Austin History Center

Philip Creer Papers

An Inventory of the Collection

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Creer, Philip, 1903-1993
Title: Philip Creer Papers
Inclusive Dates: 1941-1999
Abstract: Philip Douglas Creer served as the dean of the University of Texas School of Architecture, was a practicing architect and involved in local historic preservation efforts. His papers, dated from 1941 to 1999, document his life in Austin, Texas and his many interests.
Identification: AR.2016.017
Quantity: .4 linear feet (1 box)
Location: Architectural Archives Stacks, Architecture qAR
Language: The records are in English.
Repository: Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, 810 Guadalupe, PO BOX 2287, Austin, TX 78768

Biographical Note

Philip Douglas Creer was born on August 31, 1903, in Springfield, Pennsylvania. He graduated with a degree in architecture from the University of Pennsylvania in 1927. He was an instructor in architecture at the University of Pennsylvania and head of the Wanamaker Institute before being appointed the head of the Rhode Island School of Design's (RISD) architecture department in 1933. He was also a partner in the Providence, RI architectural firm of Creer, Kent, Cruise and Aldrich were he designed schools, public housing, overseas Army installations and commercial, industrial and institutional buildings. One of his public housing designs was selected as one of the 10 best in the United States by the Public Housing Authority. Creer left his position at RISD in 1956 to serve as the dean of The University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture. In addition he was a partner with Creer and Roessner Architects and a member of the City of Austin Historic Landmark Commission from 1974 through 1990, serving as chairman for almost a decade. Creer resigned as the dean of architecture in 1967 but remained at UT as a teacher. Creer died on October 8, 1993.

Scope and Contents

The Philip Creer Papers is a small collection of materials that document his personal and professional life from 1941 through 1999 donated by the Estate of Philip Creer. The Professional series (1941-1971) contains newspaper clippings about his work as the director of the University of Texas School of Architecture and as a practicing architect; brochures from firms of which he was a partner; perspective sketches of the Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary; professional photographs and correspondence from contractors looking for work. Also included is the manual for members of the Historic Landmark Commission as well as correspondence, meeting minutes and notes from meetings dating from the 1970s and 1980s. Creer was involved in with the effort to preserve Building "C" of Little Campus (University of Texas) that housed the first Blind Institute and was the headquarters for General George Custer in 1865-1866. While the Austin Historic Landmark Commission had no power to preserve a building on the University of Texas campus, included is the correspondence sent to University and State official to encourage the preservation of the building and newspaper clippings about the efforts. The Personal series (1964-1999) includes financial records, materials related to tax appeals and remodeling of their home at 1605 Gaston, newspaper clippings, yearbooks and other papers documenting his involvement with the University Presbyterian Church and other local organizations.


Arranged into two series:


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.

Index Terms

This record series is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.
Creer, Philip Douglas, 1903-1993.
Creer, Cleon Adair.
Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary.
The University of Texas at Austin. School of Architecture.
Austin (Tex.). Historic Landmark Commission.
Austin (Tex.)
Rhode Island.
Architecture--Conservation and restoration--Texas--Austin.
Historic preservation--Texas--Austin.
Architecture--United States.
Document Types:
Black and white photographs.
Tax records.

Separated Material

General Collection

  • Tayara, Mohamed Bourhan. A Learning House for Children in Austin, Texas. University of Texas (Thesis): June 1963
  • Sagarik, Malinee. A Community Junior College for Austin and Travis County, Texas. The University of Texas (Thesis). May 1964
  • Rucker, Ellie. Ellie Rucker's Almanac: Where to Buy a Concrete Armadillo and Other Pertinent Information. 1980.
  • Austin (Tex.). Electric Dept. Installation Rules and Standards for Electric Service. 1972
  • Electricity Code. Undated
  • Women of the Church, University Presbyterian Church yearbook, 1971-1972.
  • The Austin Club membership directories, 1987
  • Trinity Testing Laboratories, Inc. Foundation Investigation: Administration and Classroom Buildings , Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, Austin, Texas. 1960.

Archives and Manuscripts

  • AR.1991.026 Women's Symphony League of Austin - yearbooks added to this collection
  • AR.2000.008 Austin Woman's Club - yearbooks added to this collection


  • Take Note. Women's Symphony League. 1992
  • Headliners. 1993
  • Texas Architect. 1960
  • The Gaston-Jarratt Gazette. 1993

Deaccessioned - copies already in the General Collection at the Austin History Center

  • University Ladies Club yearbooks 1961-62, 1985-1986, 1986, 1987, 1988-1989
  • Women's Architectural League yearbook 1967-1968
  • The Driskill Hotel Corporation Prospectus. 1971
  • Austin Historic Preservation Plan
  • University of Texas. The Inauguration of Logan Wilson as President of the University of Texas: Thursday Morning, October 29, 1953, Ten o'clock, Main Building Terrace

Administrative Information

Custodial History

Donated by the Estate of Philip D. Creer.

Preferred Citation

Philip D. Creer Papers (AR.2016.017). Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, Texas.

Acquisition Information

Donor #: DO/2001/142

Donation Date: 2001

Processing Information

Finding aid created and encoded by Molly Hults in 2016.

Detailed Description of the Collection

Professional, 1941-1971

Box Folder
1 1 Clippings, 1958-1967, undated
2 Clippings from Dodge Construction News, 1962
3 Contractors, 1970-1971, undated
4 Examples of work, 1941-1962, undated
Location FlatFile
Architectural Archives qAR 01/03 Perspective sketches of Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, undated
Box Folder
1 5 Photographs, undated
6 Historic Landmark Commission manual, 1978
7 Historic Landmark Commission - assorted minutes, notes and correspondence, 1985-1988
8 Historic Landmark Commission -- "Little Campus", 1974-1979

Personal, 1964-1999

Box Folder
1 9 Financial records, 1964
10 Notes, undated
11 Newspaper clippings, undated
12 Tax appeal 1605 Gaston, 1984-1999
13 University Presbyterian Church sanctuary improvements, 1979-1988, undated
14 Yearbooks, 1965, 1986-1987