Texas Archival Resources Online

TABLE OF CONTENTS


Collection Summary

Biographical Sketch of Lawrence W. Speck

Scope and Content of the collection

Restrictions

Index Terms

Administrative Information

Description of Series

Residential projects: Matthews Ranch House, Austin, Texas.

Residential projects: 2202 Sunny Slope, Austin, Texas.

Residential projects: Tapp-McGrath House, Austin, Texas.

Residential projects: Tapp-McGrath House, Wimberley, Texas.

University of Texas, Alexander Architectural Archive

Lawrence W. Speck Associates:

An Inventory of their Architectural Records and Drawings, 1977-1990, 1996



Collection Summary

Creator: Speck, Lawrence W., 1949-
Title: Lawrence W. Speck Associates Architectural Records and Drawings
Dates: 1977-1990, 1996
Abstract: Lawrence W. Speck Associates was founded in January 1980. In 1988, Speck entered into a partnership with Page Southerland Page, later merging his practice with Page in order to concentrate on his duties as Dean of the School of Architecture. The records consist of correspondence, specifications, job files, drawings, photographs, photo negatives, three-dimensional artifacts, field reports, legal documents, architectural drawings, design drawings, financial documents, office paraphernalia, presentation materials, framed prints, and collected industrial design catalogs.
Identification: SPECK Accession information 1998014
Quantity: 71 feet, 1744 leaves
Language: Materials are in English.
Repository: Alexander Architectural Archive, The University of Texas at Austin.

Biographical Sketch of Lawrence W. Speck

Lawrence W. Speck Associates was founded in January 1980, and at the beginning of its existence, was based in a room in Lawrence Speck's house. Working at times with only one other architectural assistant, Speck began work on a series of residential projects that would build his reputation. In 1982 the firm moved into an office space on East 6th Street in Austin, and two years later, in 1984, to 4250 Burnet Road. His office, with a growing staff, worked on a steady stream of projects on a fairly modest scale. In 1988, with the approval of his proposal to the City of Austin for a new convention center, Speck realized that a project of this scale would require some extra support. He entered into a partnership with Page Southerland Page, an architectural firm also based in Austin, moving the staff and operations of Lawrence W. Speck Associates into their suite of offices. Faced with the increasing demands of his role as Dean of the School of Architecture, Speck has since merged his practice with that of Page Southerland Page, and his own projects are handled under the name of the Lawrence W. Speck Studio.

Lawrence W. Speck was born in 1949 in Houston, Texas. As a fifth-generation Texan, and the descendent of early German settlers of the region, his appreciation for the distinctive landscape and architecture of Central Texas was established early in his life. This profound regional awareness is one of the hallmarks of his work. He has explored these concerns throughout his professional life, both as an architect and as an educator. His buildings allude to the past, but are compatible also with modern life. His work is sensitive to land and climate, to architectural precedent and the ways that precedent, shaped by time and experience, can inform and enrich contemporary design.

Prior to his appointment as Dean of the School of Architecture in 1993, Lawrence Speck held a variety of academic and administrative posts at the University of Texas at Austin, beginning in 1975, when he joined the staff as an Assistant Professor of Architecture. He received his training at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M. I. T.), earning simultaneous Bachelor of Science Degrees in 1971, one in Art and Design, the other in Management, at the Sloan School of Management. In 1972 he earned a Master of Architecture degree, also at M. I. T. Speck worked briefly as a designer and consultant in Massachusetts before moving to Austin, Texas in 1975. He was a Fulbright Senior Scholar in Australia in 1978.

Speck has been active in committees and boards, both within the university and in the Austin community. The recipient of numerous honors in addition to his Fulbright scholarship, he has received five design awards from the Austin chapter of the American Institute of Architects, and was selected by Architectural Digest as one of "AD 100"-a listing of 100 foremost architects in the world, 1991. In 1990-1991 Speck was appointed the William Blunk Centennial Professor (Outstanding Undergraduate Teacher), University of Texas. His publications and editorial projects include: Landmarks of Texas Architecture, (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1986); New Regionalism, co-editor with Wayne Attoe (New York: Rizzoli International, 1987); Modernist Visions and the Contemporary American City, co-editor with Anthony Alfonsin (New York: Rizzoli International, 1989); and Architecture Vs. Planning: Collision and Collaboration in the Design of American Cities, co-editor with Terry Kahn, (New York: Rizzoli International, 1990). He also wrote and narrated a video documentary for PBS, "Building the American City: San Antonio," as part of a project that was funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Since the founding of Lawrence W. Speck Associates in 1980, Lawrence Speck has been involved as the Principal Designer and a consultant on architectural projects in and around Austin. Speck's projects include both municipal and private projects, residential as well as public buildings. Dedicating much of his career to the study of the vernacular of Texas residential architecture, Speck has conducted extensive research into differences in regional styles in general. He has been the designer of a number of private homes, including: the Matthews Ranch House, Burnet County Texas (1985); the Tapp-McGrath Ranch House in Wimberley, Texas (1986), and the Tapp-McGrath house in Austin, TX (not built), and his former residence, the House on Sunny Slope in Austin, Texas (1990). The progression of these early projects enabled him to refine his philosophy of architecture; The Matthews house design was an opportunity for Speck to explore the idea of design that is unique to the history and landscape of a particular place, in this case the Texas Hill Country. Its design grew out of his appreciation for the German farmhouses of Central Texas, agglomerations of linked structures, and their integration with the landscape. The Tapp-McGrath projects provided an opportunity to update and abstract this traditional style for urbanites less interested in having a working farm than in having a comfortable, contemporary Hill Country home blended into its surroundings. The challenge he faced when designing his own residence at 2202 Sunny Slope was to take what he had learned from the two previous houses and adapt that to a suburban setting.

Lawrence Speck's public buildings include, The Austin Convention Center, the Umlauf Sculpture Garden in Austin, and the Town Center of Burnet, Texas.

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Scope and Content of the collection

The records consist of correspondence, specifications, job files, drawings, photographs, photo negatives, three-dimensional artifacts, field reports, legal documents, architectural drawings, design drawings, financial documents, office paraphernalia, presentation materials, framed prints, and collected industrial design catalogs which document the creative process and the professional activity of Lawrence W. Speck Associates, and Principal Designer and Dean of the University of Texas School of Architecture, Lawrence W. Speck, spanning the period 1977-1990, 1996 (71 linear ft.). A large portion of the records consists of architectural drawings illuminating the various stages of the design process--from early, informal sketches, through the final sets of plans. Job files and drawings for projects never completed are also included. Notable examples of these are the Tapp-McGrath House in Austin, the Vacker house, the Zilker Botanical Gardens, and a competition design for the Texas Rangers Baseball Stadium. Abundant job files and drawings for private residences including the Tapp-McGrath House, Wimberley, Matthews Ranch House in Burnet, the House on Sunny Slope in Austin, and civic projects including the Austin Convention Center, Burnet City Hall, the Town Lake Comprehensive plan, and the Umlauf Sculpture Garden are also present. Job files and architectural drawings of the Tuscany Apartments represent the firm's commercial work. Special projects include Proposed Housing for the Elderly. Items of particular interest are the research notes and photographs that relate to the architect's research concerning Alvar Aalto, as well as a range of visual materials, including a model of the Vacker house, assorted presentation drawings mounted on foam core, and framed prints of several proposed and completed projects. Series I, "Residential Projects", includes arrangements for the materials from four of Lawrence W. Speck Associates residential projects in Texas: the Matthews Ranch House in Burnet; the Tapp McGrath House in Wimberley; Lawrence Speck's own former residence, the House on Sunny Slope; and files and drawings relating to a Tapp-McGrath House in Austin which was never built.

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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. 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.

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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:
Speck, Lawrence W., 1949-
Subjects:
Houses--United States--Austin (Texas)
Ranch houses--Influence
Regionalism--United States--Texas
Vernacular architecture--United States--Texas--Influence
Houses--20th century--United States--Austin (Texas)
House of Sunny Slope Drive
Ranch houses--United States--Burnet (Texas)--Matthews house
Ranch houses--United States--Wimberley (Texas)
Architects' houses--United States--Austin (Texas)--Speck house
Ranch houses-United States--Austin (Texas)--Tapp-McGrath house
Ranch house--United States--Wimberley (Texas)--Tapp-McGrath house
Document types:
Architect
Manuscripts and technical drawings

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Lawrence W. Speck Associates, Architectural Records and Drawings, 1977-1990, 1996, the Alexander Architectural Archive, the General Libraries, the University of Texas at Austin

Processing Information

Laura Gottesman, Mimi Dionne, Susan Hoyt, and Vanessa Kam for LIS 389C.1, December 13, 1998

This collection is not completely processed.

For more information contact Archives staff.

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Other Finding Aids

Unpublished inventory in Archive.

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Detailed Description of the Collection

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

 

Residential projects: Matthews Ranch House, Austin, Texas.

Series Abstract
This residential projects series includes Correspondence, architectural drawings, creative works, financial documentation, and printed materials (170 leaves), from 1982 through 1985 and documents Lawrence W. Speck Associates design and oversight of the construction of the Matthews Ranch House in Burnet, Texas. The Matthews House records represent three distinct types of architectural job (or project) files: 1) general; 2) billing; and 3) product information and bidding. The general job files offer insight into Lawrence Speck's design for "a reverie for traditional Central Texas Ranch structures."(From: Interview with Lawrence W. Speck on December 2, 1998, conducted by M. Dionne, S. Hoyt, L. Gottesman, and V. Kam at the Alexander Architectural Archive, The University of Texas at Austin.)
Inspired by the design of 19th century German farmhouses in the Central Texas Hill Country, Speck included several Historic American Building Survey (HABS) drawings of these structures in the general job file. Unsigned sketches, correspondence between Al Godfrey and clients, as well as pages of handwritten notes formulated in consultation with the clients, record the development of the design while also constituting the remaining portion of the general job files. The billing file contains invoices for schematic design work, supervision, and bidding, as well as reimbursements for travel. The product information and bidding files include a number of industrial design catalogs produced by lumber and construction companies, handwritten notes by Speck Associates recording the use of specific materials for the ranch house, and documents relating to Speck's oversight of the bidding process.
"T" in the box field represents the term "temporary," as per instructions by Beth Dodd.
box folder
T.1 1 Job File, General, 1982
(91 leaves)
Correspondence, 1982-1985
(7 leaves)
Notes, 1982
(38 leaves)
Schematic Drawings, n.d.
(29 leaves)
Photocopies of architectural structures, n.d.
(4 leaves)
Industrial design catalogs, n.d.
Bruce Alford Corporation
(6 leaves)
Bison Manufacturing
(7 leaves)
box folder
T.1 2 Job file, Billing, 1982-1985
(11 leaves)
Letter sent, 1985
(1 leaf)
Notes, n.d.
(3 leaves)
Invoices, 1982-1983
(7 leaves)
box folder
T.1 3 Job File, Product/Bidding Information, n.d.
(23 leaves)
Notes, n.d.
(10 leaves)
Industrial Design Catalogs, n.d.
California Redwood Assoc.
(4 leaves)
Lee Roy Jordan Redwood Lumber Company
(8 leaves)
Kohler
(1 leaf)
box
T.D.1 Architectural Drawings, n.d.,
(45 leaves)
D refers to the term "Drawer."
Architectural measured, structural, mechanical/plumbing/HVAC electrical, site/landscape, working construction and details, interiors and industrial design

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Residential projects: 2202 Sunny Slope, Austin, Texas.

Series Abstract
This residential projects series includes correspondence, architectural drawings, estimates, notes on cost cuts, financial records, change orders, and landscaping notes 1988-1990 (271 leaves), relating to the design and construction of Lawrence W. Speck's own former residence at 2202 Sunny Slope in Austin. The records represent three distinct types of architectural job files: 1) landscaping; 2) cost cuts; and 3) applications for payment and change orders. The documentation available on this project is sparse, but the collection does include drawings, some detailed handwritten notes on landscaping, a site/landscaping plan, some freehand design drawings on vellum, a hand-written letter from the contractor Bill Dorman on his thoughts for reducing construction costs (August 6th, 1988), and some resulting hand-written addenda to the specifications.
box folder
T.1 1 Job File, Landscaping, 1989
(58 leaves)
Notes, n.d.
(21 leaves)
Blueprint, Site Plan, n.d.
(1 leaf)
Printed materials/notes, n.d.
(3 leaves)
"How to Plant" brochure by Wolfe Nurseries, n.d.
(8 leaves)
Proposal from Kiwi Company, 1989
(1 leaf)
Receipts, 1989
(23 leaves)
Promotional materials, Sled
Landscape Nursery, n.d.
(1 leaf)
box folder
T.1 2 Job File, Cost Cuts, 1988
(43 leaves)
Letter sent, 1988
(2 leaves)
Photocopy of "Revised Plans," 1988
(1 leaf)
Notes, n.d.
(18 leaves)
Schematic drawings, n.d.
(11 leaves)
Product specifications from the Marvin Windows Planning Center, 1988
(3 leaves)
Specification changes and estimates from construction companies, 1988
(3 leaves)
Addendum/Changes to Specifications, 1988
(5 leaves)
box folder
T.1 3 Job File, Application for Payment and Change Orders, 1988
(8 leaves)
Application and Certificate for Payment, 1988
(8 leaves)
box folder
T.D. 5-8 Architectural Drawings, n.d.
(162 leaves)
Working construction and details, design/studies and Schematic drawings, site/landscape, architectural and measured, structural, interiors, and electrical.

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Residential projects: Tapp-McGrath House, Austin, Texas.

Series Abstract
This residential projects series includes Correspondence, creative works, works of art on paper, architectural drawings and specifications, legal style documentation, financial documentation, and printed materials (923 leaves), from 1984 through 1996, documents Lawrence W. Speck Associates design for the Tapp-McGrath House, a private residence in Austin, Texas. Although the house was never built and the work performed on the project by Speck Associates ended after the completion of the bidding stage, the architectural records and drawings provide insight into the creative design process. The records are organized under the following broad categories: 1) architectural specifications; 2) general job files, and 3) drawings. The general job files include notes taken by Speck Associates in meetings with the clients during the early design phase, industrial design catalogs, and photocopied images of Italian Renaissance villas, cathedrals, and palaces used as visual references for the architects in the development of their design. Correspondence signed by Speck Associates Al Godfrey and Elizabeth Danze, printed forms, and other records, closely document the process of securing a building/project permit for the project, along with printed materials generated by the City of Austin in reference to energy code requirements for private residences. The billing files include a worksheets and invoices for the completion of architectural drawings, with some invoices combining fees for both the Tapp-McGrath House in Austin, Texas and the Tapp-McGrath Ranch House in Wimberley, Texas. The bidding file includes bid proposals and correspondence from Texas construction companies. The 85 drawings included in this series include structural, mechanical and plumbing, electrical, site and landscape, section, and interiors drawings, as well as a matted color drawing of the house signed by M. Jordan and dated 1984.
box folder
T.1 1 Job File, Specifications, n.d.
(485 leaves)
2 Job File, General, 1984 -1985
(137 leaves)
Correspondence, 1984-1985
(4 leaves)
Notes, including architect's meetings with clients, n.d., 1984
(30 leaves)
Schematic drawings, n.d.
(10 leaves)
Photocopies of architectural structures from periodicals, n.d.
(33 leaves)
Register of Bid Document, n.d.
(1 leaf)
Engineer's Transmittal, 1985
(1 leaf)
Industrial design catalogs, specifications, and drawings, n.d
(53 leaves)
Checks, 1985
(5 leaves)
box folder
T.1 3 Job File, Cut-sheets/Specifications, 1985
(63 leaves)
Letters, 1985
(4 leaves)
Notes, n.d.
(3 leaves)
Schematic drawings, n.d.
(1 leaf)
Quote, n.d.
(2 leaves)
Industrial design catalogs, drawings, photocopies, n.d.
(53 leaves)
box folder
T.1 4 Job File, Bidding, 1985
(51 leaves)
Correspondence, 1985
(9 leaves)
Contractors' Bids, 1985
(36 leaves)
Photocopied rendering
(1 leaf)
Notes by Speck Associates, 1985
(4 leaves)
Contractor's Notes, n.d.
(1 leaf)
box folder
T.1 5 Job File, Billing, 1984-1986
(66 leaves)
Letters sent, 1984
(3 leaves)
Project permit, photocopy, 1986
(1 leaf)
Billing worksheet, 1986
(1 leaf)
Invoices, 1984-1986
(47 leaves)
Check stubs, 1984-1985
(10 leaves)
Receipts, City of Austin, photocopies, 1986
(4 leaves)
box folder
T.1 6 Job File, Building Permit, 1986
(36 leaves)
Notes, 1986
(6 leaves)
Sketch, n.d.
(1 leaf)
Letter sent, 1986
(1 leaf)
Receipts, City of Austin, 1986
(8 leaves)
Project permit and forms, 1986
(3 leaves)
City of Austin Energy Code Forms, 1986
(6 leaves)
Industrial design catalog photocopies and drawings, n.d.
(11 leaves)
box folder
T.D. 2-3 Architectural Drawings, n.d.
(85 leaves)
Architectural/measured, structural, mechanical/plumbing/HVAC, electrical, site/landscape, design/studies and schematic drawings, working construction, working details, working interiors, and presentation.

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Residential projects: Tapp-McGrath House, Wimberley, Texas.

Series Abstract
This residential projects series includes Correspondence, specifications, drawings, field reports, change orders, legal and financial records, and product information, 1984-1986 (500 leaves), relating to Lawrence W. Speck's design work on Jay Tapp and Leslie McGrath's ranch house in Wimberley, Texas. The bulk of the documents consists of design drawings, architectural plans, and notes to the contractor, William A. Aery. A report on the structural design by the consulting engineer, Thomas J. Herern is in the Tapp-McGrath Ranch House Billing file. There is also some material in the General Job File that was written by Lawrence W. Speck Associates' project manager, Alfred Godfrey, to William Aery, which relates to the problems the contractor had with the cabinetry in the kitchen. A file entitled "Field Notes" contains handwritten notes and design drawings created by Lawrence Speck when he went to view the Wimberley site and its existing buildings. There is also a roll of 35mm color film of the site (six strips) housed separately.
box folder
T.1 1 Job File, General, 1984-1986
(104 leaves)
Correspondence, 1985-1986
(12 leaves)
Notes, 1985-1986
(28 leaves)
Schematic drawings, 1985-1986
(32 leaves)
Proposal for Services, 1984
(1 leaf)
Legal court claim, n.d.
(3 leaves)
Invoice, 1986
(1 leaf)
Billing quotes and change orders, 1986
(2 leaves)
Transmittal cover sheets and carbons, 1985-1986
(12 leaves)
Industrial design catalogs, n.d.
(13 leaves)
box folder
T.1 2 Job File, Specifications, n.d.
(146 leaves)
Specifications, n.d.
(130 leaves)
Addenda, n.d.
(7 leaves)
Architectural drawings, n.d.
(9 leaves)
box folder
T.1 3 Job File, Change Orders, Field Notes, Applications for Pay, 1986
(75 leaves)
Letters sent, n.d.
(2 leaves)
Change orders and related correspondence and schematic drawings, 1986
(20 leaves)
Notes, 1986
(9 leaves)
Field reports, 1986
(16 leaves)
Schematic drawing, n.d.
(1 leaf)
Application and Certificate for Payment and related documents from Aery (contractor), 1986
(23 leaves)
Standard Form of Agreement Between Owner and Contractor, 1986
(4 leaves)
box folder
T.1 4 Job File, Field Notes, 1984
(29 leaves)
Notes, n.d.
(13 leaves)
Schematic drawings, n.d.
(16 leaves)
box folder
T.1 5 Job File, Billing, 1985-1987
(40 leaves)
Invoices, 1985-1986
(24 leaves)
Notes, 1986
(2 leaves)
Worksheet, 1985-1986
(6 leaves)
AIA Standard Contract, 1986
(4 leaves)
Deposit stubs, 1986-1987
(4 leaves)
box folder
T.1 6 Job File, General Notes, Product Information, 1985-1986
(71 leaves)
Correspondence, 1986
(2 leaves)
Notes, 1985-1986
(19 leaves)
Schematic drawings, 1986
(16 leaves)
Engineer Drawings, photocopies, 1986
(12 leaves)
Field report, 1986
(6 leaves)
Industrial design catalogs, photocopies, 1985
(13 leaves)
AIA Standard Work Continuation Contract, 1986
(1 leaf)
AIA Standard Change Order Contract, 1986
(1 leaf)
Change order invoice, 1986
(1 leaf)
box folder
T.2 1 Job File, Field Notes, 1984
Photographic negatives
box
T.D.9 Architectural Drawings, n.d.
(35 leaves)
Architectural/measured, structural, mechanical/plumbing/HVAC, electrical, site/landscape, working construction, details, and interiors

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