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Riverside Master Plan

The 1988 Riverside Master Plan, a proposed “re-imagining” of what had been known as the Texas A&M Research Annex, was an idea whose time had come. The 100-page document featured a schematic rendering of what an “extreme makeover” of the site might look like.

Harsh language justified the revisionist thinking. “The site is no longer subject to restrictive reversionary requirements of the federal government,” it read, “and a recent change in the Texas Constitution has authorized money from the available university fund to be used at the site.” 

Those monies would ultimately be used elsewhere by the flagship insitution.

In fact, six years had passed since the university was required to report its usage of the site, a mandate of the “lease-to-own” arrangement under which ownership of the facility ultimately was handed from the federal government to the university.

David Woodcock, who would be instrumental in constructing a 2013 master plan for Riverside as the director of the Texas A&M Center for Historic Conservation, describes the apparent thinking which led to the ’88 Riverside Campus blueprint.


Professor Emeritus David Woodcock served as a Fulbright Teaching Fellow in Architecture at Texas A&M University from 1962-66. He returned to the school in 1970 and remained there until his retirement in 2011. During that time, he served a total of 11 years as head of the department, earned numerous awards and established the Center for Heritage Conservation. He received his professional degree in Architecture and post-graduate diploma in Town and Country Planning from the University of Manchester, England.