adriano signed a new contract with Barcelona, keeping him at the club until 2017. During the 2014 pre-season, after being diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat, he was sidelined for several weeks, but eventually recovered fully.

Adriano scored his first goal of the 2015–16 campaign on 24 November 2015, hitting home following a missed penalty from Neymar and closing the score at 6–1 against A.S. Roma for the Champions League group stage. He had replaced Sergi Roberto for the last 26 minutes of the match.

On 29 July 2016, after having appeared in 189 competitive games for Barcelona and scored 17 goals, Adriano signed for Beşiktaş J.K. in Turkey.

Shortly after helping the Brazilian under-20s win the 2003 FIFA World Youth Championship, Adriano made his full team debut also in that year. In 2004, he was part of the squad that won the Copa América in Peru.

Kannada Virtual University

Kannada Virtual University (KVU) (kannada lang: Kannada Vastavopama Vishwavidyalaya): The Department of Kannada and Culture’s plan to establish a Kannada Virtual University (KVU) on the lines of the Tamil Virtual Academy (TVA) has gained momentum with Kannada Software Development Committee (KSDC) recently deciding to submit a proposal to the government on the matter.

Though the KSDC recommended setting up of the KVU in its report submitted in 2010, the plan has been lying in cold storage, allegedly because of the apathy of the previous BJP dispensation and the present Congress government.

The government approving the project now will be considered as a gift to the people at a time the State celebrates the 60th Kannada Rajyotsava.

At its recent meeting, the KSDC decided to take forward the plan of setting up the KVU and submit a detailed project report (DPR) to the government shortly. “We are optimistic about getting positive response from the government,” said K.A. Dayanand, Director, Kannada and Culture. According to Chidananda Gowda, president of the KSDC who visited the TVA and studied its model, Tamilians living outside Tamil Nadu have been benefiting from the TVA to a large extent. Similarly, the KVU will be a boon to the Kannada diaspora, he said.

Once the KVU or Kannada Vastavopama Vishwavidyalaya is established, Kannada community living in different parts of the globe, as well as others interested in learning the language and acquiring knowledge on the history, art, literature and culture of Kannadigas will get Internet-based resources, he explained.

The KVU will help in developing and delivering Internet-based learning material in Kannada, customised programmes to meet the cultural needs, and initiate and continue measures to coordinate and pool together knowledge resources, besides offering academic programmes in Kannada and awarding certificate, diploma and degree on completion of prescribed requirements, said a member of the KSDC on condition of anonymity.

He said that had the government acted immediately after the KSDC submitted its report in 2010, the process of establishing the KVU would have commenced by now. “Even now it is not too late. If the department takes the initiative after getting approval from the government, it could be possible to put a skeletal structure in place by the Kannada Rajyotsava,” he said.

Tamil Nadu government established the Tamil Virtual University in 2001 and renamed it later as Tamil Virtual Academy (TVA).

The TVA is providing Internet-based resources and opportunities for Tamil communities living in different parts of the globe, as well as others interested in learning Tamil, science, technology, Tamil computing software and acquiring knowledge on the history, art, literature and culture of Tamils. The academy awards certificate, diploma and degree through Tamil University on completion of the prescribed requirements.