Overview / Summary

Pavilion Photo.jpg

The Pavilion

The R. L. White Ranch comprises the original complex of thirty buildings, structures, and sites, plus its remaining 3500 acres, of an approximately 10,000-acre ranch that was assembled, purchased, and developed by Ryall Luther White (1878-1962), beginning in ca.1926.  R. L. White was a very successful businessman and he used his ranch for entertainment purposes, hosting street and highway contractors for hunting parties as part of his Texas-wide road paving business.  In 1943, R. L. White divided his business assets, including his ranch real estate, among his three children which ultimately resulted in three, approximately 3300-acre, adjacent tracts.[1]   The central tract, now called the R. L. White Ranch, or “Rancho Blanco,” is owned by White’s granddaughter, Myfe White Moore.  The ranch and its built resources are closely associated with White; they reflect his interest in water resource management and engineering as well as his desire to impress his guests with Texas Rustic-style architecture on a grand scale.  This is best expressed by the ranch’s Lake Pavilion, the major contributing resource in this historic district, which White built in 1939-1940.  The Lake Pavilion has retained its historic integrity in terms of design, setting, and workmanship and is used today by the family as a family gathering-place for recreational purposes. 

Patterned after the Grand Canyon Lodge, North Rim, of Grand Canyon National Park, the building’s interior is meant to impress guests by its great Main Room, featuring an open vault of space, all supported by large logs forming its truss and beam work, and designed in the Rustic style.  The Main Room is heated by opposing, oversized fireplaces located at either end of the building’s enormous central room. The building contains a total of ten fireplaces and each is uniquely decorated with very large, wrought-iron fixtures, including oversized decorative fire screens and andirons.  Next to each Main Room fireplace is a rustic-style staircase that leads up to the bedrooms in the building’s two-story wings.  Each bedroom also contains a substantial fireplace with oversized wrought-iron work.  Downstairs again, and in the wings under the bedrooms are a kitchen with dining room and, at the opposite end, a recreation room with pool table, ping pong table, and bar.          

[1]Bexar County Records, Vol. 2479, Page 7-9.