Dubina Historical District
Dubina Historical District
The Dubina Historic District lies in southeastern Fayette County, Texas, an area rich in Czech and German ethnic heritage. That heritage is represented in the many small towns that dot the county's rural landscape. The towns range in size from La Grange, the county seat, which has a population of about 4,500, to those like Dubina, which has a recorded population of 44. The majority of land, however, remains undeveloped, and agriculture continues to be an important component of the area's economy. Most businesses are now concentrated in larger towns, but places like Dubina have continued to foster the social and cultural life of their surrounding communities.
The compact scale and informal organization of Dubina are fairly typical of rural communities of its type. Turning west off of FM 1383, a narrow gravel road curves north, passing in front of the church and social hall before curving west and descending toward the nearby Navidad River. This road, identified as County Road (CR) 480 or "Piano Bridge Road," represents the remainder of the original route through Dubina, and the historic road bed is still visible heading north from the town. Sts. Cyril and Methodius Church sits just a few yards east of the road. Just across the road to the west, and included in the church's property, is an undeveloped piece of native prairie, referred to as the "Fayette Grasslands." Although visible from the road, both the cemetery, to the west, and the KJZT hall, to the east, are set further back and accessed by dirt and gravel drives. Although not included in the district's boundaries, the ruins of a multi-purpose commercial complex are visible just beyond the road's curve toward the river, facing the historic road bed.
Sts. Cyril and Methodius Catholic Church
Sts. Cyril and Methodius Church has continuously served as the center of the Dubina community, and it is also the heart of the Dubina Historic District. Constructed by members of the congregation between 1909 and 1911, the church was designed by San Antonio architect Leo Dielmann. The small and simple, but elegant, building was executed in the Carpenter Gothic style, a popular choice for ecclesiastical architecture at the time, especially in rural communities. The symmetrical form of the wood frame church features a projecting central bell tower topped with a steep spire, a rectangular nave with a steeply pitched gable roof and buttressed walls, and a polygonal apse at the rear, flanked by small square wings with hipped roofs. Nearly all of the openings have pointed arch tops, and simple wood brackets line the building's classical cornice.
The front (west) facade of Sts. Cyril and Methodius is defined by its dramatic sense of verticality. The square base of the central tower projects forward and rises from the building's core, supported by angled, stepped buttresses at its exposed corners. Just above the nave's roof, the tower's square base terminates with a pronounced cornice. A smaller octagonal section, which houses the bell, extends above the cornice, with small round turrets rising from each corner of the base. Louvered, pointed arch openings occupy the four square faces of the octagon. A tall, steep spire caps the tower, with tiny gabled dormers set above each louvered opening and a metal cross at the spire's peak.
The church's entrance, a pair of 5-panel wood doors with a three-part pointed arch transom, is in the base of the tower. A tall, narrow 4/4 wood sash window, with a two-part pointed arch transom is above the entrance, and a small diamond shaped window is above it. On each side of the tower, the gable end of the nave is pierced by a pair of stacked windows, separated by an inset wood panel, that continue above the cornice returns into the gable. The bottom window of each pair is a rectangular 4/4 wood sash. The upper window is also a 4/4 wood sash, but with a pointed arch top. The corners of the gable end are supported by stepped buttresses, which stop just below the bracketed cornice returns. The cornice brackets also continue up the gable, until it meets the central tower. Dubina Historical District National Register Listing from the Texas Historic Sites Atlas.