Architecture of The Lower Rio Grande Valley Photography Project (ALRGVPP)

Architecture of The Lower Rio Grande Valley Photography Project (ALRGVPP)

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The following video is an in-depth presentation about 1 hour 20 minutes long. It includes details on the project as well as 50+ images with narrations on the images as related to the photography. A comparison and contrast are included between photographs taken digitally with a DSLR, on 35mm film and 120 medium format film and, infrared using a modified DSLR.

The ALRGVPP maintains a growing collection of photos and information for buildings and structures that are historically and architecturally significant in the Texas-Mexico border counties of Cameron, Hidalgo, Starr, and Willacy. Currently, the database consists of 550 buildings, both, residential and nonresidential, provided by Stephen Fox. We plan on adding another 150 structures from over the border when Mexico is safer. This will bring the total number of structures to 700. Photos and further information are being included with each entry. We are always on the lookout for more buildings. If you or your firm have a structure(s) to include in the database, skip down to the “Submit Your Structure” section.

  • What are the goals of the ALRGVPP?

  • Who is behind the ALRGVPP?

  • How will the photographs be displayed?

  • How Can I Help?

  • Submitting Your Structure/Contact

There are two primary goals:

  • one, help educate younger generations in the Lower Rio Grande Valley about their surrounding architecture. We hope this education will enable future decision-makers to not only build new and beautiful architecture but preserve their historic structures in the process and,

  • two, promote the LRGV as a whole.

The ALRGV project is a collaborative passion project between world heritage photographer, Pino Shah, and architectural historian, and Fellow of the Anchorage Foundation of Texas, Stephen Fox.
The ALRGVPP will be available in a searchable online database, in print and eBook formats, through photography exhibitions, and as photographic prints.

  • The Digital Project: Everything starts with our online database. All information will be kept in this searchable online location and updated as new structures are added to the project. The goal is to make the ALRGVP Digital Project the leading resource for Lower Rio Grande Valley architecture information.

  • Books: Architecture of the Lower Rio Grande Valley: An Introduction is the first title in our planned series covering the architecture of the Rio Grande Valley. All our titles are designed to appeal to the current, “Heads Down” generation, with vivid, full-page photographs and clear, easy-to-read text.

  • eBooks available on every major platform. Other books are Brownsville Architecture: A Visual History(narratives by Eileen Mattei), McAllen Architecture: A Visual Journey (narratives by Geoff Alger) and, Quinta Mazatlan: A Visual Journey (narratives by Eileen Mattei).

  • Exhibitions: We have held two exhibitions, and have plans for more. Stay tuned for dates and locations.

  • For licenses to reproduce any of the photos either online or in print, contact Pino Shah at, or (956) 492-7140.

We’re glad you asked! There are three major ways you can help the ALRGVPP:

I) get the word out, II) partner with us, and III) send us your structures.

As you’ve probably realized, we aren’t stinting on content, but what good is content if no one sees it? Here are some ways you can help us spread the word.

  • Press Releases and Interviews: Do you run a magazine or blog that might be interested in our project? Do you know someone who does radio, podcast, or TV shows? Give us a call! We’d love to talk to you.

  • Speaking Engagements: Do you work for your local chamber of commerce, or a museum? Host us for a talk and see what you learn.

  • Prints and Posters: Have you ever bought a nature poster from an airport gift shop or Barnes and Noble? Our photographs are poster quality, able to be blown up to the size of billboards. Help us get these photos into such stores, or buy our custom prints, and show others how great an architectural treasure trove the Rio Grande Valley is.

  • Education: We plan to develop a curriculum around our database. Help us reach out to school districts to bring this beautiful architecture to their students.

  • Architecture on Canvas Rentals: Does your office, bank, hotel, or restaurant display artwork? Rent our canvases on a four-month basis and raise awareness through decorating.

  • Word of Mouth: Talk about us! We don’t mind. Tell your family, friends, whoever would be interested in our project. Follow us on social media and repost our updates. We are ArtByPino on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other prominent platforms.


  • Architecture Identification: We are always in need of people to help us accurately identify a structure’s style.

  • Historians: Given our growing architecture library, we are in constant need of willing writers to research and provide short pieces on the history and significance of each structure.

  • Teachers: We need educators to partner with us in developing a TEKS compliant social studies curriculum for fifth graders based on our database.

  • Corporate and Civil Leaders: If you hold a position on a town council, or are involved with public and private properties, we would love to partner with you regarding permissions for photography access.

  • Sponsorship: As our project grows, so does its required budget. If you or your organization would like to sponsor our work in any way, we’d love to talk with you.

To submit you or your firm’s structure for inclusion in the ALRGVPP Database, email the following information to

  1. Name of the structure.

  2. Purpose of the structure.

  3. An address for the structure that Google Maps can find.

  4. One picture of the structure to help identify it when the photographer visits.

  5. 125-150 words of information on the structure, including the year it was built, and a link to any available online information.

  6. Architect or firm name to be displayed with the photo. If you are not the architect, please ask the architect or structure owner to email me a statement explaining your firm’s role in the project.

  7. Contact name, number, and email. Since there are other architecture books in the works, we may contact you or a person in your firm in future to coordinate access to the structure for interior shots.

If you’re as excited as we are about the ALRGVPP, please share this post. Thank you.
Pino Shah
(956) 492-7140


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