C. H. Page & Son Records, 1893-1970
An Inventory of the Collection
Charles Henry and Louis Page were sons of an English immigrant mason and contractor. Born in St. Louis, the family then moved to Austin in 1886. Both sons attended public schools and worked with their father in the construction industry.
After apprenticing with several architects Charles Henry began practice at the age of 19 in the firm Makin and Page. He left that firm and began an independent practice as C. H. Page, Jr. but was soon joined by his brother Louis. Page Brothers, Architects (also known as C. H. Page Jr. & Bro.) was formed in 1898 and became one of the leading firms specializing in public projects such as public schools and courthouses. Page Brothers, Architects were responsible for the designs of the Littlefield Building (1910,1919) at 601 Congress Avenue, Travis County Courthouse (1930) and Austin National Bank (1930, razed 1956) at 513 Congress Avenue. In 1903 Charles Henry's design for the Texas Building was chosen to represent Texas at the St. Louis World's Fair.
Charles Henry Page, Jr. was born in 1910 in Austin and attended Austin public schools and Kemper Military Institute. He received his bachelor's degree in architecture in 1932 from the University of Texas. After Louis's death in 1934 Charles Henry Page Jr., C.H.'s son, joined the practice. In 1936 Charles Henry, Jr. became a partner and the firm name was changed to C.H. Page & Son. After the death of C. H., Sr. (the father, though sometimes also referred to as C. H. Page, Jr.) in 1957, Charles Henry, Jr. continued to practice for several years. Representative works in Austin by C.H. Page & Son include the United States Courthouse (1935) at Eight and Colorado and the Normandie Arms Apartments (1938) at 108 West 15th Street.
The collection is a combination of materials attributed to C. H. Page (independent), C. H. Page & Bro., Page Brothers, Architects and C. H. Page and Son and date from 1903 to 1968. There are project records, architectural drawings, photographs & photo renderings, newspaper clippings & postcards as well as a small amount of office files, and personal papers.
The Project Records series (1923-1929, 1949-1968, undated) have files pertaining to both Page Brothers, Architects and C. H. Page. Noteworthy are the general specifications and structural computations pertaining to the Travis County Court. There are few project files for C.H. Page, Jr. projects. Of significance are the Masonic Lodge #12 and the Travis County Courthouse Addition files.
The Office Files series (1933, 1962-1964) contains the February 24, 1933 announcement that Page Brothers was chosen by the United States Treasury Department to "render architectural services in connection with the proposed Post Office and Courthouse building at Austin, Texas" and the telegram from C. H. Page to Louis Page letting him know they had been awarded the contract. Also included is firm information and a brochure from the 1960s when C. H. Page & Son was being run by Charles Henry, Jr.
A very small amount of the personal papers of C.H. Page, Jr. are contained within the Personal Papers series (1934-1940, 1952-1968). Included are financial, insurance and property records as well as several certificates of membership. Also present are thank-you letters from the Franklin Delano Roosevelt White House and Texas governor James Allred. Some of these documents may actually be those of C.H. Page, Sr., however, they were originally labeled as having belonged to Page, Jr.
The Printed Materials series includes newspaper clippings (1908, 1932-1945, 2009) that highlight the work of Page Brothers and C. H. Page & Son. Postcards of early Page Brothers projects and a 2010 calendar depicting school building designed by C. H. Page between 1900 and 1930 are also available.
The Photographs Series (1893, 1939, 1960-1966, undated) is a mixture of photos of actual buildings and office staff and photographic prints of architectural renderings and/or presentation drawings. Most of the photographic material is undated but the photos have been attributed to projects completed by both Page Brothers and C. H. Page & Son. The photos have been arranged by type of building (e.g., public, medical, etc.) and certain projects have been assigned to separate folders. Many of the prints in the assorted section of each building type are identified.
There is also a single scrapbook that consists mainly of newspaper clippings from 1903 that document that C. H. Page was awarded the commission for the Texas Building at the St. Louis World's Fair (Louisiana Purchase Exposition). Of interest is the opposition by some architects to the design of the building claiming that "the architectural monstrosity proposed would make us the laughingstock of the world...." Also included in the scrapbook are a few newspaper articles that chronicle that C. H. Page & Bro. were selected as the architects for the Smith County courthouse.
The Drawings series consists of approximately 300 drawings representing 34 projects dating from the mid-1910s to the mid-1930s. The majority of the projects are attributed to Page Brothers, Architects and/or C. H. Page, Sr. The projects represented are commercial, public, residential, educational, and medical. Of significance are the drawings for the Travis County Courthouse (1929), Hunt County Courthouse (1928), The Austin American-Statesman Building (1935-1936), Hospital for Confederate Home (1920), and the Southwestern Telegraph & Telephone Co. Building (1919). Included are several presentation drawings circa 1920s in charcoal or watercolor that depict proposed projects such as schools and courthouses.
Restrictions on Access
Open to all users.
Restrictions on Use
This collection was donated by Anne Page DeBois in 1986.
C. H. Page & Son Records and Drawings(AR.2009.029). Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, Texas.
Donor #: DO/1986/088
Donation Date: 1986
Finding aid was prepared by Tim Wilder in 1991, revised by Molly Hults/2010 and Nicole Davis/2016.
Finding aid was encoded by Evan Usler in April 2010.
This collection was originally archived as two separate collection - C. H. Page, Jr. Records and Page Brothers, Architects Records. There was, however, significant overlap between the two collections and it was decided to merge the collections to reflect that these were the records of a single company that simply changed names.
Digital scans (.tif files) of the original (1929, 1930) Page Brothers' Travis County Courthouse drawings in the collection are available. In addition there are scans of the 1958, 1962, 1963 and undated Addition and Remodeling drawings of the Courthouse by C. H. Page & Son held by Travis County. The files are available in the Reading Room Architectural Digital Collections box or at N:\Archives\Architectural Archives\Page Brothers_Travis Co. Courthouse (internal link only).
Other Finding Aid
All architectural drawings are indexed in the Architectural Archives card catalog available in the Reading Room of the Austin History Center.
Detailed Description of the Collection