Blake Alexander
Photographs (large download)
DRURY BLAKELEY ALEXANDER, architectural educator, was born in Paris, Texas, on February 4, 1924, to Drury Blakeley and Katherine (Stone) Alexander. After serving in the U.S. Army (1943-46) Alexander obtained a Bachelor of Architecture Degree (1950) and a Bachelor of Science in Art Degree (1951) from the University of Texas at Austin. He earned a Master of Arts Degree from Columbia University, New York, in 1953.

Alexander began his teaching career as an Instructor at Kansas State University, Manhattan (1953-55) and returned to the University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture as an Assistant Professor (1955-60). In 1958 he was the recipient of both the Heritage Society of Austin Award for Service in the Cause of Historic Preservation, and the University of Texas Students' Association Teaching Excellence Award. As a Registered Architect (State of Kansas #664) Alexander directed the 1964 summer survey program in Historic Architecture of the Schuylkill Valley. This program, jointly sponsored by the University of Pennsylvania and the Historic American Buildings Survey at the National Parks Department, served as the basis of the measured drawings classes that he subsequently developed at the University of Texas at Austin.

As Associate Professor (1960-67) Alexander maintained a busy schedule serving as Faculty Advisor for the University of Texas Chapter of the Honorary Architecture Society, Tau Sigma Delta, a post he continued through 1970. In 1964, Alexander assumed the position of Director of the Texas Architectural Survey--the first historic architecture survey undertaken in Texas, jointly sponsored by The Amon Carter Museum of Western Art and the School of Architecture of The University of Texas. The survey prompted the establishment of the Texas Historical Survey Committee.

In 1967 Alexander was promoted to Professor of Architecture. From 1975-77 he served as Vice President of the University of Texas Chapter of the Texas Association of College Teachers, and he devoted his expertise to several boards of directors, including the Victorian Society of America (1969-74), the Society of Architectural Historians (1979-82), and the Heritage Society of Austin's Preservation Awards Committee (1973-78). His community service included participation in Austin's Historic Landmark Commission and serving as Texas Chairman for the Historic Landmark Committee (1975-85). He also worked with the Dallas Historic Landmarks Survey at the Department of Urban Planning (1971-74), and as a consultant in historic architecture for the Fort Worth Junior League. He also served on the National Register Board of Review Committee for nominations from Texas. Alexander received numerous awards and honors during this time including the Austin City Council Distinguished Service Award (1976), and the Service Award for Historic Preservation at the Heritage Society of Austin (1976). His teaching honors include the Margaret McDermott Centennial Teaching Fellow in Architecture (1983-84) and The Eugene McDermott Lectureship in Architecture, The University of Texas at Austin (1983-85).

From 1984-86 Alexander served as the Meadows Foundation Centennial Professor in Architecture and in 1994 became Professor Emeritus. Recent awards include the Texas Historical Commission's Texas Award for Historic Preservation (1986), the National Preservation Honor Award at the National Trust for Historic Preservation (1991), The Texas Society of Architects Excellence in Architectural Education Award (1994), and the Distinguished Professor Award (1995) of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture.

Throughout his career at the University of Texas, Alexander participated in numerous University Committees including the Faculty Senate (two terms), the Faculty Building Committee (six years, Chairman for two), the Committee on Committees, the Faculty Committee for a More Vital Faculty Council, the School of Architecture Budget Council, and as Chairman of both the Winedale Council and the Winedale Stagecoach Inn Advisory Council. Today, Blake continues to serve the city through the Historic Landmarks Commission and the University as a champion of the preservation of the University's historic buildings, resident historian, and special friend to the Architecture and Planning Library.


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