Austin History Center

Roy L. Thomas Photographs and Drawings

An Inventory of the Collection

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Thomas, Roy L.
Title: Roy L. Thomas Photographs and Drawings
Inclusive Dates: 1915-circa 1950s
Abstract: This small collection of Austin-based architect Roy L. Thomas consists of photographs of houses and three sets of drawings of residential projects.
Identification: AR.2009.036
Quantity: .4 linear feet (1 box) and approximately 25 drawings.
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

Born in San Marcos, Roy Leonidas Thomas attended both Southwestern University in Georgetown and the school of engineering at the University of Texas. He left school in 1908 to work in the construction field. In 1909 Thomas took a job as a draftsman with Endress and Walsh, Austin, and worked on the firm's behalf in San Benito. During this time he invented a ratchet pipe cutter for which he obtained a patent.

In 1911, Thomas began his own practice in Austin, specializing in the construction of residences. During World War I, he served as an architectural draftsman. After military service, he returned to Austin and permanently established his office at his home at 2812 Hemphill Park.

In the late 1930s, however, the focus of his practice shifted away from houses and toward churches, schools, and offices. During the 1930s and 1940s he worked as fee architect for the Federal Housing Administration. He also served in World War II as a construction supervisor of a magnesium plant for the International Mineral and Chemical Corporation.

After the war, he and his son, William, opened a partnership in Austin. Thomas died in 1968.

Some of Thomas' more memorable designs are the Bohn House (1938) and the Texas Hotel (now the Stephen F. Austin Hotel) (1924).

Scope and Contents

This Photographs series (circa 1940s-1950s) consists of images of homes that are unidentified. Images which portrayed structures in Austin or Travis County were separated to the Photographs Collection of the AHC. See Separated Materials for more information.

Researchers may find that some prints do have identifying information written on the back. If any researcher has any pertinent information, they should contact the Architectural Archives Curator to add to the collection.

The Drawings series contains the plans for three Austin residences built between 1915 and 1938. The most well known of the residence's is the Bohn House (1938) which was designed in the Moderne Style (Art Deco). Also included are the residence of Judge Cureton (1928), who was the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Texas and the Reed residence (1915).


Arranged into 2 series:
I. Photographs
II. 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.
Thomas, Roy L.
Austin (Tex.)
Historic buildings--Texas--Austin.

Related Material

Roy L. Thomas (1886-1968) Archival Records, Drawings, Photographs at the Alexander Architectural Archive, University of Texas Libraries, The University of Texas at Austin

Separated Material

The following items were removed from the collection:

48 black and white photos were moved to PICA 26353-26417, and PICH 07307-07326

1 black and white photo was moved to PICH 03998

1 black and white photo was moved to PICA 28661

1 black and white photo of 401 W. 32nd St. moved to AF HB-PICH 09978

Administrative Information

Custodial History

Collection was donated to the Austin History Center by Robert B. Pringle on February 25,1982.

Preferred Citation

Roy L. Thomas Records (AR.2009.036). Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, Texas.

Acquisition Information

Donor #: DO/1982/019

Donation Date: 1982 February 25

Processing Information

Initial Inventory and Preliminary Processing By/Date: Tim Wilder/October 1991

Updated by Kathryn Garvey/2012

Detailed Description of the Collection

I. Photographs

Box Folder
1 1-5 Unidentified, ca. 1940s-1950s

II. Drawings, 1928-1938

View an index of the architectural drawings here.