J. Roy White Drawings
An Inventory of the Collection
J. Roy White was born in Crowley, Louisiana in 1907. He lived in Austin, Texas from 1924 until his death in 1985. White received his Bachelor of Science degree in Architecture from the University of Texas in 1929. One of his earliest designs was the Fire Department Practice Tower (now the Buford Tower) in 1930. During the early years of his career White worked in Hugo Kuehne's office and was the primary architect on the original Austin Public Library building (now Austin History Center, 1933). During World War II, White worked for the City of Austin building and renovating parks buildings, fire stations and Municipal Airport facilities. In 1943 he went to work as an Associate Architect with Giesecke, Kuehne & Brooks and in 1965 was made partner and the firm name became Brooks, Barr, Graeber and White. The firm merged with 3D/International in 1972 and White retired soon after the merger. A few years later White came out of retirement and joined Noel Dolce and Alan Barr in forming the architectural firm White, Dolce & Barr.
J. Roy White was influenced by the log and limestone indigenous architecture of the Central Texas Hill Country. His basis philosophy of architecture was that "it should be honest-an interpretation of people and life-and it should have a certain warmth of character." Notable works by White include: the Huston-Tillotson University expansion program including the library and dormitories; expansion and restoration work to St. David's Episcopal Church in Austin; the master plan for LBJ State Park including the design of the Visitor Center; restorations and additions to the LBJ Ranch including the reconstruction of Lyndon Baines Johnson's birthplace on a two-acre tract adjoining the ranch; and several schools for the Austin Independent School District.
In his later years White concentrated on his talent for sketching and watercolors which led to exhibitions and the publication of Limestone and Log and Hill Country Revisited. Both books featured the indigenous architecture of the Hill County.
The collection consists of 479 architectural drawings representing seventy-eight projects dating from 1925 through 1985. Approximately half of the drawings are designs for residential projects from the 1930s through the 1950s. The remaining drawings represent commercial, public, ecclesiastical and educational projects including the Natural Science Center Barn, KLBJ AM/FM Radio Station, St. David's Episcopal Church.
Restrictions on Access
Open to all users.
Restrictions on Use
J. Roy White Drawings (AR.2012.035). Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, Texas.
Donor #: DO/1960/060
Donation Date: 1986
Finding aid created and encoded by Molly Hults in 2012.
Detailed Description of the Collection