Brooks, Barr, Graeber and White Drawings
An Inventory of the Collection
Brooks, Barr, Graeber and White, one of Austin's largest architectural firms, grew out of an earlier firm, Giesecke, Kuehne & Brooks, founded in 1942. Although R. Max Brooks joined the United States Navy during World War II the partnership between he, Hugo F. Kuehne and Bertram E. Giesecke continued. Howard R. Barr, whom also served in the Navy, joined the firm as an associate upon returning from World War II. In 1950, after Giesecke's death, the firm reorganized as Kuehne, Brooks & Barr until 1960 when Kuehne retired and the firm name became Brooks and Barr. In 1965 associates David C. Graeber and J. Roy White were made partners and the name was updated again to Brooks, Barr, Graeber and White. In 1972 the firm merged with the professional environmental design firm Diversified Design Disciplines, Inc (3D/International) and maintained an Austin office for six years. Brooks and White retired soon after the merger; Barr retired from 3D/I in 1978 and opened a private office for Architectural Consulting and Counseling; Graeber resigned in 1978 and with Al Simmons and Tommy Cowan formed Graeber, Simmons and Cowan.
Brooks, Barr, Graeber and White were well known for their public and educational architectural design work. As architectural consultant to the University of Texas they designed many building on the Austin campus, including the J.T. Patterson Laboratories Building (1965), Robert Lee Moore Hall (1968), Calhoun Hall (1968) Jester Center Dormitory Complex (1970), Earnest Cockrell Jr. Hall (1971) and perhaps best known, the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library (1970) with Skidmore, Owings and Merrill. Additional educational design work included buildings for Huston-Tillotson College (now Huston–Tillotson University) and the Austin Independent School District. Public design work included work for the City of Austin, the State of Texas and the Federal Government, including the Pan American Recreation Center (now Oswaldo A.B. Cantu/Pan Am Neighborhood Park)(1955), the Sam Houston State Office Building (in association with other firms), buildings for the Texas Highway Department (now Texas Department of Transportation) (1955), U.S. Post Office and Federal Building (now the J..J. 'Jake' Pickle Federal Building) in association with Page Southerland Page, the United States Embassy in Mexico City and the original complex of buildings for the Manned Space Center (now the Lyndon Baines Johnson Space Center) (1963). In addition to public and educational designs the firm also designed variety commercial buildings, churches, medical facilities and residences.
Source: Smith, Hank Todd. Austin, Its Architects and Architecture, 1836-1986
The Brooks, Barr, Graeber and White Drawings collection contains approximately 2175 drawings that include the 1940s work of Giesecke, Kuehne & Brooks, the 1950s drawings of Kuehne, Brooks & Barr as well as the 1960s and 1970s work of Brooks and Barr and Barr and Brooks, Barr, Graeber and White. The majority of the drawings in the collection are, however, dated from 1950s and are from the Kuehne, Brook & Barr era of the firm. Included are drawings for educational, public, and commercial buildings in Austin, Texas. Many of the 98 sets of drawings are complete sets of construction drawings that include plans, architectural, mechanical, and structural sheets, elevations, sections, and details.
Among the buildings included in this set of drawings are the following, all of which are in Austin: University of Texas Biological Science Building (now the J.T. Patterson Laboratories Building) (1965), University of Texas Thompson Conference Center (1963), Huston-Tillotson College Humanities Building and Chapel (1972), Steck Company Printing Plant (1956-1958), Central Christian Church (1956), Oak Springs Elementary School (1957). A link to a complete list of the drawings is found in the Detailed Description of the Collection.
Restrictions on Access
Open to all users.
Restrictions on Use
Drawings were donated by 3D/I.
Brooks, Barr, Graeber and White Drawings (AR.2012.033). Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, Texas.
Donor #: DO/1986/114
Donation Date: 1986
While the majority of the collection came from the 3D/I donation, two sets of drawing attributed to Brooks, Barr, Graeber and White or their predecessors were added to this collection from donors: DO/1974/065 and DO/1974/099.
Detailed Description of the Collection