A Guide to the Atlee B. Ayres Papers, 1899-1939
Born to Nathan Tandy and Mary Parsons (Atlee) Ayres in Ohio, Atlee Bernard Ayres (1873-1969) moved with his family to Texas, settling in San Antonio in 1888. Graduating from the New York City Metropolitan Museum of Art and Columbia University School of Architecture in 1894, he returned to San Antonio and married Olive Moss Cox in 1896. The couple had two sons, Robert Moss and Atlee Tandy, before her death in 1937. He then married Katherine Cox in 1940.
In 1900, Ayres entered into a partnership with Charles A. Coughlin, which lasted until the latter’s death in 1905, when Ayres established his own architectural firm. Becoming State Architect of Texas in 1915, he formed a firm with his son Robert in 1921. During his career, Ayres built numerous buildings in San Antonio and other Texas cities, including the James E. Rudder State Office Building (1916), the Texas School for the Blind (1917), the San Antonio Municipal Auditorium (1924) with Emmett Jackson and George Willis, the Smith-Young Tower (1929), several buildings for the University of Texas at Austin, as well as several citizens’ homes. Ayres also published Mexican Architecture (1926), served as president of the Fiesta Association (1911-1918), became a fellow of the American Institute of Architects in 1931, influenced the establishment of state licensing for architects in 1937, and was a charter member of the Texas Society of Architects in 1939.
"Ayres, Atlee Bernard."Handbook of Texas Online. Accessed March 17, 2011. http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fay03.
"Ayres & Ayres, Architects: An Inventory of their Architectural Drawings, Photographs, and Records, 1894-1977." Alexander Architectural Archives, University of Texas Libraries, The University of Texas at Austin. Accessed March 17, 2011. http://www.lib.utexas.edu/taro/utaaa/00041/aaa-00041.html.
Comprised primarily of correspondence, the Atlee B. Ayres Papers, 1899-1939, document Ayres’ architectural projects in Austin and San Antonio, his work for the Fiesta Association, real estate business, and his family life. Correspondence with James E. Ferguson’s secretary and others concern accounts, funding, and heating specifications for the Blind Institute, while missives from Carlos Bee, Harry Wurzbach, Tom Connally, and Charles Anderson discuss political favors. Additional correspondence illuminate his relationship with E. A. Atlee and the legal business of C. A. Goeth with several Texas politicians, including Bee, Thomas L. Blanton, and W. Lee O’Daniel. The collection also contains a photocopied petition for the candidacy of Woodrow Wilson and a legal application to organize a club.
This collection is open for research use.
Atlee B. Ayres Papers, 1899-1939, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.
This collection contains unprocessed materials.
Basic processing and cataloging of this collection was supported with funds from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) for the Briscoe Center’s “History Revealed: Bringing Collections to Light project,” 2009-2011.
Detailed Description of the Papers