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