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TABLE OF CONTENTS


Collection Summary

Biographical Sketch of George Dahl (1894-1987)

Scope and Content of the collection

Restrictions

Index Terms

Related Material

Administrative Information

References to works by George Leighton Dahl

Description of Series

Series A: Personal Papers, 1949-1991

Series B: Professional Papers, 1916-1987

Series C: Office Records, ca. 1940-1973

Series D: Project Records, 1931-

University of Texas, Alexander Architectural Archive

George Dahl:

An Inventory of his Papers, 1916-1991



Collection Summary

Creator: Dahl, George Leighton, b. 1894
Title: George Dahl papers,
Dates: 1916-1991
Abstract: George Dahl, one of Dallas' most prominent architects, was born in Minneapolis in 1894, of Norwegian immigrants. In 1943, Dahl founded his own company, George Leighton Dahl, Architects and Engineers, Incorporated. Dallas buildings that he designed include the Methodist Hospital, the Earle Cabell Federal Building, Owen Fine Art Center at Southern Methodist University, The Dallas Morning News building, Jesuit High School, the Dallas Public Health Center, Mrs. Baird's Bakery, and Sears on Ross Avenue. Outside Dallas, he designed 26 buildings for the University of Texas at Austin, 32 stores for Sears, Roebuck and Co. and 15 prisons for the Texas Department of Corrections.
Identification: DAHL Accession number(s): 1996004, 1996008
Quantity: 5.5 linear feet (10 manuscript boxes, 1 flat oversize)
Language: Materials are in English.
Repository: Alexander Architectural Archive, University of Texas Libraries, The University of Texas at Austin.

Biographical Sketch of George Dahl (1894-1987)

George Dahl, one of Dallas' most prominent architects, was born in Minneapolis in 1894, of Norwegian immigrants. He learned to speak English in school at age 7. After graduating from college with a bachelor's degree in architecture from the University of Minnesota, he received his Masters from Harvard in 1923. In 1926, he began work for the Herbert M. Greene Co. in Dallas, Texas. He became a partner in Greene's firm in 1928, and the name of the firm was changed to Herbert M. Greene, LaRoche, and Dahl and later LaRoche and Dahl after Greene passed away.

In 1943, Dahl founded his own company, George Leighton Dahl, Architects and Engineers, Incorporated. It was during his time that his career reached soaring heights. Upon his retirement in 1973, he had produced some 3,000 projects throughout the country that are estimated to be worth $3 billion. After 1973, Dahl continued to make appearances at architectural events in Dallas and lived to see his most famous project, Fair Park (1936), fastidiously restored and named a National Historic Landmark.

Dallas buildings that he designed include the Methodist Hospital, the Earle Cabell Federal Building, Owen Fine Art Center at Southern Methodist University, The Dallas Morning News building, Jesuit High School, the Dallas Public Health Center, Mrs. Baird's Bakery, and Sears on Ross Avenue. Outside Dallas, he designed 26 buildings for the University of Texas at Austin, 32 stores for Sears, Roebuck and Co. and 15 prisons for the Texas Department of Corrections. His firm also worked on projects for the Federal government, the Navy, the Bureau of Yards and Docks, Army Engineers, General Services Administration, and the U.S. Air Force. Other works include banks, office buildings, churches, department stores, schools, hospitals, stadiums, and shopping centers. He also designed, managed, and owned Gold Crest Apartments, the apartment building in which he lived until his death in July of 1987.

Dahl was active in professional organizations. He was one of the founders of the Texas Society of Architects and served as the Society's second President. Dahl was also President of AIA Dallas in 1959, and was elected to the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects. He was admired by the people who worked with him. David Braden, who was a partner in the firm for which Dahl was consultant after his retirement, admiringly summed up the true legacy of his mentor, "While the public will remember his buildings, his professional colleagues will remember him as an innovator and organizer.... He spent most of his professional life pioneering activities which are now common in the profession, but which were unheard of or strenuously resisted by his colleagues at the time."

Dahl, who was survived by his wife Joan, was an active contributor to the Dallas community as well as the skyline. He provided leadership and support for numerous Dallas organizations including the Hella Temple Shrine, Louis Preister Masonic Lodge, and Scottish Rite, and the Rotary Club.

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Scope and Content of the collection

Creative works, correspondence, printed material, photographs, financial documentation, works of art on paper, audio recordings, and a scrapbook, document the life and work of architect, George Dahl. The material has been arranged into four series: Personal Papers, Professional Papers, Office Records and Project Records. The Personal Papers contain records about the life and activities of Dahl. Of note is George Dahl's correspondence and sketches to friends in the 1980's which he terms "dazzlers," and a scrapbook created by Dahl's wife, Joan, documenting the last decade of his personal life. The Professional Papers contain records related to Dahl's activities in the architectural profession. The Office Records series is primarily records created by Dahl and his company, Dahl Architects and Engineers Inc. (1948-1973). The Project Records series are largely project files, and includes photographs and drawings.

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Restrictions

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.

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 Archives Use Policy.

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Index Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in the University of Texas Online Catalog. Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons, or places should search the catalog using these headings.
Persons:
Dahl, George Leighton, 1894-
Dahl, Joan (wife)
Braden, David (business partner)
Organizations:
Fair Park (Dallas, Tex.)

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Related Material

Greene LaRoche and Dahl: An Inventory of their Collection, 1902-1953, Alexander Architectural Archive

University of Texas Buildings Collection: An Inventory of Drawings and Papers, 1882-ongoing, Alexander Architectural Archive

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

George Dahl papers, Alexander Architectural Archive, University of Texas Libraries, The University of Texas at Austin

Processing information

Sarah Hardie and Jill Wood, Fall 1999

Arrangement and finding aid edited by Donna Coates, April 2009

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Other Finding Aids

Unpublished inventory in Archive.

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References to works by George Leighton Dahl

Portals, Doorways and Windows of France. New York, The Architectural Book Publishing Company, P. Wenzel & M. Krakow, 1925.

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Detailed Description of the Collection

The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection.

 

Series A: Personal Papers, 1949-1991
.5 linear feet, including 4 audio cassettes, 9 color photographs

Series Abstract
The Personal Papers series contains records that describe the life and of George L. Dahl, including correspondence, drawings, news clippings, oral history interviews, and a scrapbook and genealogical information collected by his wife Joan Dahl. Dahl was an active contributor to Dallas the community and papers include material about his involvement with community activities.
box folder
1 1 Correspondence and notes, 1971-1982
2 Correspondence with sketches "dazzlers," 1980-1987
3 Scottish Rites Bodies, 1969-1989
4 Dallas Public Library, 1980-1985
5 Rotary Club, 1982-1988
6 Joan Dahl correspondence with President Ronald Reagan, 1982, 1989
7 Joan Dahl correspondence with Ingvald Olsen regarding family genealogy, 1983-1986
8 "The Glover-White Story" [genealogy], undated
9 Drawings by George Dahl given to Joan Dahl, 1981-1987
10 Clippings, 1987-1991
11 Clipppings, George Dahl obituaries, 1987
12 House expenses, 1957-1964
13 Travel documents, 1949-1969
14 Photographs (9 color snapshots)
George Dahl
Pires Memorial Oakland Cemetery
Texas Society of Architects award
box folder
13 Scrapbook, "Memoirs and Bear Tracks, of Joan and GLD," 1978-
Audio recording: Oral History interview by Alan Mason (40 minutes), 1979
Audio recording: Interview by Kenneth Ragsdale, 1978
Audio recording: Funeral Service for George L. Dahl, July 20, 1987

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Series B: Professional Papers, 1916-1987
.6 linear feet, including 2 video cassettes, 3 audio cassettes

Series Abstract
The Professional Papers contain records related to Dahl's activities in the architectural profession.
box folder
1 15 Resumes, 1959-1960, undated
box folder
10 1 Selections From the Work of Herbert M. Greene, LaRoche & Dahl, Architects, Dallas, Texas, May 1935 (2 copies)
box folder
1 16 George Leighton Dahl and his works, Volume 1, Introduction and Index, ca. 1978
17 Correspondence and notes, 1964-1986, undated
18 Correspondence with David Braden, 1973-1987
19 Awards and recognitions, 1979, 1981
20 George Dahl notebooks and notes, undated
box folder
2 1 George Dahl notebook, 1916-1932
Includes class notes, drawings, reference material, and personal research from University of Minnesota School of Architecture, Harvard School of Architecture and early career with Green, La Roche, and Dahl. The first page has two addresses under Dahl's name: 3125 Tremont Ave. So., Minneapolis, Minnesota and 2227 Garfield Ave. So. Loose pages in notebook are notes regarding University of Texas Building Program, 1932.
box folder
2 2 Pocket calendar, 1965
box folder
14 George Leighton Dahl, F.A.I.A. Selected Drawings, 1966
Imprinted page: "With Esteem and Affection We Present This Book To Our Conductor GEORGE LEIGHTON DAHL - December Twenty Fifth Nineteen Hundred and Sixty Six - The Musicians of George L. Dahl Inc. Architects & Engineers
Audio recording: Dallas Historical Society interview with George Dahl regarding the Texas Centennial Exposition of 1936, February 24, 1984
Audio recording: "A Celebration of Dallas Architecture" Symposium, Adolphus Hotel, Dallas, October 30, 1985
Participants include Overton Shelmire, moderator, Howard Meyer, Arch Swank, George Dahl, Larry Good, Bill Booziotes, Gary Cunningham, Frank Aldredge, and Weiming Lu.
Video recording: "George Dahl," WFAA-TV, 1987
Video recording: "Architect George Dahl's Career," KXAS-TV, 1987

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Series C: Office Records, ca. 1940-1973
2 linear feet

Series Abstract
The Office Records series contains records created by the architectural firm in any capacity other than the design and construction of projects. This series has office records, office brochures, project brochure books, photographs and reference material.
box folder
2 3 LaRoche and Dahl letterhead, ca. 1937-1942
4 Memorandum: List of books missing from the Office Library, June 6, 1963
5 George L. Dahl, Inc. Inventory of Furniture and Fixtures, 1963, 1971-1973
6 George L. Dahl Architects & Engineers, Personnel List, November 13, 1958
7 Letters of Recommendation, 1962-1963
8 George L. Dahl Architects and Engineers office brochure, 1951
9 George L. Dahl Architects and Engineers office brochure (No.74), 1955
10 George L. Dahl Architects and Engineers office brochure, Hospitals and Kindred Facilities, 1958
11 George L. Dahl Architects and Engineers office brochure (No. 264), 1961
box folder
3 1 George L. Dahl Architects and Engineers office brochure, 1962
2 George L. Dahl Architects and Engineers office brochure, ca. 1963
box folder
12 8 George L. Dahl Architects and Engineers office brochure, ca. 1964
1 George L. Dahl Architects and Engineers office brochure, ca. 1966
box folder
3 3 George L. Dahl Architects and Engineers office brochure, Vol.1, ca. 1969
4 George L. Dahl Architects and Engineers office brochure, Vol.2, ca. 1969
5 George L. Dahl Architects and Engineers office brochure, ca. 1970
6 George L. Dahl Architects and Engineers office brochure, ca. 1971
box folder
4 1 George L. Dahl Architects and Engineers office brochure (bound), ca. 1963
2 George L. Dahl Architects and Engineers office brochure (bound), ca. 1963
3 Dahl, Braden, Chapman, Inc. office brochure, 1980
4 U. S. Government Architect-Engineer questionnaire (form 251), 1973
5 U. S. Government Architect-Engineer questionnaire (form 251), 1974
6 George L. Dahl Inc. brochure brief: Banks, Offices, Stores, May 1964
7 George L. Dahl Architects and Engineers brochure (No. 75): Banks and Office Buildings, 1956
box folder
5 1 George L. Dahl Architects and Engineers brochure: Churches, 1958
2 George L. Dahl Architects and Engineers brochure: Correctional Facilities, ca. 1970
3 George L. Dahl Architects and Engineers brochure: Department and Retail Stores, undated
4 George L. Dahl Architects and Engineers brochure: Hospitals and Medical Buildings, 1966
5 George L. Dahl Architects and Engineers brochure: Office Buildings (part 1 of 2), 1964
6 George L. Dahl Architects and Engineers brochure: Office Buildings (part 2 of 2), 1964
7 George L. Dahl Architects and Engineers brochure: Recent Projects, ca. 1968
8 George L. Dahl Architects and Engineers brochure brief: Retail and Commercial Buildings, ca. 1968
9 Stadium Design Application and Statement of Qualification [incomplete], undated
box folder
10 2 Stadiums (part 1 of 2), 1964
3 Stadiums (part 2 of 2), 1964
box folder
6 1 Brochure pages (photographs)
Dallas Memorial Auditorium (4 color prints, 1 b/w print)
First National Bank of Dallas (1 color print)
Southwestern Life Insurance Company, Dallas (3 color prints, 3 b/w prints)
Tampa Convention Center, Tampa, Florida (5 b/w prints)
box folder
6 2 Photographs
Autocar Trucks (1 b/w print)
Braniff International Air Cargo Terminal, Dallas-Fort Worth Regional Airport (1 b/w print)
Braniff International Air Cargo Terminal (1 b/w print)
East Texas Sate University, Methodist Student Center, Commerce, Tex. (1 b/w print)
East Texas Sate University, Student Housing, Commerce, Tex. (1 b/w print)
Electro Parts de Matamoros (1 b/w print)
Hospital Addition, Odessa, Tex. (1 b/w print)
Hockaday School, Dallas, Tex. (1 b/w print)
Industrial Development, Atlanta, Ga. (1 b/w print)
Insuromedic Insurance Company, Dallas, Tex. (1 b/w print)
Methodist Hospital, Dallas, Tex. (2 b/w prints)
Mexia State School, Mexia, Tex. (4 b/w prints)
Park Cities YMCA, Dallas, Tex. (4 b/w prints)
Sears Roebuck & Co. Warehouse, Oklahoma City, Okla. (1 b/w print)
Shadybrook Schools, Recreation Building, Richardson, Tex. (1 b/w print)
Southern Methodist University, Teaching Facility for Fine Arts, Music, and Drama, Dallas, Tex. (1 b/w print)
Texas Department of Corrections, Ramsey Unit No.2 Addition (12 b/w prints)
Texas Prison System, Goree State Farm (2 b/w prints)
University of Texas, Physics Mathematics and Astronomy Building, Austin, Tex. (1 b/w print, 1 b/w negative)
Unidentified (6 b/w prints)
box folder
12 2 Copy of firm brochure for Wood & Associates, Inc., Architects, Dallas, ca. 1964

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Series D: Project Records, 1931-
2.4 lin. ft.

The Project Records series is largely project files and drawings. Project files may contain brochures created for the project, correspondence, contracts, clippings, drawings, reference material, and photographs.
D1: Project Files
box folder
11 Project file box
Original metal filing box contains 3 x 5 inch index cards arranged by project number and alphbetically by project name.
box folder
6 3 1001 Apartments, 1001 lake Air Drive, Waco, Tex., 1967
4 7519 Linwood [residence], Dallas, Tex., 1967
5 Dallas Memorial Auditorium, Dallas, Tex., 1957
6 District of Columbia Stadium, Washington, DC, 1962
box folder
12 7 District of Columbia Stadium, Washington, DC, 1962
box folder
6 7 East Texas State College [letters of recommendation], Commerce, Tex., 1959
8 Fair Park [Texas Centennial Exposition], Dallas, Tex. , 1936
9 Fair Park, Dallas, Tex., Clippings, 1980-1990
10 Fair Park, Dallas Historical Society, 1983, 1989
Includes text copy of 1984 inteview by Sarah Hunter with George Dahl as part of a project to document the artists and architects of the Texas Centennial Exposition of 1936.
box folder
6 11 Fair Park, Friends of Fair Park, 1985
12 Federal Savings and Loan Association, Dallas, Tex., 1955
13 First National Bank, Big Spring, Tex., 1960
14 First National Bank, Dallas, Tex., 1961
15 First National Bank, Odessa, Tex., 1961
box folder
12 3 Forest Lane Clinic, Dallas, Tex.
box folder
7 1 Forest Lane Development, Dallas, Tex.
box folder
10 4 Gerontology Center for the Moody Foundation, Galveston, Tex.
5 Gold Crest Apartments, 3601 Turtle Creek, Dallas, Tex., Sales brochure.
box folder
7 2 Gold Crest Apartments, 3601 Turtle Creek, Dallas, Tex., Brochure.
3-8 Gold Crest Apartments, 3601 Turtle Creek, Dallas, Tex., Inventory. 1971
box folder
8 1 Hart Bowl [bowling alley], Dallas, Tex., 1958
2 Harwood and McKinney Building, Dallas, Tex., 1960
3 Jesuit High School of Dallas, Tex., 1959
4 Malek Shahr Housing Project, Isfahan, Iran, 1976
box folder
12 6 Medical Building, Shreveport, La., 1957
box folder
8 5 Miracle Mile, Texarkana, Tex., 1954
6 Multi-Purpose Coliseum Proposal, Oakland, Cal., 1961
box folder
12 4 Office and Parking Building, Block 231, Dallas, Tex. [Thomas E. Stanley Architects & Engineers, Dallas]
5 Off-Street Parking Inventory, Dallas Central Area, A Joint Project of the Central Business District Association and Traffic Control Department, City of Dallas, June 1968
box folder
8 7 Omaha Bank, 1967
8 Royal Lane Apartments, Dallas, Tex., 1971
9 Singer Sewing Machine Company, 6101 Cedar Springs, Dallas, Tex., 1971
10 Sunset Center, Amarillo, Tex., 1956
11 Terminal Warehouses, Theran, Iran, 1976
12 Texas Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation. Terrell State Hospital Project Analysis, Terrell, Tex., 1970
13 Texas Radiation and Tumor Institute. Maxfield Clinic Additions, Dallas, Tex.
14, 15 United States Air Force, Proposal for Lunar Shelter, 1961
16 United States Department of State. Presentation to the Office of Foreign Buildings (copy 1), 1962
box folder
9 1 United States Department of State. Presentation to the Office of Foreign Buildings (copy 2), 1962
2 United States, NASA, Team Concept for Construction of Saturn Launch Facilities (part 1 of 2)
3 United States, NASA, Team Concept for Construction of Saturn Launch Facilities (part 1 of 2)
4 United States Navy Department, 1948
5 Venzuela Projects, ca. 1960s
6 Waco Center, A Regional Shopping Area, Waco, Tex., 1966
7 A World in Space [restaurant], Dallas, Tex., 1963
Series D2: Drawings, 1931, 1932, 1937
5 sheets
Project name: University of Texas. Chemistry Building.
Date on drawings: 1931
Primary archt/firm: Herbert M. Greene LaRoche and Dahl
City: Austin
County: Travis
State/Province: Tex.
Country: U.S.
Project name: University of Texas. Engineering Building.
Date on drawings: 1932
Primary archt/firm: Herbert M. Greene LaRoche and Dahl
Collaborators: Paul P. Cret, Consulting Architect
City: Austin
County: Travis
State/Province: Tex.
Country: U.S.
Project name: University of Texas. Geology Building.
Date on drawings: 1932
Primary archt/firm: Herbert M. Greene LaRoche and Dahl
City: Austin
County: Tex.
State/Province: Tex.
Country: U.S.
Project name: University of Texas. Library Building (Main Building and Tower).
Date on drawings: 1932
Primary archt/firm: Herbert M. Greene LaRoche and Dahl
Collaborators: Paul P. Cret, Consulting Architect
City: Austin
County: Travis
State/Province: Tex.
Country: U.S.
Project name: University of Texas. Medical Laboratory Building.
Date on drawings: 1937
Primary archt/firm: Herbert M. Greene LaRoche and Dahl
City: Galveston
County: Galveston
State/Province: Tex.
Country: U.S.

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