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TABLE OF CONTENTS


Overview of the Collection

Biographical Note

Scope and Contents

Arrangement

Restrictions

Index Terms

Related Material

Administrative Information

Description of Series

Personal & Professional Materials, 1937-1966

Property, 1928-1993

Austin History Center

Robert Leon and Viola White Papers

An Inventory of the Collection



Overview of the Collection

Creator: White, Robert Leon, 1898-1964
Creator: White, Viola Belle Baker, 1893-1993
Title: Robert Leon and Viola White Papers
Inclusive Dates: 1928-1993
Bulk Dates: 1936-1960
Abstract: Viola and Robert Leon White were long time Austin, Texas residents, both of whom attended the University of Texas during the 1910s. Robert Leon White worked for the University of Texas as a professor, Supervising Architect and Architect & Architectural Advisor from 1923 to his death in 1964. The collection, dated from 1923 to 1993, contains a limited amount of biographical information and legal, financial and architectural materials related to the purchase of their home at 1503 Lorrain Street, Austin, Texas.
Identification: AR.2014.050
Quantity: .4 linear feet (1 box)
Language: The records are in English.
Repository: Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, 810 Guadalupe, PO BOX 2287, Austin, TX 78768

Biographical Note

Viola Baker White was born in Weatherford, Texas on November 25, 1893 to Oscar Baker and Frances Elizabeth McKee Baker. Viola attended the University of Texas on a Brackenridge scholarship for women specializing in architecture. She graduated with a B.A. in 1918 after transferring from the Architectural Department in her junior year. After graduation Viola worked as the secretary to the State Librarian, secretary to the University of Texas Librarian and cataloguer in the University Library.

Robert Leon White, son of E. M. and Annie Josephine White, was born on August 27, 1898, near Cooper, Texas. After graduating from Cooper High School in 1916, Robert taught at Duncan High School and Cement City High School before serving in the United States Army during World War I. After concluding his service in the Army he entered college at the University of Texas in 1918, graduating with a bachelor's degree in architecture in 1921. Robert then taught architectural drawing at a high school in San Antonio, as well as serving as a draftsman for Ralph Cameron, Architect and Phelps & Dewees, Architects. The couple married on July 3, 1922 and had two children, Elaine Frances White Heard and Robert Leon White, Jr.

Robert Leon White was hired as an instructor at The University of Texas at Austin in the summer of 1923 and would progress from adjunct professor to full professor and Superintendent of Construction to Supervising Architect and then Architect & Architectural Advisor in his long career with the University which ended with his death in 1964. In 1930 he received his Master of Science in Architecture from the University of Texas. For the University of Texas he is most well known for designing the Texas Union (student union) building and Hogg Auditorium and serving as the Associate Architect for the Main Building, the Tower along with other buildings that Paul Phillipe Cret designed for the campus in the 1930s and 1940s. In addition to his work at the University among his architectural accomplishment were the designs for the Central Christian Church of Austin; the Power Plant, Outpatient Clinic Building, and the Crippled Children's' Hospital at the John Sealy Hospital in Galveston; the Masonic Grand Lodge Temple in Waco and the University Christian Church in Austin (Associate Architect). Between February of 1934 and September of 1937 White took a leave of absence from the University to engage in the private practice of architecture.

The couple purchased the property at 1503 Lorrain Street (originally the address was 1303 Lorrain - part of lots 13 & 14, Outlots 6-8, Division Z, Enfield A) in 1936. The family sold the property in 2003.

Robert Leon White died on July 28, 1964 and Viola died at age 100 on November 27, 1993.

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Scope and Contents

The Personal & Professional Materials series (1937-1966) contains a small amount of biographical materials concerning Viola White; two personal letters from family friends; materials documenting Leon White's career including a complete list of completed architectural work and a copy of letter from Peter Mansbendel complementing him on the interior of the University Christian Church; and family photographs (a few black and white photographs and photocopies of photographs).

The majority of the Property series (1928-1993) is comprised of materials documenting the White home at 1503 Lorrain (originally the address was 1303 Lorrain - part of lots 13 & 14, Outlots 6-8, Division Z, Enfield A) that was purchased in 1936. Included are a property brief written the year they bought the house; Abstracts of Title for Outlots 6, 7, 8, Division Z, Enfield A; deeds, contracts, liens concerning the purchase of the house and the issues clearing the title to facilitate the purchase; tax and mortgage information; plans, correspondence, invoices and product catalogs documenting several remodeling projects including the changes made when the house was first purchased; and correspondence with the City of Austin concerning paving Lorrain Street. Also included are a few tax receipts for property owned by the Whites with the legal description Lot B, Block 6, Division D, Grooms Addition. The 1948 tax receipt has a note indicating that the property was sold that same year.

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Arrangement

Arranged into two series:
Personal & Professional Materials
Property

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Restrictions

Restrictions on Access

Open to all users.

Restrictions on Use

The Austin History Center (AHC) is the owner of the physical materials in the AHC collections and makes available reproductions for research, publication, and other uses. Written permission must be obtained from the AHC before any publication use. The AHC does not necessarily hold copyright to all of the materials in the collections. In some cases, permission for use may require seeking additional authorization from the copyright owners. Consult repository for more details.

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Index Terms

This record series is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.
Persons:
White, Robert Leon.
White, Viola Baker.
Organizations:
The University of Texas at Austin.
Places:
Austin (Tex.)
1503 Lorrain Street.
Subjects:
Architecture--Texas--Austin.
Real property--Texas--Austin.

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Related Material

Austin Files


  • AF House/Building Lorrain Street, 1503
  • AF Biography Robert Leon White

Other Institutions


  • Alexander Architectural Archives, University of Texas - Robert Leon White (1898-1964) Drawings
  • Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas - Mrs. Robert Leon White Papers

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Administrative Information

Custodial History

The collection was donated to the Alexander Architectural Archives, University of Texas Libraries by the current owner of 1503 Lorrain Street, Austin, Texas in 2014. Transferred to the Austin History Center in October 2014.

Preferred Citation

Robert Leon and Viola White Papers (AR.2014.050), Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, Texas.

Acquisition Information

Donor #: DO/2014/049

Donation Date: 2014

Processing Information

Finding aid created and encoded by Molly Hults in 2014.

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Detailed Description of the Collection

Personal & Professional Materials, 1937-1966

Box Folder
1 1 Biographical materials, undated
2 Personal correspondence, 1953-1966
3 Professional, 1937, undated
4 Photographs, 1937-1949, undated

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Property, 1928-1993

Box Folder
1 5 Property information, circa 1936-1975
6 Abstracts of Title, 1928-1936
7 Deeds and contracts, 1928-1936
8 Liens, 1936-1939
9 Mortgage and tax documents, 1928-1968
10 Remodeling upon purchase, 1936-1937
11 Additional remodeling and repairs, 1946-1993, undated
12 Architectural drawings, 1951-1961
13 City of Austin, 1959-1987, undated

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