University of Texas, Alexander Architectural Archive

J. Fred Buenz collection

1926-1927, 1939, 1940

Collection Summary

Creator Buenz, J. Fred, 1904-1991
Title J. Fred Buenz collection
Dates 1926-1927, 1939, 1940
Abstract The collection includes drawings of Buenz’s San Antonio residence, 236 Greeley Street, and the San Antonio River Walk, as well as two Beaux Arts Society medals dating 1926 and 1927.
Identification 2007011
Quantity 26 sheets original architectural drawings, 11 photostats, and 2 Beaux Arts medals.
Repository: Alexander Architectural Archive, University of Texas Libraries, The University of Texas at Austin.

Biographical Sketch of J. Fred Buenz

John Frederick Buenz was born in Laredo, Texas in February 1904. His father was an early settler from Germany who first immigrated to New Braunfels, then opened a lumber business in Laredo selling railroad ties to the Texas-Mexican Railroad.

Fred Buenz attended the University of Texas School of Architecture from 1921-1923. One of his professors, Samuel Gideon encouraged him to transfer to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Buenz did transfer, studied in the MIT Department of Architecture from 1923-1926 receiving both Bachelors and Masters degrees. He continued his education at the L’Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Fontainebleau, France during the summer of 1926.

He married Harriet E’Lane Robertson in 1931. They had two sons, John, Jr. and Peter.

From 1933-1936 Fred Buenz worked for San Antonio architects Atlee B. and Robert M. Ayres. He opened his own office in 1936, but his architectural practice was interrupted by his military service for the Corp of Engineers at Fort Sam Houston during World War II. He resumed his private practice after the war from 1947-1958.

In 1940 Fred Buenz was hired by the San Antonio City Council to direct the completion of the San Antonio River Walk (Paseo del Rio), replacing architect Robert Hugman. Buenz was particularly instrumental in the design of the Arneson River Theater and the area around the Houston Street Crossing.

Buenz was a life-long member of the American Institute of Architects and the Texas Society of Architects. Fred Buenz died on March 8, 1991 in San Antonio.

Scope and Content of the collection

Drawings, photographs and medals illustrate part of the career of J. Fred (John Frederick) Buenz, a prominent San Antonio architect. Buenz is best known for his residential work, public school construction, and completion of the San Antonio River Walk.


Restrictions on Access

Access is by appointment only to any serious scholar.

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. Heirs John and Peter Buenz maintain copyright for all material created by J. Fred Buenz. For more information please see the Alexander Architectural Archive's Use Policy.

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
Buenz, J. Fred (John Frederick), 1904-1991
Paseo del Rio (San Antonio, Tex.)
City planning--Texas--San Antonio.
Architecture, Domestic--Texas--San Antonio.
Document types:
Working drawings.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

J. Fred Buenz collection, Alexander Architectural Archive, University of Texas Libraries, The University of Texas at Austin

Processing Information

Drawings processed by: Donna Coates

Detailed Description of the Collection

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


Series A: Professional Papers

Series Abstract
The series includes two Beaux Arts Society medals dating 1926 and 1927.


Series B: Project Records

Series Abstract
The collection includes 3 drawings of Buenz’s San Antonio residence, 236 Greeley Street (Alamo Heights), and 23 original drawings by Buenz and 11 photostats of plans by Robert H.H. Hugman of the San Antonio River Walk (Paseo del Rio).