Texas Archival Resources Online

TABLE OF CONTENTS


Descriptive Summary

Biographical Note

Scope and Contents

Arrangement

Restrictions

Index Terms

Related Material

Administrative Information

Description of Series

Series I. Biographical, 1903-1953.

Series II. Architectural Career, 1910-1952.

Series III. Academic Career, 1914-1949.

Woodson Research Center, Rice University

Guide to the William Ward Watkin Papers, 1903-1956



Descriptive Summary

Creator: Watkin, William Ward
Title William Ward Watkin papers
Dates: 1903-1956, Bulk Dates 1912-1930
Abstract: The papers detail the academic and architectural career of William Ward Watkin. Included in the collection are personal information, business correspondence, construction photographs and architectural drawings of the early Rice Institute, and drawings of projects from his private architectural career.
ID MS 352
Extent 4 linear feet (9 boxes)
Language Materials are in English.
Repository: Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University

Biographical Note

William Ward Watkin was born in Boston, Massachusetts, on January 21, 1886. His parents were Fred W. Watkin and Mary Hancock Watkin. Watkin grew up in Pennsylvania, the home state of his mother's family. He graduated from Danville High School in 1903 and entered the University of Pennsylvania, pursuing the study of architecture under Paul Phillipe Cret. Following his graduation in 1908, Watkin spent one year traveling in Europe, principally in England.

Upon his return from Europe, Watkin joined the Boston office of Cram, Goodhue and Ferguson, then one of the most prominent architectural firms in the United States. At the time of Watkin's employment, 1909, Cram, Goodhue and Ferguson had received the commission to produce a campus plan and to design the initial buildings of the Rice Institute in Houston, Texas. Watkin worked on the development of both the campus plan and the building plan in the office; when construction was to begin, in the summer of 1910, Watkin was sent to Houston to serve as Cram, Goodhue and Ferguson's representative supervisor. In this capacity Watkin not only oversaw the construction of the initial Institute group--the Administration Building, the Mechanical laboratory and Powerhouse, and the North and South residence halls - but most of the Institute's subsequent development: the Physics laboratory (1913-1915), east Hall (1913-1914), West Hall (1915-1916), three proposed President's houses (1913, 1915, 1923-1924), the Field House (1920), the Chemistry Laboratory (1923-1925), a proposed Alumni Hall (1927), two proposed libraries (1927, 1940-1941), and the Founder's Statue (1927-1930). Watkin himself was to design the Faculty Club - Cohen House (1927), Rice Stadium (1938), and the Naval ROTC building (1941). He also served as consulting architect to Staub and Rather in the design and construction of the Fondren Library (1946-1949), M.D. Anderson Hall (1946-1947), and the Abercrombie Laboratory (1947-1948).

As supervising architect, Watkin worked closely with Dr. Edgar Odell Lovett, president of the Rice Institute. Lovett offered Watkin a faculty appointment and the Institute opened in the fall of 1912 with Watkin as instructor in architectural engineering. In the summer of 1916 he was made an assistant professor and in 1922 he became a full professor. In 1914 the architecture faculty expanded to two, and to three in 1915. Rice awarded the first professional degrees in architecture in 1917. Watkin's efforts to provide his students with a thorough course in architectural studies led him to organize a traveling fellowship in 1928. Watkin's academic duties were not restricted to the Architecture department. He was also Curator of Grounds, Chairman of the Faculty Committee on Buildings and Grounds, and Chairman of the Faculty Committee on Outdoor Sports, a position which resulted in his serving a term as president of the Southwest Conference in 1920. At the time of his sabbatical in the 1928-1929 academic year, Watkin resigned the athletic committee post. He remained, however, head of Buildings and Grounds, as his resignation of this post was not accepted by Dr. Lovett. During World War II, Watkin chaired the Committee on Air Raid protection and Civilian defense.

As early as 1912 Watkin was accepting independent architectural commissions. Between 1913 and 1915 he entered into partnership with George Endress of Austin, practicing under the name Endress and Watkin. This firm was dissolved at the end of 1919 and Watkin thereafter practiced under his own name. Also in 1919 Watkin ceased his affiliation with Cram, Goodhue and Ferguson, though he continued to operate, on a commission basis, as supervisor for their Texas projects. In addition to practicing architecture, Watkin consulted on projects, and in 1933 he was appointed to the Board of Architectural Consultants, an advisory group connected with the design of the Federal Triangle in Washington, D.C.

During the teens and twenties, Watkin wrote articles for journals, primarily dealing with Houston, its growth and development, and the implications these held for the city's architecture. Watkin contributed descriptive pieces on the Rice Institute to Progressive Houston and the Southern Architectural Review, Houston's short-lived architectural magazine. Not until the late twenties did he become more involved in research and writing. In 1930 the Rice Institute Pamphlet published a series of lectures Watkin had given on the new architecture in Europe; Pencil Points reprinted these in 1931. Watkin wrote two additional essays for Pencil Points, one published in 1931 on new directions in ecclesiastical architecture, and another in 1932. This former essay was something of a prolegomena to Watkin's first book, "The Church of Tomorrow" published in 1936. In 1951 Watkin's second book, "Planning and Building the Modern Church", was published. At the time of his death he was planning to write a book on architecture in Texas.

Watkin had numerous academic and professional associations. He was a member of the Houston Philosophical Society, the Texas Philosophical Society and the Houston Country Club. Watkin was a charter member of the Rice Institute Faculty Club. He had become a member of the American Institute of Architects in 1913, and was elected to the College of Fellows in 1949. Watkin was a communicant of Trinity Church.

William Ward Watkin died on June 24, 1952 from complications following surgery for a broken kneecap. He was survived by his wife, Josephine Cockrell Watkin, whom he had married in 1933. Watkin had previously been married to Annie Ray Townsend Watkin, who died in 1929. Their three children were Annie Ray Watkin Biehl Hoagland, Rosemary Watkin Barrick, and William Ward Watkin, Jr.

Excerpted from Stephen Fox's 1976 unpublished "Guide to the Papers of William Ward Watkin in the Woodson Research Center of the Rice University".

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Scope and Contents

The William Ward Watkin Papers, totaling nine document boxes, detail the academic and architectural career of Watkin. The papers include correspondence, newspaper clippings, photographs and architectural drawings gathered by Annie Ray Watkin from her father's papers. The collection is arranged in three series.

The Biographical series concentrates on Watkin's personal life. It includes materials from his school days, family correspondence, speeches, lectures and writings. The speeches and writings are architectural in subject.

The series Architectural Career covers both Watkin's time at Rice and his private practice. Watkin first came to Rice in 1910, as an employee of the architecture firm Cram, Goodhue and Ferguson. He oversaw the construction of the Administration Building, the Mechanical Laboratory and Power Plant, and a Residential Group, the first buildings on the campus. Then, Watkin went on to design and supervise the building of other structures on campus. Most of the materials in the sub-series, Rice Institute, are photographic but there are some textual materials. The sub-series Private Practice incorporates many projects Watkin undertook outside of his career at Rice. These papers include correspondence with clients and drawings of projects.

The final series Academic Career touches upon the various roles Watkin played at Rice, other than as architect. Most prominent are records from his time with the Architecture department.

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Arrangement

The William Ward Watkin Papers, 1903-1953 are arranged in three series:
Series I: Biographical, 1903-1953
Series II: Architectural Career, 1910-1952
Series III: Academic Career, 1914-1949

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Restrictions

Access Restrictions

This material is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Permission to publish from Watkin papers must be obtained from the Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University.

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Index Terms

Subjects (Persons)
Watkin, William Ward.
Cram, Ralph.
Lovett, Edgar Odell.
Subjects (Organizations)
Rice University.
Rice University--Buildings.
Rice University--Faculty.
Cram, Goodhue, and Ferguson.
Subjects
Architects--Texas.
Universities and colleges--Texas.
College buildings--Texas--Houston.
Places
Houston (Tex.)--Buildings, structures, etc.

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Related Material

Edgar Odell Lovett Presidential Papers for additional correspondence and information on the building of Rice and Rice Academics.

University Archives - Architectural Files for drawings and blueprints of Rice buildings.

MS 465, the Ray Watkin Hoagland Papers for additional information about William Ward Watkin.

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

William Ward Watkin - Papers, 1903-1956, MS 352, Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University

Acquisition Information

The papers were gifted by Ray Watkin Strange and the Watkin family from the early 1970s through the early 2000s.

Note to Researchers

Much of the correspondence is photocopied. The originals are in the possession of the Watkin heirs.

Alternate (Digital) Form Available

A representative sampling of the photographs, correspondence, publications and more from the Watkin collection is available in searchable digital format online at Fondren Digital Collections: http://www.rice.edu/fondren/hyperion/.

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Detailed Description of the Collection

 

Series I. Biographical, 1903-1953.
10 linear inches.

Arranged in seven sub-series - Personal, Family, Correspondence, Financial Information, Memberships, Speaking Engagements, Writings. This series includes a variety of personal information about Watkin from college days to family vacations. The Writings sub-series includes articles, lectures, and reviews of Watkin's books.
Subseries A: Personal
box folder
1 1 High School Award, Business Card
2 Sketchbook - "History of Renaissance Architecture, 1908"
3 William Ward Watkin Photographs, 1909, n.d.
4 Anniversary of Cram and Ferguson, Boston, c.1909
5 Resume, 1910
6 Sketches of William Ward Watkin, n.d.
7 Certificates and Awards, 1937, 1938, 1949
8 Clippings about William Ward Watkin and Rice Institute, 1916, 1923, 1933, 1936, 1938, n.d.
9 William Ward Watkin and Second Wife Josephine - Photographs, 1933, 1942
10 Christmas Cards Designed by William Ward Watkin, n.d.
11 William Ward Watkin's death, 1952-1953
Subseries B: Family
box folder
1 12 Annie Ray Watkin (William Ward Watkin's First Wife), 1921
13 Annie Ray Watkin's Death, March 1929
14 Birth of Daughter Annie Ray, 1915
15 William Ward Watkin, Jr. and Wife, 1942, 1949
16 Family Trip to Europe, 1925
17 Family Trips, 1915, 1916, 1921, 1926
18 European Trips, 1920's - 1930's Photographs of Architectural Features 1908,
European Trips, 1925-1928
Postcards
box folder
1 19 Aqueduct
20 Bridges and Archways
21 Castles
22 Church Doorways
23 Church - Exteriors
24 Church - Interiors
25 Colleges (Oxford)
26 Columns
27 Fountains
28 Hotels
29 Monuments
30 Mosaics
31 Public Buildings
32 Railway Station
33 Restaurants
34 Stadium
35 Stairways
36 Streets and Villages
37 Towers
Subseries C: Correspondence
John Angel
box folder
1 38 1935-1936, 1950
Christmas Cards
box folder
1 39 1933-1937, 1939, 1941-1943
40 1944-1959
41 Ralph A. Cram, 1921, 1925, 1935, 1938, 1942
42 Fellow Architects, 1912-1913, 1915, 1933, 1943, 1949, 1951-1952
box folder
2 1 Clubs - University Club and Houston Country Club, 1918, 1920
2 Mary M. Watkin
3 General, 1910, 1912, 1916, 1918, 1920, 1925, 1936, 1938, 1939
4 Regarding The Church of Tomorrow, 1933-1934, 1936-1938, 1949
5 Regarding Planning and Building the Modern Church, 1951-1952, 1955
Subseries D: Financial Information
box folder
2 6 Donation to Trinity Church
7 Lassig Limestone Quarry Corporation
8 Miscellaneous, 1925-1926
9 Royalties on Planning and Building the Modern Church, 1954-1956
Subseries E: Memberships
box folder
2 10 American Institute of Architects, 1910, 1912-1913, 1920, 1936, 1948-1949
11 Philosophical Society of Texas, 1941, n.d.
Subseries F: Speaking Engagements
box folder
2 12 1913-1916, 1918, 1930, n.d.
Subseries G: Writings
Articles
box folder
2 13 "A Bit of Rice Institute Contemporary History Prepared for the Annual Industrial Edition of the Houston Post", 1921
14 "Architectural Traditions Appearing in the Earlier Buildings of the Rice Institute", July, 1953
15 "Architecture In Texas", 1925
16 "Are We Making Progress in Our Church Architecture?", 1931
17 "Art at Christmastide," n.d.
18 "Art, Culture, and the Community," 1934
19 "The Centennial of an Independent Frontier," 1935
20 "The College Buildings," December, 1944
21 "For the Future, Fitness and Harmony," 1932
22 "Impressions of Modern Architecture" parts 1,2,3, 1931
23 "In Memoriam - Ralph Adams Cram," 1942
24 "Make No Little Plans," n.d.
25 "The Maturing Beauty of the National Capital," 1935
26 "The Middle Ages: The Approach to the Truce Of God," 1942
27 "Modern Architecture," 1928
28 "Notes on Houston," 1927
29 "Plans for the Rice Institute," 1912?
30 "The Search for a Direct Manner of Expression in Design,""The New Manner in France and Northern Europe,""The Advent of the New Manner in America," 1930
31 Article for Southern Architectural Review, 1910
32 "Texas Technological College, Lubbock, Texas," 1928-1929
33 Twenty-fifth Anniversary, 1937
34 "Whence Comes this Modernism?," 1932
Editorials
box folder
2 35 "Houston in Retrospect," 1927
Lectures
box folder
2 36 "Architectural Traditions Appearing in the Earlier Buildings of the Rice Institute," c. 1950
37 Notes on Building Appraisal, c.1918?
38 "Ralph Adams Cram." c.1941?
Radio
box folder
2 39 "Architecture," November 14, 1931
Reviews of Books
box folder
2 40 The Church of Tomorrow, 1936-1937
41 Planning and Building the Modern Church, 1951

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Series II. Architectural Career, 1910-1952.
24 linear inches.

Arranged in two sub-series - Rice Institute and Private Practice. This series includes correspondence and drawings (some oversized) about many architectural projects Watkin supervised and designed.
Subseries A: Rice Institute
Buildings
box folder
2 42 Campanile, Mechanical Laboratory and Power House, 1930
43 Chemistry Laboratory, 1923-19
44 Cohen House
45 Engineering Quadrangle
46 Field House and Grandstands, 1920-19
47 Fondren Library and Anderson Hall, 1945, 1947
48 Physics Laboratory, 1914, 1923
box folder
3 1 President's House, 1912, 1915, 1923
2 Residential Group
3 William Marsh Rice Statue
4 Stadium, 1938-19
5 Rice Institute Brochures, 1912-19, 1914-19, 1940, n.d.
6 Articles re: Construction
Financial
Accounting Pages
box folder
3 7 1912-19
8 1913-19
9 Construction Estimates
10 Equipment Inspections, 1931
Reports and General Correspondence
box folder
3 11 Construction, 1910-19
12 Edgar O. Lovett, 1921, 1941
13 Construction Reports
Photographs, Pre-construction
box folder
3 14 Flood, April 16, 1912
Photographs, Construction
box folder
3 15 Campus, February 10, 1913
16 Drains and Sewers, 1912
box folder
4 1 Tunnel Views
2 Tunnels, 1911-1912
Administration Building
Numbered Construction Photographs
box folder
4 3 I/1 - 45
4 I/46 - 92
5 II/4 - 70
6 Unnumbered Construction Photographs, n.d.
7 Setting Cornerstones
General Campus
box folder
4 8 Numbered Construction Views
Mechanical Lab/Power Plant/Campanile
Numbered Construction Photographs
box folder
4 9 I/12 - 100
10 II/1-63
box folder
5 1 Unnumbered Construction Photographs, 1911
Physics Laboratories, 1913-1914
Numbered Construction Views
box folder
5 2 II/1-49
3 III/50-92
4 Unnumbered Construction Views
Residential Group
Numbered Construction Views
box folder
5 5 East Hall (Baker College), III/23-87 1913-1914,
6 South Hall, II/25-66 1911-1912,
Unnumbered Construction Views
box folder
5 7 1912
8 1916
Photographs, Post-Construction
box folder
5 9 Campus Site, 1913
10 East Entrance Road and Gate, 1912
11 Forecourt in Front of Administration Building, 1912, 1913, n.d.
12 Main Entrance Court, 1912, 1913, ca.1938, n.d.
13 Quadrangle, Before 1915, After 1915, After 1930
14 Rear of Residential Hall, 1912
15 Abercrombie Laboratory, c. 1949
Administration Building (Lovett)
box folder
5 16 Exterior, 1912-19, n.d.
17 Interior, President's Office, n.d
18 View of Administration From Dormitories, n.d
19 Bas-relief, n.d
20 Administration, Physics, Campanile, n.d.
Aerial
box folder
5 21 postcard, ca.1916, n.d, n.d.
22 193?
box folder
6 1 Athletic Field, 1913
2 Chemistry Laboratory Rendering, ca.1923, n.d.
3 Cohen House, Laying of Cornerstone, 1927
4 Cohen House, ca.1927, 1935
5 Field House, n.d.
6 Fondren Library, ca.1949
7 Harris Bayou, 1913
8 Mechanical Laboratory/Power Plant/Campanile, 1912, n.d.
9 Physics Laboratory, ca.1914, n.d.
Residential Group
box folder
6 10 Exterior, ca.1910-1912, n.d.
11 Interior, ca.1912
12 William Marsh Rice Statue, n.d.
13 Stadium, ca. 1938
14 Trees
Subseries B: Private Practice
box folder
6 15 Brochure of the Work of William Ward Watkin, Architect
16 Booklet, Various Buildings, 1939-1940
17 Consultation - Texas Medical Center, 1944
18 Board of Architectural Consultants, 1933, 1934
Correspondence
box folder
6 19 Cram and Ferguson, Architects, 1919, 1920
20 Inner-office Correspondence - Work Reports, 1925
21 Miscellaneous Projects, 1913-1920
22 Miscellaneous Projects, 1922-1929, 1943
Possible Projects
box folder
6 23 St. Michael and All Angels, 1952, 1954
24 J.S. Cullinan House, 1915-1916
Projects
box folder
6 25 Courtland Place, 1912
26 J.M. Bennett House, San Antonio, TX, 1914
27 William Ward Watkin House, Houston, TX, 1915
28 Nicholson House, 1916
29 Priddie House, Beaumont, TX, 1916
30 Trinity Church, Houston, TX, 1917-1920
31 Sul Ross College, Alpine, TX, 1919
32 Palmer Bradley House, 1920
33 Harry Wiess House, 1920
34 Miller Memorial Theater, Hermann Park, Houston, TX, 1921
35 Autry House, Houston, TX, 1921-1922
36 Harry B. Weiser House, Houston, TX, 1922
37 Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX, 1922-1926
38 E.M. Gruendler House, Houston, TX, 1923
39 Neil T. Masterson House, Houston, TX, 1923-1924
40 Houston Public Library, Houston, TX, 1923-1925
41 YWCA, Galveston, TX, 1923-1925
42 E.M. Armstrong House, Houston, TX, 1924
43 John V. Scott House, Houston, TX, 1924
44 Texas Tech College, Lubbock, TX, 1924-1925
45 Consultant for Houston School Board, 1924-1928
46 B.B. Gilmer House, Houston, TX, 1925
47 Kinkaid School, Houston, TX, 1925
48 E.L. Crain House, 1926
box folder
7 1 W.T. Eldridge House, Sugarland, TX, 1926
2 F.A. Heitman House, Houston, TX, 1926-1927
3 Alphabet Realty Company, Specifications, 1927
4 Howard Hughes Family Memorial Monument, 1927
5 Palmer Chapel, Houston, TX, 1927
6 College of Industrial Arts, Denton, TX, 1927-1928
7 MacGregor Park, 1933-1936
8 Cohen Memorial, Galveston, TX, 1935
9 James Bowie Memorial, Texarkana, TX, 1936
10 Lt. Richard Dowling Memorial, 1936
11 Christ Church Chancel, 1938-1939
12 Central Church of Christ, 1940
13 Kinkaid School, Houston, TX, 1945
14 St. Mark's Church, Beaumont, TX, 1946
15 First Church of Christ Scientist, 1948
16 Methodist Hospital, Houston, TX, 1951
17 Cleveland Sewall House, n.d.

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Series III. Academic Career, 1914-1949.
10 linear inches.

Arranged in four sub-series - General, Architecture Department, Curator of Athletics and Curator of Grounds. The General sub-series includes information that couldn't be placed into another category. This series includes material specifically related to Watkin's academic positions.
Subseries A: General
box folder
7 18 Committee on Air Raid and Civilian Defense, 1942
19 Faculty Club, 1927
20 Sabbatical, 1928-1929
21 Salaries, 1930, 1949
22 Social invitations, 1920, 1935, 1942, 1947, 1949, n.d.
Subseries B: Architecture Department
box folder
7 23 Archi-Arts Ball, 1922, 1934-1937, 1939, 1942, 1954
Architectural Society Minutes
box folder
7 24 1919-22
25 1934-42
26 1942-47
27 Architectural Society Plays, 1917
Correspondence
box folder
7 28 1925, 1939, 1943, 1947
29 Faculty and Prospective Faculty, 1914, 1919-1920, 1926, 1934, 1939, 1940, 1945
box folder
8 1 Edgar Odell Lovett, 1918-1919, 1921, 1924, 1926-1930, 1932, 1937, 1939-1942, 1944, 1945
2 Frederick W. Brown, 1925, 1934, 1943
3 James H. Chillman, Jr., 1917, 1919-1922, 1925, 1934, 1936, n.d.
4 Claude E. Hooten, 1926, 1934, 1937, 1940
5 William McVey, 1927, 1939
6 Special Advisory Committee for Fine Arts School, University of Pennsylvania
Student Designs
box folder
8 7 And Awards, 1919-1921
8 First and Second Year Student Designs, n.d.
9 Fourth Year Designs, n.d.
10 Fifth Year Designs and Thesis drawings, Traveling Fellowship Drawings, and Sixth Year Theses, n.d.
Thesis Designs
box folder
8 11 1927-28
12 n.d.
13 John C. Tidden, 1914-1915, 1918-1920
14 Traveling Scholarship in Architecture, 1927-1928, 1951-1952
Yearbook
box folder
9 1 1927-1928
2 1928
Subseries C: Curator of Athletics
box folder
9 3 The "R" Book, 1924, 1927
Correspondence
box folder
9 4 1916-1927
5 John W. Heisman, 1924, 1926
6 John Coombs, 1918
Subseries D: Curator of Grounds
box folder
9 7 Tony Martino, Groundsman, 1918, 1920, 1926, 1937, n.d.
Correspondence
box folder
9 8 Detroit Heating and Lighting Co., 1918-1919
9 1920-1929, 1934-1935, 1939, 1942-1944

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