|| In 1854, the Polish Settler Franz Jureczki immigrated from Laziska, Poland, to Galveston, Texas, and settled in Bandera. Polish Silesians worked at the plentiful sawmills in the area, providing wood and labor for the St. Stanislaus Catholic Church and many other buildings. In 1946, Jack Lapham purchased acreage from the Jureczki family and established the Flying L Ranch. Lapham was a retired Air Corps Colonel with a dream to create an airpark with dude ranch elements complete with an airstrip, villas, lounges, a pool and flight school. Colonel Lapham spared no expense commissioning Frank Lloyd Wright, the world-famous architect, to design the nine villas and pilot’s lounge. From the air, the villas were designed to appear as planes flying in a northward direction. The Pilot’s Lounge is a two-story concrete block Quonset hut trimmed with handmade oak arches and cedar siding with a concrete roof. The second story is a horseshoe-shaped balcony with wooden floors and handmade oak railings and stairs.
Frank Lloyd Wright’s architectural characteristics may be found throughout the lounge such as the spectacular southeast window with a view of the landing strip along with two unique fireplaces. The repeated walls of windows as seen in all ten buildings and eye-catching fireplaces are also Wright’s signature features. The grand opening of the Flying L Ranch was featured in a 1947 Life Magazine article. Photographer Cornell Capa captured the event with over 100 stunning pictures of a fashion show hosted by Stanley Marcus of Neiman Marcus. Coca-Cola and several aircraft manufacturers filmed commercials at this location and guests have ranged from families to celebrities.