ultimate sustainability

Medina River Ranch


For a site situated in the Medina River valley in south central Texas, the clients requested a major expansion of an existing structure to fit their young family’s activities. These additions would eventually double the size of what had been a twice-renovated structure. The oldest section, known as the J.H. Autry Ranch, was built for the parents of a new York set designer by H.C. Thorman, a well-known San Antonio architect and preservationist credited with saving the old Spanish Governor’s Palace. In a fitting bit of design drama, the main two-story room containing a large stone fireplace was entered by way of a balcony from the higher end of the house. In 1949, Hough LeStourgeon, a talented local stonemason, expanded the small original structure with the addition of several rooms. Created from local river stone, the newly named Rock Ranch house reflected the massive character of the walls created by LeStourgeon.

Imber wanted to maintain the romantic low scale of various connected buildings to fit harmoniously within the untouched natural beauty of the site.

Created from local river stone, the walls and fireplaces reflect the character of the stone work first created sixty and ninety years earlier.

Arrival at the ranch occurs only after a scenic journey through miles of sparsely populated land alongside the meandering Medina River.