Alan Y. Taniguchi

Alan Y. Taniguchi

Still image from television interview (c. 1968-1972) with Alan Y. Taniguchi for Fox 7 News (Austin, TX) via You Tube.

Alan Yamato Taniguchi (1922–1998) was an architect, educator, and advocate. He overcame racism and discrimination to become a leader in his field.

Originally from California, Taniguchi was a student at UC-Berkley when Executive Order 9066 was issued by FDR on February 19 just months after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. The Order called for the forced removal and incarceration of nearly 122,000 Japanese American men, women, and children, who were assembled and evacuated to internment camps throughout the U.S. The Taniguchi family was sent to internment in Crystal City, TX relocated to the Gila Relocation Camp in Arizona. 

After the war, Alan Taniguchi resumed his studies at UC-Berkeley and graduated with a degree in architecture and worked in for architectural firms in the Bay Area. His parents returned to Texas to become vegetable and cotton farmers outside Los Indios, Texas.

In 1950, Taniguchi and his wife relocated to Harlingen, where he designed several prominent modern homes and buildings throughout the region and state, including the exclusive suburb of Laurel Park in Harlingen.

Learn more: Marcello, Ronald E. & Taniguchi, Alan. Oral History Interview with Alan Taniguchi, March 18, 1995; Denton, Texas. University of North Texas Libraries, UNT Digital Library, crediting UNT Oral History Program.

Buildings of 1961

The year 1961 was a significant one for Taniguchi: he accepted a full-time faculty appointment at UT, was recognized by the Texas Society of Architects, and partnered with Valley architect Charles B. Croft. The pair designed several award-winning buildings in the Rio Grande Valley, including the Casa del Sol (1961), House of Mo-Rose Packing Shed (1961), and the first air-conditioned school, PSJA Senior High School (1961)

Mo-Rose Packing Shed

Color postcard image of the Mo-Rose Packing Shed located in Rancho Viejo and designed by Taniguchi in 1961. In 2016, it was listed as a Most Endangered Place by Preservation Texas. Image source:

Casa del Sol

Color postcard image of the Casa del Sol event center in Harlingen. The building was designed by Taniguchi & Croft in 1961 Image source:

Architecture's search ends with Crane and Taniguchi

Article describes Prof. Taniguchi as "one of the most respected architectural educators anywhere..." Source: Sallyport (Rice University alumni newsletter), Vol. 27, No. 5, April/May 1972.

Educator & Advocate

Alan Taniguchi relocated to Austin to establish his own firm in 1968. Alan Taniguchi served as Dean of the UT School of Architecture (1969–1972) and director for the architecture program at Rice University (1972–1979).

In 1978, Taniguchi led a $2M Fort Ringgold Campus Recycle Project to redesign buildings at the for Rio Grande City CISD to serve as a community school. In 1997, as recipient of the Whitney M. Young, Jr. Award, Taniguchi was recognized for his contributions to architecture education as well as diversity and social advocacy by the American Institute of Architects.

Learn more about Taniguchi's contributions to the Valley from Norman Rozeff via RGVMOD.

Alan Y. Taniguchi