Eugene George, Jr.


George, Eugene

Variant Names

George, Walter Eugene, Jr.

Personal Information

Occupation:    American architect
Location (state):    TX

This record has not been verified for accuracy.

AIA Affiliation

Member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) 1954-

Biographical Sources

American Architects Directories:
Biographical listing in 1956 American Architects Directory
Biographical listing in 1962 American Architects Directory
Biographical listing in 1970 American Architects Directory
Biographical information:
Contributed by the Alexander Architectural Archive, University of Texas Libraries, The University of Texas:
Born in Wichita Falls, Texas, in 1922, Eugene George received his Bachelors of Architecture degree from the University of Texas in 1949. During his student period, his academic qualities were acknowledged by membership in Tau Sigma Delta (Mu Chapter, University of Texas, May 1, 1947), Honorary Society for Architecture and the Allied Arts. On graduation, he received the Mont San Michel and Chartres Award from the American Institute of Architects for architectural scholarship. His studies were interrupted during World War II in which he served as a pilot in the Eighth Air Force (England). Captured by the Germans, he spent almost a year in a POW prison camp (Stalag Luft I) in Germany. While in prison, he established and taught an introductory architectural course. George received a Master of Architecture from Harvard University, where he was a student of Walter Gropius.
During a summer period, George worked for the firm of Giesecke, Kuehne, and Brooks (Austin). Following graduation he worked for Wiltshire and Fisher (Dallas) and Richard Colley (Corpus Christi). He was licensed to practice architecture in Texas and subsequently, he received a Certificate from the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards as well as architectural licenses from the states of Kansas, Virginia, and New Mexico. With others he established his own firm Pendley George and Bowman in September 1952. Except for a brief tenure with the Austin firm of Page, Southerland, and Page (1970-1971) and serving as Resident Architect for Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia (1971-1973), George has always maintained a private architectural practice.
George is one of the leading architects of the historic preservation movement in Texas. He reactivated the Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) in Texas during 1961 following a dormant period of more than two decades. In addition to preparing measured drawings for San Antonio's Mission of San Antonio de Valero ("The Alamo"), he was active in the documentation of historic buildings in the Rio Grande borderlands. Additionally, he documented historic buildings for HABS on Nantucket Island, Massachusetts during 1967. For the Texas Historical Commission, he documented Socorro Mission during 1979. His restoration projects include vernacular structures at Round Top, Texas (1969-1970), restoration at the Yorktown Battlefield and the Nelson Block, both in Virginia (1976, for the National Park Service), restoration of the Magoffin adobe in El Paso, Texas (1977), The Randle-Turner House, near Itasca, Texas (1977), The Sixth Floor (museum at the John F. Kennedy assassination site, in Dallas, Texas, 1987), and both the Willis-Moody House and the Quigg-Ballard Cottage, Galveston, Texas (1985-1987). He is well known for his research concerned with the preservation of adobe structures and his studies of the vernacular Hispanic building traditions of the southwestern borderlands.
While maintaining a professional practice, George also established a notable career as an educator. He taught in the architectural program at the University of Texas at Austin from 1957 to 1962, receiving from the Students' Association their Teaching Excellence Award during a convocation held April 2nd, 1960. At Lawrence, Kansas, from 1962 to 1967, he was chairman of the departments of Architecture and Architectural Engineering. In 1967, he was appointed Dean of the College of Architecture at the University of Houston, resigning in 1969. He resumed teaching at the University of Texas at Austin during 1975, including positions both in the Historic Restoration program in the School of Architecture and in the Architectural Engineering program in the Department of Civil Engineering until 1997. In 1997 he inaugurated a new graduate program at the University of Texas at San Antonio, where he is the first recipient of the Mary Ann Blocker Castleberry Endowed Professorship on Historic Preservation established by the San Antonio Conservation Society.
George has received numerous awards for his work in historic preservation including a 1978 award from the Austin Heritage Society for the conversion of an historic service station into a corporate office facility. He was awarded the Maharishi Award for Cultural Integrity, Invincibility and World Harmony for research concerning Hispanic cultures in 1979. From the Texas Society of Architects, he received an Honor Award for the restoration of the Randle-Turner House in 1982, as well as the Edward J. Romieniec, FAIA Award in 2001, for outstanding contributions in education. George was elected to the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects in 2004.
During the 1960s, George served as editor for Texas Architect magazine. He has lectured in the United States, Mexico, and England on such topics as preservation technology, the architectural history of Texas, architectural education, and the history of construction technology. He has participated in numerous conferences and has authored articles in such journals as Preservation, Fine Homebuilding, Journal of the Association for Preservation Technology as well as in numerous conference proceedings. His book, Historic Architecture of Texas: The Falcon Reservoir, includes the architecture of ranch structures and towns submerged beneath the reservoir.
George has served on many committees including national AIA Committee on Historic Buildings, the Texas Chapter of the Society of Architectural Historians, the Kansas Historical Committee, and the Texas State Board of Review for the National Register of Historic Places. He has additionally served during two sessions as the State Preservation Coordinator for the Governor's office. Walter Eugene George, Jr. has been listed in Who's Who in America since 1967. He is married to Mary Carolyn Hollers, an art and architectural historian.

Related Records

Archival Holdings

The American Institute of Architects Archives
      Membership file may contain membership application, related correspondence. Membership files of living persons are not available. Contact the AIA Archives at archives@aia.org for further information.
Alexander Architectural Archive, University of Texas Libraries, The University of Texas
Walter Eugene George, Jr. drawings, 1951-1979
This collection of original architectural drawings and prints, encompassing approximately 500 drawings for some 30 projects, is representative of the career of Walter Eugene George Jr. It includes materials for both historic restorations and new construction projects. The bulk of the materials date from the mid-1950s through the 1970s.
The collection contains measured drawings of historic buildings in Texas restored under the supervision of George, including the Jordan-Bowles Homestead, near Grand Prairie; the Friedrich Schob House in Victoria County; and the Schumann House in Henkel Square, Round Top. There are also copies of measured drawings for historic Texas buildings from the Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS), including the Janda Farm in Fayette County and the Claiborne Kyle Log House in Hays County.
The collection includes examples of George's original designs for new construction, such as the residences for Patrick Gibbons in San Antonio, Kent Kennan in Austin (1955), and William Carter in Austin (1961). Of particular note are the drawings for an office building for Nieman, Hanks & Puryear in Austin, an award winning rehabilitation project from 1978.
The collection also includes material for historic buildings outside of the boundaries of Texas, including prints of measured drawings for various buildings at Colonial Williamsburg, executed while George was the resident architect from 1971 to 1973, and prints of measured drawings for Colonial National Historical Park in Yorktown, Pennsylvania from 1974 to 1975. There are also copies of measured drawings from the Historic American Buildings Survey, including the Robie House in Chicago and the Second Congregational Meeting House in Nantucket, Massachusetts.
For more information https://www.lib.utexas.edu/about/locations/alexander-architectural-archives