Also within Dallas is the notable Deep Ellum district which originally became popular during the 1920s and 1930s as the prime jazz and blues hotspot in the Southern United States. The name Deep Ellum is thought to have originally derived from local tongues saying "Deep Elm", but that came out as "Deep Ellum". Artists such as Blind Lemon Jefferson, Robert Johnson, Huddie "Leadbelly" Ledbetter, and Bessie Smith played in original Deep Ellum clubs like The Harlem and The Palace. Today, Deep Ellum is home to hundreds of artists who live in lofts and operate in studios throughout the district alongside bars, pubs, and concert venues. One major art infusion in the area is the city's lax stance on graffiti, thusly several public ways including tunnels, sides of buildings, sidewalks, and streets are covered in murals.
Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, home of the Texas Rangers
Texans are known for their love of American football and are noted for their intense following of high school and college football teams-often the dominate social and leisure activity. Texas is home to two NFL teams, the Houston Texans and the Dallas Cowboys, sometimes referred to as "America's Team".
Baseball has a strong presence in Texas, with Major League Baseball teams the Texas Rangers and HoustonAstros. Minor league baseball is also closely followed in Texas-especially in the smaller metropolitan areas. The Fort Worth Cats are a team in Fort Worth, Texas that has won 3 straight championships, one in the Central Baseball League and the last two in the American Association.
Basketball is also popular, and Texas hosts three NBA teams: the Houston Rockets, the San Antonio Spurs, and the Dallas Mavericks. All three have reached the NBA Finals and the Houston Rockets and San Antonio Spurs have won championships. Additionally, Texas is home to two WNBA teams, the Houston Comets and the San Antonio Silver Stars. The Comets were the winners of the first four WNBA Championships in league history, in the 1997-2000 seasons.
Many Texas universities have rich athletic traditions. Originally, most Texas Division I universities were part of the Southwest Conference until it dissolved in 1996. Four of the largest programs in Texas are now part of the Big 12 Conference: the Baylor Bears, Texas A&M Aggies, Texas Longhorns, and Texas Tech Red Raiders. In addition to the four Big 12 schools, Texas is home to six other Division I (Bowl Sub-Division) teams: the TCU Horned Frogs of the Mountain West Conference; the SMU Mustangs, the Houston Cougars, the Rice Owls and the UTEP Miners, all of Conference USA; and the North Texas Mean Green of the Sun Belt Conference. Texas has the most Division I-FBS schools in America, ten.
Hockey has been a growing participatory sport in the Dallas/Fort Worth area since the Minnesota North Stars became the Dallas Stars in 1993. Minor league professional hockey has become popular in the last few decades; such as the Houston Skippers USHL Louden Cup winners in 1948 with legendary coach Toe Blake. AHL Houston Aeros who won the IHL's Turner Cup in 1999 and the AHL Calder Cup in 2003 and two Avco Cups in the WHA. The San Antonio Rampage also play in the AHL. Texas is home to seven of the Central Hockey League's seventeen teams.
Other popular sports in Texas include golf (played year-round because of the mild climate), fishing, and auto racing. Lacrosse, originally played by some of the indigenous tribes, is a visible sport and growing. Soccer is a popular participatory sport, especially among children, but as a spectator sport it does not yet have a large following despite two Texan teams in MLS and the back to back 2006 and 2007 MLS Cup winners Houston Dynamo in Major League Soccer.
Further information: List of Texas sports teams
In addition to Texas's traditional architecture the state also has noteworthy contemporary buildings. Many world class architects and Pritzker Prize winners have left their enriching marks on Texan cities and landscapes. Frank Lloyd Wright had four buildings in Texas, while Tadao Ando's Modern Art Museum and Louis Kahn's famous Kimbell Art Museum are permanent landmarks of the city of Fort Worth. Other super architects such as I.M. Pei and Philip Johnson have numerous works across the state. Among their famous works one can mention the Fort Worth Water Gardens, Amon Carter Museum, Chapel of St. Basil, Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, and Thanks-Giving Square. In Austin, Gordon Bunshaft's Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum (also a Pritzker Prize winner) is particularly noteworthy, while Steven Holl, Robert A. M. Stern, Richard Meier, and C?sar Pelli are other architect legends who designed buildings that grace the Dallas and Houston areas. Sir Norman Foster's Dallas Center for the Performing Arts is the latest addition to such architectural landmarks in Texas.
Some facilities even harbor the marks of multiple architects. Houston's Museum of Fine Arts for example, was designed by Pritzker Prize winner Rafael Moneo, landscape architect extraordinnaire Isamu Noguchi, and the pioneering master of Modern Architecture Mies van der Rohe.
Ricardo Legorreta's San Antonio Public Library is an excellent example of postmodern architecture in Texas.
The Bexar County Courthouse by James Riely Gordon is a work of Romanesque Revival architecture from 1892.
Philip Johnson's landscaping masterpiece: the Fort Worth Water Gardens.
Nicholas J. Clayton's "Old Red" built in 1891, is on the campus of the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston and is a registered Texas historic landmark.
Texas is also home to some of the tallest skyscrapers in the United States.
The Houston skyline has been ranked fourth-most impressive in the United States when ranked by breadth and height, being the country's third-tallest skyline and one of the top 10 in the world; however, because it is spread over a few miles, most