Southern Methodist University

Bertram C. Hill architectural plans, papers and other materials

A Guide to the Collection


Creator: Hill, Bertram C.
Title: Bertram C. Hill architectural plans, papers and other materials
Dates: circa 1920-1970
Abstract: Bertram Charles Hill (1881-1977) was a British architect who immigrated to the United States, setting up practice in Dallas, Texas, ca. 1920. The majority of the Hill collection is made up of architectural plans and building blueprints. Also included is a box of correspondence, business client ledgers, a scrapbook of clippings related to his design projects, and photographs. Hill designed important residences in the Swiss Avenue, Gaston Avenue, Lakewood and Highland Park areas. He also designed duplexes, apartments, churches, and several large commercial projects.
Accession No: A1980.0187x
Extent: 10 linear feet
Language: Material is in English
Repository DeGolyer Library, Southern Methodist University

Biographical Note

Bertram Charles Hill was born in Bedminster, Bristol, England on April 27, 1881. Hill graduated from the Merchant Venturer’s Technical College in Bristol and then immigrated to the United States. He worked for a brief period on the East Coast before moving to Dallas, Texas in 1905. In Dallas, Bertram Hill formed a partnership with architect C.D. Hill, his first major position being that of project consultant for the newly proposed Adolphus Hotel and also the new City Hall. He continued his work in Dallas as a draftsman for C.D. Hill & Company as well as other firms such as R. H. Hunt Company until 1914.

Hill married Pearle Sammons Avery of Dallas on May 18, 1911. Together they had two children, Bertram Hill Jr. (b.1917) and Hester Pearle Hill (b.1922). Hill and his family lived in England for a short while during World War I, according to the Dallas street directory and the account by Hill’s daughter Hester. He may have worked as "Inspector or Purchasing Agent for the British Government" during that time. A letter of recommendation was sent to the British Ambassador in Washington, D.C. on his behalf by Dallas Mayor, W.M. Holland, in which Hill was described as having "a good reputation in this community… sober, industrious, intelligent, and honest." The Hill family moved back to the United States in 1920, where he was naturalized as a U.S. citizen in 1929.

Hill opened his business as an independent Dallas architect in 1921. According to blueprints from the 1940s, fellow Dallas architects W. E. White Jr. and J. G. Farmer both worked with Hill as draftsmen and enjoyed a close relationship with his family. J. G. Farmer married Hill’s daughter Hester in 1946.

Bertram Hill is known today for his integration of the Georgian and English styles of architecture into the Texas residential home during the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s. He designed residences on Swiss Avenue and Gaston Avenue and in the Lakewood and Highland Park areas; a great number of those still stand today and are registered with Dallas’ Historic Preservation League. Many of the designs included in the DeGolyer collection were commissioned, but Hill apparently designed a number of houses on speculation for builders as well. Some of these plans are also part of the Dines, Kraft & Hexter collection at the Dallas Public Library, which contains documents and plans for homes built in the Lakewood area, at least two of which are attributed to Hill.

Several homes designed by Hill that were built in what is now "downtown" Dallas may have been demolished to make room for the growing commercial area. There are also important Dallas buildings that he worked on as a consultant with a firm where the firm itself was credited but not Hill himself, i.e. the Adolphus Hotel (completed 1912) and the new Dallas City Hall (completed 1914) for C.D. Hill & Company Hill also designed and built the Melrose Apartments (now Melrose Hotel), the original Fair Park Coca-Cola building, and the original Mrs. Baird’s Bakery building.

In addition to the residential homes, apartments and duplexes, Hill did a considerable amount of commercial work for different companies, the two largest in the collection being structures built for Pure Ice & Cold Storage Company and Morton Foods. He also designed and oversaw construction on the original Dallas and Lakewood Country Club buildings as well as several churches.

Hill designed buildings in a variety of styles. While he is known for the traditional, grand Georgian style homes of Swiss Avenue, he enjoyed using the modern styles known as "googie" or "coffee house modern" in certain commercial and residential plans. Hill died in 1977 at the age of 96.


Dines, Kraft & Hexter Collection in Texas/Dallas History of the Dallas Public Library. This is a Dallas Public Library collection.

The American Institute of Architects guide to Dallas Architecture: with regional highlights. Ed. Larry Paul Fuller. New York: McGraw Hill Construction Information Group, 1999.

McAlester, Virginia Savage, Winters, Willis Cecil and Prudence Mackintosh. Great American Suburbs: the homes of the Park Cities, Dallas. New York: Abbeville Press, 2008.

McDonald, William L. Dallas Rediscovered: a photographic chronicle of urban expansion 1870-1925. Dallas: Riverside Press, 1978.

Approved plans from the files of E. Bedford Jones, registered architect, NA7127. J66.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Bertram C. Hill collection consists of documents, prints and drawings of Dallas architect Bertram C. Hill. It includes sketches, concept drawings, hand drawn technical plans, blueprints, photographs and prints of his buildings. It also contains his business records for many years (although it is difficult to tell if they are complete records), as well as many personal documents, letters of recommendation from the firms he worked for, and other materials. The drawings and blueprints include both his residential and commercial ventures in and around North Texas.

Several projects illustrate the architectural progression from preliminary drafts to revised drafts to a final copy. Not all of the projects are this complete however; some are fragmented or simply unlabeled sketches that may have never made it off the drawing board.

Arrangement of the Collection

The collection is organized into 3 series:
Series 1: Background and Biographical Information. Includes Photographs, Correspondence and Financial Records: 2 boxes
Series 2: Residential Buildings. Includes Drawings, Drafts, and Blueprints: 4 oversize folders
Series 3: Commercial Buildings. Includes Drawings, Drafts, and Blueprints: 5 large/oversize folders, 6 boxes, and 8 tubes/rolled storage boxes.


Access to Collection:

Collection is open for research use.

Publication Rights:

Permission to publish materials must be obtained from the Director of the DeGolyer Library.

Copyright Statement:

It is the responsibility of the user to obtain copyright authorization.

Access Terms

This collection is indexed under the following terms in the Southern Methodist University Libraries' online catalog. Researchers desiring related materials may search the catalog using these terms.
Hill, Bertram C.
Architects -- Texas -- Dallas.
Architecture, Modern -- 20th century -- Texas -- Dallas.
Architectural drawings (visual works)

Related Materials

Cloonan, F.A. Union Station, San Antonio, Texas. [graphic] ca. 1920-30. Architectural drawings by F.A. Cloonan of San Antonio, TX marked Union Station verso. Watercolor views of depot interior with central staircase and stained glass window or mural from ground floor and from mezzanine level. Ag1996.1038x

Texas and New Orleans Railroad Company. Drawings, 1927. Detailed set of architectural drawings on linen for the Texas and New Orleans Railroad depot at Liberty, Texas, 1927. A1992.1840x

Van Frank, J.R. Texas Architectural Drawings. [graphic] ca. 1870-1890. Architectural drawings of Texas public buildings, some may be of courthouses, jails and commercial buildings. Many are signed by J.R. Van Frank, Colorado, TX, located near Smithville, Bastrop County. Ag2006.0003

Yantis, Gary. Texas Photographs. 1970-72. Collection consists primarily of photographs of Texas locations. Gary Yantis traveled throughout Texas in the early 1970s photographing commercial and government buildings and domestic architecture. Also included are many historic landmarks and views of natural landscape. The collection includes four albums of color prints and an index prepared by Yantis identifying the photographs and negatives. Ag 1982.0194

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Bertram C. Hill architectural plans, papers and other materials, DeGolyer Library, Southern Methodist University.

Acquisition Information

Gift, Hester Hill Farmer, 1977.

Processed by

Lindsay Wellington and Laura Irick, 2009-2010.

Finding aid written by

Lindsay Wellington and Laura Irick, 2009-2010.

Edited by Anne E. Peterson and Ada Negraru, 2010.

Encoded by

Lara Corazalla, 2010.

Detailed Description of the Collection

Series 1: Biographical and Professional Information
1 box (1 cubic foot)

This series contains documents, prints and photographs related to Bertram C. Hill’s life and business.
Box Folder
1 1 Passports: 2 items
2 Family portraits: 5 items
3 Coats of arms, Etc.: 2 items
4 Business letterhead and cards: 13 items
5 Art Show programs: 6 items
6 Bertram C. Hill Property Inventory: 1 item
7 Copies of personal documents: 6 items
8 Own residences, drawings, Live Oak property: 3 items
9 Bertram C. Hill Jr. home Carlisle, Pennsylvania: 1 photograph
10 Professional correspondence: 25 items
11 Scrapbook: 1 item
12 Dallas Hospitality, October, 1938: 1 item
13 Newspaper clippings: 26 items
14 Hill contract ledger, 1921-1928; 1941-1942: 1 item
15 Check/voucher register Dec. 1923-June 1924: 1 item
16 Check/voucher register June 1924–March 1926: 1 item
17 Check/voucher register February 1926–September 1928: 1 item
18 Accounts due April 1926 - 1940: 1 item
19 Cash receipts book January 1924 – February 1942: 1 item
20 "4 columns"/account book: 1 item
21 Beverly Drive house: 1 photograph
22 Bus terminals: 2 items
23 Capitol Theater: 2 Photographs
24 Cook residence: 3 Photostats
25 Dallas County Courthouse, 1 illustrated print, circa 1891
26 Dallas National Bank building: 1 photograph
27 Alvin I. Folsom house: 1 photograph
28 Gaston Avenue houses: 8 photographs
29 Gaston Avenue apartment building: 1 photograph
30 Correspondence related to 6011 Gaston Avenue, Pearlston house: 1 item
31 Lakeshore and Lakewood houses: 11 photographs
32 "Mc Burnet" Hotel, San Angelo, George Burnett and B.C. Hill Architects: 1 photograph
33 West Main houses: 2 photographs
34 Melrose Apartments (now Hotel), Dallas: 1 photograph
35 Dallas Municipal Building, C.D. Hill & Company Architects, H.D. Smith partner: 1 photograph
36 Proposed hotel, graphite with watercolor: 1 item
37 Republic Bank Building, Dallas: 1 photograph
38 Swiss Avenue Homes: 3 color photographs
39 Tokalon Drive homes: 7 photographs
40 Unidentified Concept Sketch: 1 item
41 Unidentified residences: 22 photographs
42 Washington Hotel: 1 photograph
43 Westlake Avenue house: 1 photograph
44 Dallas Women’s Clinic: 1 photograph
45 Architectural Studies Book: The Orders: American School of Correspondence, Chicago
46 Journals, The Monograph Series; Architectural Prints, Classical Orders

Series 2: Residential Plans: Drafts, Blueprints, Etc.
8 oversize folders

1 Bertram C. Hill Residence: 7 units, some including multiple drafts and/or blueprints.
Bertram Hill Jr. Residence: 1 unit of multiple drafts
2 Cullen F. Thomas Residence, 6601 Hunter’s Glen: 21 units total, 2 pencil drafts, 19 ink on linen drawings
3 Residence Plans – Unidentified Clients: 11 units, some units include multiple sheets of drafts
4* Residence Plans – Clients: A - H
Autrey & Goodnight Residence - Midland
Bilbo, Mr. & Mrs. V.C. (2 units)
Black, Mr. & Mrs. L. H.
Campbell, Mr. & Mrs. Jimmy
Chandler, Mr. & Mrs. Virgil
Childers, Mr. & Mrs. C.L. (2 units)
Clem, Mr. & Mrs. R.H.
Duncan, Mr. & Mrs.
Farmer, Mr. G.
Fritch, Mr. & Mrs. J.J.
Gay , Mr. & Mrs. N.W.
Gooch, Mr. & Mrs. Cecil
Hamilton, Mr. & Mrs. Carl – Arlington (2 units)
Harrington, Mr. & Mrs. S.B.
High, Mr. & Mrs. Virgil
Hill, Mr. & Mrs. Carl
*This folder also contains color drawing of home built for Mr. and Mrs. John Carpenter
5 Residential Plans and Blueprints: Clients: I - Z
Jackson, Mr. & Mrs. A.
Jones, Mr. & Mrs. Donald
Kellum, Mr. & Mrs. Frank (2 units)
Knox, Miss Alma
Mann, Mr. & Mrs. John
Miles, Mr. & Mrs. E.P. (2 units)
Moore , Mr. Charles R.
Peters, Mr. & Mrs. Lem. (2 units)
Puckett, Mr. & Mrs. Bryan
Sazama, Dr. & Mrs. J.J.
Shelton, Mr. & Mrs. Joe
Troutt, Dr. & Mrs. W.E.
6 Apartments/Duplexes – Unidentified Clients: 11 units total, some units include multiple sheets of drafts
7 Apartments/Duplexes – Clients in alphabetical order:
Builders Labor & Loan Company
Clem, Mr. H.T.
Crow, Mr. & Mrs. Ben
Enderby & Harmon
George, Ms. D.B. & Ms. A.B. Cloud
Harmon, T.A. (3 units)
Hinks, Mrs. Robert B.
Pinkley, Mr. O.M.
Shortal, Dr. W.W. (2 units)
Shanklin, Mr. V.E.
Sutton, Mr. J. Nash (5 units)
Western Construction Company
Woodson Village (3 units)
8 Dines & Kraft Plans: 7 units total, some with multiple drafts per unit, one is a blueprint.

Series 3: Commercial Plans: Drafts, Blueprints, Etc.
5 oversize folders, 6 boxes, 8 tubes

1 Other Commercial - Drafts: 9 units total, some units contain multiple sheets of drafts.
Gulf Oil Corp.
Irving Construction Company (2 units)
Kadana Inn
Motel/Restaurant/Service Station for Mr. Charles Kadane
Pure Ice & cold Storage (2 units)
Unidentified Motels (2 units)
2 Other Commercial – color images and graphics: 18 items total.
Blackwell (Paul) Company
Dallas Nash
Hart Furniture Company
Bertram C. Hill, Architect (sign)
Hudson Motor Company
Kadane Motel
Marvin’s Furniture
Med-Air Corp.
Mount Tabor Baptist Church
Nash Motor Company
Office/Athletic Club (proposed – Tyler, TX)
Philco (2)
Stanley Parkways (3)
Sterling Drug, Inc.
Winthrop-Sterns Chemical
Woodson Village Apartments
3 Morton Foods
4 Pure Ice & Cold Storage Company
5 Pure Ice & Cold Storage Company
1 Commercial Projects (rolled documents): A - F
American Woodmen Center (2)
Arcadia Park School (Dallas Board of Education)
Baird’s Bread Company, Mrs.
Blackwell Company, Paul (3)
Builders Lumber and Loan Company
Church (unidentified)
Dallas Terminal Warehouse Company
Edgefield Church of Christ (3)
Ewing Butane Gas Company
Floyd-Merritt Area, Hunt County, TX
Frozen Locker Building
2 Commercial Projects (rolled documents): G – M
Gaston Apartments
General Electric Company (2)
Hart Furniture Company (2)
Hill Electronics, Variety Amusements (3)
Hudson Sales Corp. (Lynch/ Insurance Building Corp.)
Hydropathy Building (proposed)
Magnolia Petroleum
Mall (proposed) – Waxahachie (drawn on reverse side of Pure Ice draft)
Marvin’s furniture
Marvin A. Smith Company
Meadow Hill Baptist Church
Mount Tabor Baptist Church
3 Commercial Projects (rolled documents): N – Z
Nash, Dallas
Nash Kelvinator
North Dallas Municipal
Penney, JC, for H.C. Cook (2)
Scofield Memorial Church
Southern State Foods, Inc. (C.R. Jones)
Southwestern Company, Inc.
Stanley Home Productions, Inc.
Stanley Parkways
St. John’s Baptist Church
Trinidad Board of Education (school building)
Vinnedge Company (3)
Winthrop-Sterns Chemical Company (Insurance Building Corp.)
4, 5, 6 Morton Foods (rolled documents)
Tubes: Commercial Projects (rolled documents in long boxes, several boxes per client)
Tubes 1, A – F: Pure Ice & Cold Storage Company
Tubes 2, A and B: Central Texas Baptist Sanitarium