University of Texas, Alexander Architectural Archive

Colley Associates drawings,


Collection Summary

CreatorColley, Richard S., 1910-
TitleColley Associates drawings
Dates: 1960s
AbstractArchitectural drawings and photographic material document the career of Corpus Christi architect Richard S. Colley. The bulk of the material in this collection is related to Colley's work with Texas Instruments.
Quantity939 sheets of architectural drawings, 3 black and white photographs, 4 color photographs, 142 photostats, and 1 line negative.
Repository:Alexander Architectural Archives, University of Texas Libraries, The University of Texas at Austin.

Biographical Sketch of Richard S. Colley

Richard Colley was born on June 18, 1910 in Fort Worth, Texas. He grew up in Yoakum, Texas and entered the architecture program at the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas in 1926. He left school in 1931, without a degree. Colley worked in Monterrey, Mexico with architect Rodolfo Garza Madero until 1933. In 1934, he was offered the landscape architect position for the restoration of Mission Espiritu Santo de Zuniga in Goliad, Texas, where he worked with Raiford Stripling and Charles Phelps Vosper, his former professor.

Colley moved to Corpus Christi in 1936, where he worked for architects Brock and Roberts. In 1938, he established his own architectural office in Corpus Christi. His early work demonstrates a reliance on Beaux-Arts classicism combined with a regional vocabulary. His first two commissions, a hacienda for Richard Hawn (1939) and Sacred Heart Church (1938-1939) were executed in a Spanish Colonial Revival style. Following World War II, Colley began to turn away from historical models, applying a modern approach to his work. By the late 1940s and 1950s, his work was characterized by wide roof overhangs, integrated indoor and outdoor spaces, and sun screens. He responded to the south Texas climate by designing buildings to facilitate airflow and shading.

For an eighteen month period in 1944-1945, Colley served as the director of city planning for Corpus Christi. In the 1950s he was commissioned to design a series of buildings for the city, including a city hall, a civic center, an auditorium, and an exposition hall. Colley was praised for the new municipal complex along Shoreline Boulevard which responded to the climate of the Gulf Coast. Structurally innovative, he used Lamella steel arches reinforced by concrete buttresses to span 224 feet in the civic center. Colley became interested in lift-slab construction in the 1950s. The method was developed by the Southwest Research Institute and refined by architects O'Neil Ford and Colley who applied the process in numerous structures, including Texas Instruments Technical Laboratories in Houston (1957), the Crossroads Restaurant at the Great Southwest Industrial District in Arlington (1957), and the Technical Instruments Semiconductor Building in Richardson (1958). As Texas Instrument's principal architect in the 1960s, Colley designed and supervised construction of many buildings worldwide, including structures in Argentina, El Salvador, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, and the Philippines.

Colley was a member of the American Institute of Architects. He was married to Margaret Hutcheson of Edna, Texas and had two sons. In honor of his contributions to the architecture of Texas, he was awarded an honorary doctorate from Texas Tech University in 1983. Colley died in Corpus Christi on October 21, 1983. His firm continued to practice under that name Colley Associates after his death.

Scope and Content of the collection

Colley Associates drawings is comprised of 939 drawings, 3 black and white photographs, 4 color photographs, 142 photostats, and 1 line negative that document work by the Corpus Christi architect Richard S. Colley. The bulk of the material in this collection is related to Colley's work with Texas Instruments.


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This collection is open for research. Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using archival materials. As all or portions of this collection may be housed off-site, advance notice of at least three working days is required for retrieval. Certain items may require additional time for flattening or humidifying before they can be viewed. Access is by appointment only. Please contact the archives' reference staff for further information.

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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
Creators (persons):
Colley, Richard S.
Subjects (persons):
Ford, O'Neil, 1905-
Subjects (organizations):
Texas Instruments Incorporated.
Document types:
Architectural drawings.

Related Material

Corpus Christi Public Libraries Digital Archives, digital images of Richard Colley and his architectural work, Sacred Heart Catholic Church

O'Neil Ford collection, Alexander Architectural Archives, University of Texas Libraries, The University of Texas at Austin

Administrative Information


Colley Associates drawings, Alexander Architectural Archives, University of Texas Libraries, The University of Texas at Austin

Processing Information

Processing is not completed. Please see Archive's staff for more information.

References to works by or about Richard S. Colley

-- compiled by Kathryn A. Pierce

"An Industrial Heart for Metropolis (midway between Dallas and Fort Worth)," Architectural Forum 106 (June 1957): 154-159.

"Civic Buildings (Corpus Christi, Texas)," Progressive Architecture 34 (Feb 1953): 83-92.

"Four Bright New Homes for Industry," Architectural Forum 105 (Dec. 1956): 136-151.

George, Mary Carolyn Hollers. Handbook of Texas Online, s.v. "Richard Stewart Colley."

"Lamella Steel Arches: Convention and Exhibition Hall, Corpus Christi, Texas," Progressive Architecture 34 (June 1954): 106-107.

"Lift-slab Housing Comes in Cheaper than Frame: (Corpus Christi, Texas)," Architectural Forum 95 (Sept. 1951): 184-188.

Long, Christopher. "Richard S. Colley," unpublished article in Richard Colley reference file at Alexander Architectural Archives.

Porter, John B. and Richard S. Colley. Youtz-Slick Lift Slab construction method. San Antonio, Tex.: Inst. of Inventive Research, 1952.

Preservation Texas, "Preservation Texas Names Corpus Christi Memorial Coliseum to its Inaugural List of Texas' Most Endangered Historic Places."

"Richard S. Colley, dead at 73," Texas Architect 34 (Jan.-Feb. 1984): 84.

Tillery, Ray Don. "Corpus Christi to Raze Colley's 1952 Civic Design," Texas Architect 38 (Mar.-Apr. 1988): 8-9.

"The Private House," Progressive Architecture 36 (May 1955): 89-121.

"Voûte Lamelliere de Grande Portée en Acier," Techniques et Architecture (1955): 9.

Detailed Description of the Collection

This collection has not been processed. See archival staff for more information.