Woodson Research Center, Rice University

Guide to the Ruth Young McGonigle architectural papers, 1959-1983 MS 022

creator McGonigle, Ruth Y.
Title: Ruth Young McGonigle architectural papers
Dates: 1959-1983
Abstract: This collection consists of architectural drawings done by Ruth Y. McGonigle during her private practice in Brownsville, TX. She designed mostly residential houses with the exception of a few public buildings.
Identification: MS 022
Quantity: 4.0 cubic ft.(1 drawer, 43 architectural drawings)
Repository: Woodson Research Center, Rice University, Houston, Texas

Biographical Note

Ruth Young McGonigle was born on April 5th, 1902 in Spindletop, Texas. After graduating from Houston High School in 1918, she entered the Rice Institute to take art classes, but ended up studying architecture instead.

In 1924, McGonigle was the first woman to graduate from Rice with a B.S. in Architecture. After graduation, she worked for William Ward Watkin, who was not only a Houston architect, but also a professor at Rice. McGonigle worked under his tutelage until she married former classmate, George McGonigle Jr., on September 29, 1925. She then settled in her husband’s hometown of Brownsville and began her own practice.

McGonigle was particularly known for recognizing Brownsville’s unique historical architecture and incorporating that style in her own work. Her sensitivity to19th century Creole building tradition is evident in her designs for the Brown-Young house and Hert house in Rio Viejo. Although she designed mainly single-family homes, her artistry could also be found in public buildings like the St. Paul’s Episcopal Mission and the Brownsville Art League Museum. During the 1950’s, she also designed floats for Brownsville’s annual Charro Days parades. Ruth was not only one of the first female architects to work in the lower Rio Grande Valley, but also one of the founders of the Brownsville Art League. Throughout the last decades of her life, McGonigle worked with the Brownsville Historical Association to document the city’s architectural heritage.

She and her husband had two children. Her husband was killed in a plane accident on July 2, 1954. Ruth Y. McGonigle died on April 14, 1984.

Bibliography: www.tsha.utexas.edu; Ruth Young McGonigle Papers, Woodson Research Center, Rice University.

Scope and Contents

This material is composed mainly of architectural drawings, sketches, and prints featuring private residences, a few public buildings, and two-three artistic sketches. Project titles indicate that the majority of these buildings were planned for Brownsville, Cameron County, and South Padre Island (Texas).


Access Restriction

This material is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Permission to publish materials from this item must be obtained from the Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University.

Index Terms

Subjects (Organizations)
Rice University.
Women architects

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Ruth Young McGonigle architectural papers, 1959-1983, MS 022, Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University.

Acquisition Information

This collection was a gift donated by Betty McGonigle Capshaw, May 7, 1990.

Detailed Description of the Collection

Series I: Projects A-L

Drawer item
1 1 Two Birds at Nest; One pencil sketch; n.d.
2 Art Museum Plans, Brownsville, TX; by Valcon Inc., Max Burkhart and Associates; n.d.; 7 Prints: Site Plan, Roof Framing and Foundation Plan, Floor and Deviations Plan, Sections, Schedules, Electrical, Plumbing and A/C Plans.
3 Brownsville Art League Museum; 1969; 7 Tracings: Site Plan, Floor Plans, Elevations, Galleries.
4 Brownsville Art League Museum; n.d.; 4 Prints: Floor Plans and Elevations.
5 Brownsville Art League Museum Storage Cabinets and Shelves; August 21, 1970; 1 Tracing: Sections.
6 “Original Paintings by the Brownsville Art League”; n.d.; 1 Tracing: Part water color-possibly for a poster ad.
7 House for Mr. And Mrs. J. R. Clegg, Rio Viejo Subdivision, Brownsville, TX; n.d.; 1 Folder containing specifications index; 12 Prints: Site, Roof, Floor, and Foundation Plans; Window, Door, and Room Finish Schedules; Electrical, Plumbing, and A/C Plans; Sections, Elevations, and Details.
8 Residence for Mr. And Mrs. M.W. Clint Jr.; n.d.; 3 Tracings: Floor Plans and Details.
9 Clint House; n.d.; 4 Prints: Details, Floor Plans; Door, Window, Truss, and Lintel Schedules; Roof Plan and Sections.
10 Clint House; June 1968; Cameron County, TX; 11 Prints: Plot Plan, Foundation Plan, Window and Door Schedules, Roof Plans, Details, Sections, Structural Plan, Elevations; Electrical, Plumbing, and A/C Plans, Gate Details.
11 Clint House; n.d.; 9 Tracings: Plot, Foundation, Floor, and Roof Plans, Elevations, Master Bedroom Details; Electrical, Plumbing, and A/C Plans.
12 “Three Tracts of Land of C.W. Davis,” Cameron County, TX; June 8, 1961; I Print.
13 Clint House Site Map with Trees; n.d.; 1 Tracing.
14 Clint House; n.d.; 3 Prints: Plot Plan and Repositioned House.
15 Clint House; n.d.; 3 Tracings: Artist’s Rendering, Elevations.
16 Church; n.d.; 1 Tracing: Elevations and Floor Plan.
17 Davico’s Drive Inn Restaurant, 3020 Boca Chico Rd., Brownsville, TX; n.d.; 1 Print: Roof Plan and Lintel Schedule.
18 Episcopal Day School for Church of the Advent, Brownsville, TX; June 9, 1959; 8 Tracings: Site and Foundation Plans, Floor Plan for Classrooms, Elevations; Roof and Framing Plans, Details; Revised Plumbing and Electrical Plans; A/C Plan, Specifications.
19 Dolphin Fountain for Episcopal Day School; n.d.; 2 Tracings: Elevation and Foundation Plans.
20 Episcopal Day School Chapel; n.d.; 7 Tracings: Artist’s Renderings, Floor, Elevation, and Site Plans.
21 Walker-Craig Co.; n.d.; Fruit Still-Life; Perhaps Ad or Logo; 1 Pencil Sketch.
22 House Plan; May 15, 1983; 3 Pencil Tracings: Elevations and Floor Plan.
23 Addition to Guest House for Hubert R. Hudsons, Paredes Line Rd., Brownsville, TX; n.d.; 9 Tracings: Foundation Plan, Beam Sections; Electrical, Plumbing, and A/C Plans, Elevations, Sections, Entrance Details; Revised Floor and Details Plan.
24 Hunter Hardware Store, Paredes Line Rd. and Casas St.; n.d.; 3 Tracings, 2 Prints, 1 pg. of Calculations, 1 pg. Diagram: Elevations, Details, Foundation and Floor Plans, Survey Print.
25 Home for Mr. And Mrs. Phillip Kory, Cameron County, TX; 3/15/64 and 2/10/65; 23 Tracings, 1 Print: Plot, Foundation, and Floor Plans, Window and Door Schedules, Elevations, Details, Sections, Electrical, Plumbing, and A/C Plans, Roof Plan, Artist’s Rendering.
26 Mr. And Mrs. M.M. Lee House, Padre Island, TX; 4 Tracings: Foundation and Floor Plans, Details, Sections, Elevations, Roof Plan, Plot Plan, Window Schedule.
General note
*Note To Researcher: One of the Locket drawings is labeled ‘Ford Lee’s Room.’ This may cause one to confuse this set of drawings with the preceding set (#26) which is a set of 4 tracings done for a Mr. And Mrs. M.M. Lee. Mr. Lockett’s first name must have been Ford Lee; one of these Lockett drawings is labeled ‘F Lockett’ on the back.
27 Lockett House; n.d.; 2 Tracings, 1 Print, 1 Notepad Pg. Diagram: Floor Plans.
28 Matamoros Church, Church and Parish Hall Rectory; n.d.; 5 Tracings: Floor and Roof Plans, Elevations.

Series II: Projects M-Z

Drawer item
1 28 Matamoros Church, Church and Parish Hall Rectory; n.d.; 5 Tracings: Floor and Roof Plans, Elevations.
29 Mr. And Mrs. W.H. Morton Residence, Cameron County, TX; 10/27/63; 11 Tracings, 9 Prints: Survey of Medial Luna Subdivision, Plot Plan, Foundation and Floor Plans; Window, Door and Lintel Schedules, Elevations, Sections, Details; Electrical, Plumbing, and A/C Plans (3/30/64).
30 St. Paul’s Episcopal Mission, Brownsville, TX; Feb.1959; 4 Tracings: Plot Map, Roof Plans, Sections, Elevations, Electrical Plan.
31 Judge and Mrs. William Scanlon Swimming Pool, Pool House, and Brick Fence; 7/17/69; 5 Tracings, 5 Prints: Elevations, Details; Roof, Floor, Foundation, Electrical, and Plumbing Plans, Sections, Window and Door Schedules, Site Map.
32 Scanlon Residence Alterations and Additions, 1905 Palm Blvd., Brownsville, TX; June 1965; 4 Tracings: Elevations, Sections, Details; Floor, Foundation, A/C, Electrical, and Plumbing Plans, Window and Door Schedule.
33 Josephine Sobrino and Kathryne Cherry House; n.d.; 4 Blueprints: Floor, Foundation, and Roof Plans, Elevations, Details; Window and Door Schedules.
34 Store Fronts; n.d.; 1 Watercolor Rendering.
35 “The Studio”; New Building in Brownsville, TX; 5/3/64; 4 Tracings: Floor Plan, Elevation, Sections.
36 Texas Southmost College, Brownsville, TX; 1/29/63; 6 Tracings, 1 Folder of Specifications: Plot, Floor, Electrical, and Plumbing Plans, Elevations, Details, Door Schedule.
37 Washington Park; n.d.; 1 Tracing: Landscaping and Paving Plan.
38 Dr. and Mrs. John C. Withers Home, Corner of Palm Blvd. and Jackson St., Brownsville, TX; 1/2/63; 8 Tracings, 17 Prints: Plot, Foundation, Floor, Electrical, and Plumbing Plans, Elevations, Sections, Details; Window and Door Schedules.
39 Dr. John C. Withers Office Building, Palm Blvd., Brownsville, TX; 2 Tracings: Floor Plan, Elevation, Sections, Details.
40 Addition to Withers Office Building, 1064 Palm Blvd; 4/26/66, 1/14/67; 5 Prints, 12 Tracings: Plot, Floor, Roof, Electrical, and Plumbing Plans, Elevations, Sections, Lintel Schedule.
41 Charcoal Sketch of a Woman; n.d.
42 H.H. Roberts House, Cameron County, TX; 12/2/65, 12/7/65; 10 Tracings(numbered set of 11-#9 missing): Plot, Floor, Roof, Electrical and Plumbing Plans, Details.
43 Padre Island Co-Op Apartments; n.d.; 15 Tracings, 2 Prints: Floor Plans, Details, Elevations, Sections, Artist Renderings.