Corneil G. Curtis:
An Inventory of his Drawings,c.1930s-1950s
Corneil G. Curtis (1890-1963) spent his architectural career in Texas, first apprenticing for the firm Lang and Witchell before establishing his own practice in Paris, Texas in 1912 as Curtis, Broad, and Lightfoot (later Curtis and Lightfoot). The firm helped rebuild the commercial district there after it burned in 1916. The Paris City Hall and Fire Station is considered one of the firm's best efforts.
Curtis' career continued in Houston, where he had relocated in the early 1920s. The Rusk County Courthouse in Henderson and the Liberty County Courthouse in Liberty were two early commissions. Curtis collaborated on the Liberty Country Courthouse with Albert Thomas of Dallas, and as Curtis and Thomas they took on commissions for hotels, including one of the first Hiltons. Curtis also continued to work on his own, designing for public and commercial buildings and residences in an eclectic style.
After moving to Austin in 1934, Curtis and his wife Mary became proponents of registration and certification for Texas architects, which came into being in 1937. Declined for combat service in World War II because of age, he instead contributed by helping to build military installations in the Caribbean. He returned to private practice after the war, becoming partners with A.B. Benson, then with Alvin Newbury with whom he worked in Dallas. From the early 1950s to 1962 Curtis was architect-in-charge of the Texas Highway Department. He died July 1, 1963 in Austin at the age of 72.
Source: Liberty County Courthouse National Register nomination.
The collection consists of 134 drawings and .25 linear inches of specifications of architect Corneil G. Curtis.
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Corneil G. Curtis collection, the Alexander Architectural Archives, the General Libraries, the University of Texas at Austin
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