Ludwig B. Weinman:
An Inventory of his Drawings, 1890-1929
Ludwig Bernhart Weinman was born on March 14, 1867 in Rutlingen, Germany, one of nine children. He studied at the Stuttgart preparatory school on scholarship and became interested in architecture at an early age. His studies included travels with study groups to Russia, Poland, Austria, and Hungary.
After graduation, the Prussian Military academy offered him a scholarship. On the advice of an older brother who was an officer in the Prussian Army, he decided to leave Germany. He joined another brother, Karl Weinman, in Atchinson, Kansas in 1884 at age 17. From 1884 to 1889, he interned with architect Alfred Meier of Kansas City. He studied architecture part time at a local Catholic school in Atchinson, Kansas where he met Mary Lily Ostertag, whom he later married.
He went from Alfred Meier's office to San Antonio where he worked in design and drafting with James Riley Gordon until 1891. He was sent by Gordon on client interviews to Amarillo and other points in West Texas, as well as Waco and Waxahachie. Gordon had difficulty traveling due to numerous warrants out for his arrest in various cities and counties. Seems that Gordon billed for his services in advance then didn't always perform per agreement. When Weinman became recognized as Gordon's emissary, he too encountered harassment.
On one of his trips to Waxahachie he attracted the notice of A.N. Dawson of Fort Worth. Dawson had just received the commission to do the new Fort Worth City Hall (first permanent, or non-wood structure to house the city government offices) and hired Weinman to design and supervise the work. The office was located at 10th and Throckmorton. After work was finished and the office went into a "slack period", Weinman went about 10 months without pay, doing small work to keep the doors open. Dawson left town in 1896 to avoid creditors; Weinman was given the Dawson office for back pay.
As a consequence of his work on the old Stone City Hall, Weinman received his first major commission, to design the Central Fire Hall, on an adjacent plot. This building was of the same materials and of the same design school as the Stone City Hall, and was located at Monroe and Throckmorton Streets.
When his own office opened in 1896, Weinman pursued an active practice through 1938 or so. His most active years were through 1915 or 1916, until the great German scares almost drove him out of business. With the government sponsored hysteria at that time, his architectural practice declined to almost nothing. He and his family were able to continue on the basis of his prior investments in office space and rental residences. His practice regained itself in the 1920s and 1930s, but work was confined mainly to apartment houses and private residences.
He attempted to bring his sons, Louie Bernhard Weiman Jr. and Arthur O. Weinman into the business in the 1920s and 1930s. Louis kept the firm name alive until about 1970, but the level of practice was negligible.
-from an oral interview with Weinman's son (Arthur O. Weinman) by Weinman's grandson (Arthur W. Weinman), October 1982.
This record group contains 143 architectural drawings representing work that Ludwig B. Weinman produced between 1890 and 1929. Most of these working drawings show residential spaces (homes or apartments) in or near Fort Worth, Texas.
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Ludwig B. Weinman (1867-1945) Drawings, 1890-1929 Fort Worth, North Texas, Alexander Architectural Archives, University of Texas Libraries, The University of Texas at Austin
Drawings processed by: Lila Knight
Processing is not completed. Please see Archive's staff for more information.
Other Finding Aids
Unpublished inventory in Archive.
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The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection.