Austin History Center

Tom W. Shefelman Records and Drawings

An Inventory of the Collection

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Shefelman, Tom W.
Title: Tom W. Shefelman Records and Drawings
Abstract: Tom Shefelman is an Austin, Texas architect with an interest in urban design and sustainable cities. The collection contains a mixture of materials related to his professional career as an architect and educator, as well as materials documenting his public service work concerning urban and neighborhood planning in and around Austin, Texas. Items in the collection date from 1957 to 1997 with the majority of the material dating from the mid-1970s through the mid-1990s.
Identification: AR.2009.035
Quantity: 3 linear feet (5 boxes) and 449 drawings (2 flat file drawers and 8 rolls)
Location: Architectural Archives
Language: The records are in English.
Repository: Austin History Center, Austin Public Library,
810 Guadalupe, , PO BOX 2287, , Austin, TX 78768

Biographical Note

Tom Shefelman was born in Seattle, WA in 1927. He studied architecture at the University of Texas at Austin (1950) and Harvard University (1951). Directly after graduating from Harvard, Shefelman worked at Keuhne Brooks and Barr from 1951 to 1954 and then as an associate at Fehr and Granger from 1955 to 1959. Shefelman also taught design and graphics at University of Texas at Austin's School of Architecture for fourteen years. While teaching at UT he belonged to a University of Texas architecture faculty cooperative practice that was organized in 1970 as Taniguchi Shefelman Vackar Minter (TSVM) along with Alan Y. Taniguchi, Walter Vackar and David Minter. After TSVM dissolved Shefelman formed the partnership Shefelman and Nix/Architects with former TSVM staff member Jim Nix.

Examples of buildings and urban plans completed include: Briarcliff Golf and Country Club (1969), Lower Waller Creek Development Plan (Austin, TX; 1982), Travis State School (Austin, TX; 1977), Travis County Courthouse remodeling (multiple stages), Rio Grande High School (Rio Grande, TX; 1975), St. Tropez Condominiums (Austin, TX; 1986); Fulmore Middle School (Austin, TX; 1981, 1985); Bethany United Methodist Church (Austin, TX; 1980, 1984, 1986); Stephen F. Austin Hotel renovation (Austin, TX; 1981-1987), Norwood Tower renovation (Austin, TX) and Texas Instruments Lime Filter Press Building (Austin, TX). A listing of additional projects can be found in the Marketing and Publicity folder of the collection.

In addition to his work as an architect Shefelman has an avid interest in the direction of the growth, design and development of Austin's landscape/cityscape and community and his public service work reflects these interests. Shefelman served on the following committees: Austin Design Commissions (1988-1997); Austin R/UDAT Implementation Committee (1991-1992); Austinplan Steering Committee (1986-1989); Forming the Futures Committee (1982); Congress Avenue Improvement Committee (1973-1975) and the Austin Community Development Corporation (1968-1972).

Scope and Contents

The Tom Shefelman Records and Drawings collection contains a mixture of materials related to his professional career as an architect and educator, as well as materials documenting his public service work concerning urban and neighborhood planning in and around Austin, Texas. Items in the collection date from 1957 to 1997 with the majority of the material dating from the mid-1970s through the mid-1990s.

The bulk of the Personal Papers series (1972-1997) consists of materials documenting Shefelman's interest in urban and neighborhood planning. His work on the Austin Design Commission, the Austinplan Steering Committee and with neighborhood planning organizations is well documented. In addition there are files from workshops on urban design and sustainable cities that Shefelman attended and other short term task forces and committees he served on related to the revitalization and future planning of downtown Austin. Also included in this series is correspondence with Chester Nagel concerning submitting Nagel's name for an award; Nagel's biography written by Shefelman for inclusion in Austin, Its Architects and Architecture, 1836-1986; and submitting the Chester and Lorine Nagel House (3215 Churchill Drive, Austin) for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Faculty Papers-Student Work series (1970) contains a single, but potentially interesting, "Report on Booker T. Washington Playground Involvement" written by Tim Palomera, III and Robert Lee Singleton, Jr. for a University of Texas School of Architecture class taught by Shefelman. The report documents the students' project to build playground equipment at the Booker T. Washington Playground and includes photographs of the process and progress as well as the challenges they faced.

The Professional Papers series (1969- circa 1996) includes marketing and publicity materials, an award for the Lower Waller Creek Development project and specifications for two public projects. The marketing materials include several firm brochures with lists and photographs of projects completed by Shefelman and Nix\Architects. In addition there is what appears to be an appraisal report of real property in the Lower Waller Creek area (East Avenue, Sabine Street, Red River, Neches and E. 1st Street - E. 10th Street) that includes name of business, tax valuation, condition and photograph for each address. There are no dates for the appraisals but the area appraised corresponds directly with the boundaries for the Lower Waller Creek Development Plan so it can be surmised that this report was part of that project from the late 1970s.

The Drawings series (1957-1982) contains 449 architectural drawings representing approximately 23 projects dating from the early 1960s through early 1980s. Included are sketches, plans, sections, elevations, details, working drawings, and presentation drawings for residential, public, commercial and urban planning projects Tom Shefelman was involved in with Taniguchi Shefelman Vackar Minter, Inc. and Shefelman and Nix/Architects. Among these drawings are nine projects completed for Travis County, including renovations to the Travis County Courthouse and the Travis County Public Safety Building and Plaza, designed by the Wooldridge Group (comprised of architects/firms Coffee & Crier; Villalva-Cotera; Shefelman and Nix; and Alan Y. Taniguchi).


Collection is arranged into four series:
I. Personal Papers
II. Faculty Paper-Student Work
III. Professional Papers
IV. Drawings


Restrictions on Access

Open to all users.

Restrictions on Use


Index Terms

This record series is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.
Nagel, Chester Emil.
Shefelman, Tom W.
Austin (Tex.). Design Commission.
Shefelman and Nix/Architects.
Taniguchi, Shefelman, Vackar and Minter, Inc.
Wooldridge Group.
Austin (Tex.)
Waller Creek (Tex.)
Central business districts--Texas--Austin.
City planning--Texas.
Community development--Texas--Austin.
Sustainable development.
Document Types:
Architectural drawings
Manuscript materials.

Related Material

General Collection

  • A 711.409764 AU Urban Design Group. Austin's Neighborhood Design Manual, 1982
  • A 728.5 DE Taniguchi-Shefelman-Vackar-Minter. Detail Book: Nautical Inn, Highland Lake Estates, Lake Travis, Travis County, Texas, 1971.
  • A 711.558 WA Taniguchi-Shefelman-Vackar-Minter. Waller Creek Master Plan: Phase B Program Development, 1975.
  • A 711.558 LO Waller Creek Joint Venture. Lower Waller Creek Development Plan, 1976.
In addition Shefelman illustrates children's books written by his wife Janice Shefelman.

Architectural Drawings in Other Collections

  • TSVM-001 Austin Public Library- South Austin Regional FF-002/AUS
  • AD-166 Clifton TMR Facility R-166
  • SN-95002 Robert Mueller Municipal Airport. Flight Services Building Federal Inspections Service Facility-Renovations/Site Improvements. FILM-017
  • AD-004 Landmark Square Condominia R-004
  • RK-0103 Texas Instruments- Lime Hopper & Filter Press Expansion R-93/RK

Separated Material

Books and reports in the collection were separated to the General Collection. If the Austin History Center already had more than two copies of an item the publication was returned to the donor.

General Collection

  • Austinplan: Sector Plan Handbook, April 1988.
  • Austinplan: Community Workshop 1 Background Information Sector 2, April 1987.
  • Austinplan: Proposed Land Use Plan Sector 2, May 1988.
  • University of Texas at Austin. School of Architecture. Community Vision Project: Final Design Workshop Results, 1996.
  • Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Land Use and Transportation: Strategies for a Sustainable Future in the Austin Metropolitan Area, December 1995.
  • Mobility Planning Associates. Prospects for Light Rail Transit in Austin, Texas, May 1990.
  • University of Texas at Austin. School of Architecture. Sustainable Cities Design: Roundtable Proceedings, June 1995.
  • Shefelman, Tom and Robert Harris. Austin Community Renewal Program Architectural Studies for the City of Austin, Texas, 1968.
  • City of Austin. Environmental Criteria Manual, June 1988.
  • Austin Metropolitan Area Transportation Plan: Executive Summary, September 1994
  • Poer, Michael Lee. Citizen's Guide To Neighborhood Planning, September 1985.
  • Alta Vista Neighborhood Association. Alta Vista Neighborhood Plan, March 1985.
  • City of Austin. Watershed Protection Department. Watershed Protection Master Plan: Phase I Watersheds Reports, October 2000.
  • The Citizen's Planning Committee. From Chaos to Common Ground: A Blueprint for Austin, April 1996.
  • City of Austin. Department of Planning. Austin Tomorrow Comprehensive Plan, 1980.
  • Tree Registry for Austin, Texas, 1976.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Tom W. Shefelman Records and Drawings (AR.2009.035). Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, Texas.

Acquisition Information

Donor #: DO/2001/039

Donation Date:

Processing Information

Finding aid created and encoded by Molly Hults in 2012. Architectural drawings processed by Ida Scott in 2005 and Toni Thomasson in 2011.

Detailed Description of the Collection

I. Personal Papers, 1972-1997

Civic Involvement - Urban and Neighborhood Planning, 1972-1997
American Institute of Architects Austin Task Force, 1976-1980
Box Folder
1 1 Downtown Austin, 1979
2 Downtown revitalization related articles, 1976-1980
Austinplan, 1986-1987
Box Folder
1 3-4 Environmental Task Force, 1986
5-6 Public Buildings Task Group, 1987, undated
7 Steering committee and land use, 1987
8 Urban Design Task Group, 1987
Austin Design Commission, 1980-1997
Box Folder
2 1-3 Meeting agendas, minutes, correspondence, notes, 1980-1997, undated
4 Public art, 1992-1997, undated
5 Street, trains and public spaces, 1992-1997
6 Streets and transportation, 1994-1996
7 Symposium on Sustainability, 1988
Neighborhood plans and planning, 1972-1988
Box Folder
3 1-2 Alta Vista, 1972-1985
3 East 6th Street, undated
4 Hyde Park, undated
5 Oak Lawn Forum Plan, 1994-1985
6 Sector 2, 1987-1988
Assorted Files, 1976-1995
Box Folder
3 7 Austin Central Business (CBD) revitalization, 1979-1981, undated
8 Bob Mather on sustainable cities, undated
Location FlatFile
Arch. qAR 01/02 Oversized items, 1982, undated
Box Folder
3 9 City of Austin Convention Center - Rainey Street, 1986
Box Folder
4 1 Downtown Austin: Application for a Regional/Urban Design Assistance Team, 1990
2 New Austin Terminal Task Force, 1994
3 6th Street project, undated
4 Sustainable Cities Roundtable, 1995
5 University of Texas "An Integrated Design Process for Energy Conservation" workshop, 1983
6 Urban design: Congress Avenue Planning Council, 1976-1977
7 Urban design issues and answers, 1994-1995
Correspondence, 1985-1987, undated
Box Folder
4 8 Chester Nagel, 1985-1987, undated

II. Faculty Papers - Student Work, 1970

Box Folder
4 9 "Report on Booker T. Washington Playground Involvement", 1970

III. Professional Papers, 1969-1996

Marketing and Publicity, 1969-circa 1996, undated
Box Folder
4 10 Firm brochures, resumes, articles 1969-circa 1996, undated
Awards, 1978
Box Folder
4 11 Lower Waller Creek Development Plan award, 1978
Project Records, 1973-circa 1978
Box Folder
5 1-2 Coronado School specification and details, 1976
3-4 Lower Waller Creek, circa 1977
5 South Austin Regional Branch Library (Manchaca Branch) specifications, 1973

IV. Drawings, 1957-1982

Architectural Archives flat files and rolled drawing shelves Architectural drawings, 1957-1982
View an index of the architectural drawings here. See Related Materials section for additional drawings.
Location FlatFile
Arch. qAR 01/02 Presentation drawing of South Austin Regional Library (Manchaca Branch), 1973