Robert Leon White:
An Inventory of his Drawings, 1920-1928
Robert Leon White (1898-1964) was born near Cooper, Texas and graduated as valedictorian from Cooper High School in 1916. During the summer of 1917, he attended the North Texas State Normal School. In 1918, he entered the University of Texas. After serving in the infantry during World War I, he completed his Bachelor of Science in Architecture in 1921. He subsequently worked for several architects in San Antonio, including Ralph Cameron and Phelps and DeWees before returning to the University of Texas for a masters degree in 1923. His thesis, completed in 1930, was a study of the Mission San Joseph de San Miguel de Aguayo (known as Mission San Jose). He married Viola Baker of Austin in 1922.
While attending graduate school at The University of Texas, he also served as instructor and adjunct professor. In 1924, he was appointed to the newly created post of "supervising architect" for the University wherein he coordinated the University's largest building campaign during the 1930s. Among the many buildings erected at this time were the Main Building, Goldsmith Hall, Home Economics, the Texas Union, and Hogg Auditorium. He served as supervising architect for the University until 1958.
In addition to his work for the University, White was responsible for the design of other important structures in Texas including the Central Christian Church in Austin (1928); the Masonic Grand Lodge Temple in Waco (1948); and numerous structures for the John Sealy Hospital in Galveston (1928-1937). White received the Sealy-Smith Foundation award for his design of the Outpatient Building in Galveston and the 1950 Gold Medal from the Texas Society of Architects for the Masonic Grand Lodge in Waco. He was a 32nd Degree Scottish Rite Mason and a Shriner. White died on July 28, 1964. He was survived by his wife, a daughter, Mrs. Cecil Heard of Austin, and a son, Robert Leon White Jr. of Georgia.
Robert Leon White served as supervising architect to the University of Texas from 1924 to 1958. This collection of architectural drawings (1920-1928) contains the work he executed in private practice outside the scope of his work for the University of Texas. It consists of the working drawings for the Central Christian Church in Austin (1928); measured drawings of Mission San Jose in San Antonio executed as part of the requirements for his masters thesis in architecture at The University of Texas; and examples of his student work at The University of Texas (primarily watercolor renderings executed in the Beaux-Arts tradition).
Additional material in the Alexander Architectural Archive relating to Robert Leon White may be found in the papers of The University of Texas Supervising Architects Office in the University of Texas Buildings Collection, and the School of Architecture Archives.
Restrictions on Access
Access is by appointment only to any serious scholar. Rolled materials must be flattened before viewing. A three-day advance notice is required to flatten rolled materials. Portions of this collection are not processed and may not be accessible.
Restrictions on Use
Permission for publication is given on behalf of the University of Texas as the owner of the collection and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder which must be obtained by the researcher. For more information please see the Alexander Architectural Archive's Use Policy
Robert Leon White (1898-1964) Drawings, 1920-1928, Mission San Jose, San Antonio and projects in Austin, Texas, Alexander Architectural Archive, University of Texas Libraries, The University of Texas at Austin
Drawings processed by: Lila Knight, 1988; Beth Dodd, 1998
Processing is not completed. Please see Archive's staff for more information.
Other Finding Aids
Unpublished inventory in Archive.
Detailed Description of the Collection
The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection.