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Why does an Eiffel Tower replica in East Texas wear a cowboy hat? Watch the story of Paris, Texas

A cowboy hat tops a replica of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, Texas
Dane Walters
A cowboy hat tops a replica of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, Texas

This episode of the KERA video series "The Shape of Texas" explores the history of Paris, Texas, whose architecture is about much more than that eye-catching icon.

Paris was founded in the 1840s, and quickly became a hub for business and culture in Northeast Texas. Unfortunately, in 1916, a massive fire destroyed much of the downtown, forcing the town's residents to rebuild. Within 5 years, the downtown area was built back up again, featuring buildings that reflect the numerous architectural styles of the early 20th century.

Check out 1:02-1:34 in this video to see instances of Neo-Gothic, Classical Revival, and Art Deco buildings in Paris.

KERA's“The Shape of Texas” video series explores how our built environment holds our history, reflects our diverse cultures and projects our ambitions for the future. From the glittery, kitschy Beer Can House in Houston to the soaring Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, architecture helps tell the story of who we are in Texas.

Find out more about Downtown Paris and learn more about other instances of Gothic Revival, Classical Revival, and Art Deco architecture in Texas.

Max Chow-Gillette is the Fall 2022 Art&Seek intern.