Preservation experts showcase campus' depression-era buildings

Justin Curtsinger

Justin Curtsinger

Nancy McCoy

Nancy McCoy

A significant era of the campus’ architectural heritage was discussed by preservation experts in “A Collection of Extraordinary Talent & Artistry: The Depression-Era Buildings of Texas A&M,” an April 30 lecture at the College of Architecture's Preston Geren Auditorium.

Nancy McCoy, a founding principal of Quimby McCoy Preservation Architecture, LLP, and Justin Curtsinger, a designer at Quimby McCoy, focused on the quality and detailed ornamentation of university buildings constructed in the 1920s and 30s that incorporated the work of an army of artisans and craftsmen.

The buildings were designed and their construction was supervised by Frederick Giesecke, campus architect and department head who founded Texas A&M’s architecture program in 1905. Giesecke oversaw a depression-era building boom that included the Chemistry Building, Williams Administration Building, Cushing Memorial Library and Scoates Hall.

“The buildings were designed to impress students and visitors with the institution’s wealth and power and the heritage of the state and the institution,” said Curtsinger.

Quimby McCoy is overseeing an $11.4 million renovation of the Williams Building, which will house the university president’s office after its completion this fall, and a $10.6 million renovation of Scoates Hall, which will house classrooms and several of the College of Architecture’s research centers after its renovation is complete in November 2014.

The speakers led audience members on a tour of nearby Scoates Hall after the lecture.

McCoy, who earned a Bachelor of Environmental Design degree at Texas A&M in 1981, is an outstanding alumna of the College of Architecture and a member of the American Institute of Architects’ College of Fellows; Curtsinger earned a Master of Architecture degree in 2010 and a Bachelor of Environmental Design degree in 2008.

The lecture was hosted by the College of Architecture and the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering with funding by the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Cynthia Woods Mitchell Fund for Historic Interiors.

posted April 15, 2014