Outstanding alum recalls college days in Texas Architect magazine

Frank Welch

Frank Welch

Frank Welch ’51 recounts the emphasis on Modernism in Texas A&M’s architecture program as well as learning experiences outside the classroom in the first chapter of his unpublished memoir, the cover story of the January/February 2012 issue of Texas Architect.

Welch, an American Institute of Architects’ Fellow and an outstanding alumnus of the College of Architecture, heads Frank Welch & Associates, a Dallas-based architecture firm recognized with more than 50 awards of design excellence.

“My first architecture design classes were held in a temporary building, a one-story barracks, near the campus’s North Gate,” said Welch in his memoir. “My teacher was Jason Moore, who taught fundamentals of design … his job was to indoctrinate us in modernism regardless of our individual histories and predilections toward building design.”

In other design and history classes on the top floor of the Academic Building, he and his fellow students “became confirmed modernists, eschewing the traditionalism in design that we had grown up with. Color disappeared in design presentations, precise India ink drawings and mechanical lettering in the Harvard mode became the standard.”

Welch recalls nightlife in Houston, learning about literature in a club organized by professor in the English department, working at the Battalion and editing a campus humor publication.

After working with San Antonio-based architect O’Neal Ford, a pioneer of Texas modern regionalism, Welch opened his own office in west Texas in 1959. Welch is also the author of Philip Johnson & Texas, published in 2000 by the University of Texas Press.

Welch's Texas Architect story can be viewed online.

posted May 25, 2012