An Inventory of his Papers, c.1928-1963
Mike Mebane (1908-1997), born and educated in Texas, pursued his architectural career through the early 1970s in Texas, the United States, and in Mexico. "Mebane was born Jan. 24, 1908, in Trinity, Texas, to Charles Richmond and Ella Beuhring Mebane. He went to the University of Texas at the age of 16 and graduated in 1928 with a bachelor's degree in architectural engineering. He served his apprenticeship in architects' and engineers' offices in Houston, Fort Worth and Dallas, forming his own firm in Houston in 1935. His brother, Robert Duff Mebane of San Antonio, who was then earning his degree in geology at UT, introduced Mike to Maxine Kubela, who received her bachelor's degree in physical education that year.
"Married in 1937, the Mebanes remained in Houston until World War II took them to Washington, D.C., where Mike served four years in the U.S. Navy, attaining the rank of lieutenant commander in the Civil Engineering Corps. After the war, they relocated to Beaumont, where Pitts, Mebane and Phelps was created. Their work included laboratories for industry, the Texaco Research Center, St. Elizabeth Hospital and twin dormitory towers for the University of Houston, among buildings for six universities.
"The firm was associated with Brooks Barr Graeber & White and Page Southerland Page of Austin as architects for the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City, and with the Max Brooks Group for the Labor Department Building in Washington, D.C. They received many awards and honors, including the American Institute of Architects' First Honor Award for Industrial Architecture.
"The Mebanes retired to San Angelo in 1973 when Maxine inherited a home on the Concho River. Mike enjoyed gardening and was involved in the Texas Archaeological Society and Texas Society of Architects. He was also a member of the Littlefield Society, the Chancellor's Council at the University and an early donor to the San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts.
"After Maxine's death in 1986, Mike created the Mike and Maxine K. Mebane Endowed Traveling Scholarship in Architecture, as planned 25 years earlier. Mike added to the fund annually and has provided a bequest for UT in his will. Fifty-one Mebane Traveling Scholarships were awarded by the school to talented architectural students last year. In appreciation of Mike's generosity and his concern for young people and higher education, the UT Board of Regents named the Mike and Maxine K. Mebane Exhibition Gallery in Goldsmith Hall in their honor. Former Dean Hal Box wrote that Mebane was a man with a passion for architecture, as well as the most exacting and altruistic donor the school has ever had." Mebane died in San Angelo, Texas at the age of 89 on June 16, 1997.
Quoted from the San Angelo Standard-Times, June 18, 1997, found at http://www.gosanangelo.com/archive/97/june/18/deaths.htm.
Photographs and papers mainly illustrate projects undertaken by Mike Mebane during his architectural career and include diplomas and certificates, clippings, brochures, and correspondence. Nine photographs were taken during Mebane's time in the Navy and represent seven different projects; six photographs taken during his professorial years relate to the following projects: St. Elizabeth Hospital (one photograph of model), Lamar State College of Technology-Administration Building (two photographs of model), US Embassy in Mexico (three photographs of model). Five other photographs were taken of Mebane and others at the Texas Society of Architects convention in 1963. Papers include Mebane's diploma from the University of Texas, two fraternity certificates, four commendations of service in the Navy, Mebane's AIA certificate, State of Texas Architect License and cards, Rotary Club membership, Association of Federal Architects certificate, and clippings relating to the above projects as well as the Beaumont Enterprise and Journal building, a dormitory at the University of Houston, and the Texaco Research Center. There is only one piece of correspondence.
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Mike Mebane papers, Alexander Architectural Archives, University of Texas Libraries, The University of Texas at Austin
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