Arthur Fehr Papers and Drawings
An Inventory to the Collection
Arthur Fehr was born in Austin, Texas in 1904. He graduated from the University of Texas with a Bachelor of Science in Architecture in 1925. He went on to perform graduate work at Columbia University, Beaux Arts Institute of Design and New York University. After some international travel and working for Kenneth Murchison in New York City and Harvey P. Smith in San Antonio, Texas Fehr went to work for the National Park Service at the Bastrop (Texas) State Park in 1934. In 1937 he received his first commission, the First English Lutheran Church, and opened his own office as an independent architect. A year later he hired Charles Granger, Jr., whom he had met while working for the National Park Service, as an associate. During World War II the practice was closed and Fehr worked as an architectural engineer with the War Department. In 1946 Fehr and Granger reopened the practice as partners and the firm experienced steady growth during the 1950s and 1960s with Fehr concentrating on the administrative side of the business and Granger in charge of the drafting room. The firm, known for their "progressive" or modern design style that paid attention to the local environment, received state and national recognition for their designs including the Progressive Architecture magazine Design Merit Award for the Cleveland Clinic (Austin; 1947); Texas Architecture magazine, State Fair of Texas, Award of Merit for the Sneed residence (Austin; 1953); Texas Architecture magazine, State Fair of Texas, Award of Merit for the O. Henry Junior High School (Austin; 1954); Texas Architecture magazine, State Fair of Texas, Award of Merit for the Clifton Hall, Texas Lutheran College (Seguin; 1953); and the Progressive Architecture magazine Design Award for the Robert Mueller Municipal Airport terminal building (Austin; 1959). Charles Granger died in an automobile accident in 1966 and Fehr continued to head the firm until his death from complications from pneumonia in 1969.
Fehr married Mary Jane Grant in 1939. The couple had three sons, Kilian, Grant and John. Fehr was active in the community, including work with St. David's Episcopal Church, Austin Symphony Orchestra Society, United Fund campaigns, Texas Society of Architects and the Austin chapter of the American Institute of Architects.
The Arthur Fehr Papers and Drawings collection is divided into four series: Personal Papers, Professional Papers, Fehr & Granger Office Files and Project Files. The Personal Papers series (1922-1924, 1963-1968, 1985-1997, undated) includes biographical materials, recognition for his civic involvement, student work, writings and notes. Contained in the Professional Papers series (1929-1969, undated) are awards, correspondence, examples of his early work, his daybooks completed as architect for Bastrop State Park, materials related to his involvement in professional organizations and writings. The Fehr & Granger Office Files series (1955-1989) includes biographical information about members of the firm, policies and procedures documentation, cards and invitations, legal documents relating to Texas Delta Upsilon Foundation v. Fehr & Granger, and project marketing and publicity materials. Lastly, the Project Files series (1931-1941, 1956, 1967, undated) consists of approximately 618 drawings (81 sets), the majority of which were completed before the establishment of Fehr & Granger. Most of the drawings were completed by Arthur Fehr, but there are ten sets drawn by Charles Granger while an associate in Fehr's office pre-World War II. More than three-quarters of the drawings are designs for residential projects in central Texas. Also included are a few commercial, educational and ecclesiastical projects, including his first solo commission, the First English Lutheran Church. The photographic materials documenting Fehr's Austin projects were added to the Photographic Collection in 1991, see the Separated Materials section for locations. Photographs of unidentified or non-Austin buildings remain with the collection.
Restrictions on Access
Open to all users.
Restrictions on Use
Donated by the wife of the creator.
Arthur Fehr Records and Drawings (AR.2013.011). Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, Texas.
Donor #: DO/1961/010
Donation Date: 1991
Drawings processed by Ida Scott in 1991-1992. Finding aid created and encoded by Molly Hults in 2013.
Detailed Description of the Collection