Preston M. Geren (1891-1969)


Geren, Preston M.

Variant Names

Geren, Preston Murdoch, Sr.

Personal Information

Birth/Death:    b. 02 November 1891 - d. 21 September 1969
Occupation:    American architect
Location:    Fort Worth, TX

AIA Affiliation

Member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) 1942-decease

Biographical Sources

American Architects Directories:
Biographical listing in 1956 American Architects Directory
Biographical listing in 1962 American Architects Directory

Biographical information:
Contributed by the Alexander Architectural Archive, University of Texas Libraries, The University of Texas:
Preston Murdoch Geren Sr. was born in Sherman, Texas on November 2, 1891. He received a degree in architectural engineering from A&M College of Texas in 1912. Geren served as supervising architect for buildings on the A&M campus for two years and then spent two years in the private architectural firm of Giesecke and Geren.
After distinguished service in France during World War I, he joined the contracting firm of J.G. Johnson in Austin as chief engineer. In 1921 he joined the Department of Architecture and Engineering at Oklahoma A&M (Oklahoma State University), where he served as professor and department head for two years.
From 1923 to 1934, Geren was chief engineer for the Fort Worth architectural firm of Sanguinet, Staats, and Hedrick (later Wyatt C. Hedrick Inc.), working on such Fort Worth landmarks as the Fort Worth Club, the Texas & Pacific Passenger Terminal, and the Fair and Electric buildings.
Geren organized his own architectural firm in 1934 and was joined in partnership by his son, Preston M. Geren Jr. in 1949. During the ensuing thirty-five years, the firm was responsible for the design of many outstanding structures in Fort Worth and throughout Texas. In addition to the Moderne projects – Elmwood Sanitarium (1937) and Farrington Field (1939) – Geren's other notable Fort Worth buildings include the additions to the Lily B. Clayton Elementary School (addition, 1936); Arlington Heights Senior High School (1936); the Bank of Commerce; Continental National, First National, Fort Worth National, and Riverside State banks; and the Travis Avenue Baptist and First Presbyterian churches. In 1938-39, Geren was associated with five other architects in Fort Worth's two public housing projects. He also designed the New London High School, Greater Southwest International Airport (with Joseph R. Pelich), numerous buildings at the University of Texas at Arlington and Austin, Southwestern Baptist Seminary, North Texas State University, Texas Wesleyan College, University of Dallas, Texas Woman's University and Texas Christian University. He was associate architect to Louis I. Kahn, FAIA, of Philadelphia, for the Kimbell Art Museum (1968-72).
During World War II, Geren maintained his architectural practice and in joint venture with W.G. Clarkson, J.R. Pelich and Joe Rady, he participated in the design of McCloskey Army Hospital in Temple, Harmon Army Hospital in Longview, and numerous airfields and other defense facilities in the state. Geren was charter member of both the Texas Society of Architects and the Fort Worth Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. He was selected Engineer of the Year by the Texas Society of Professional Engineers in 1956 and was elected a Fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers in 1959. On two occasions the City of Fort Worth presented him with its Distinguished Award for his active participation in civic affairs. Geren remained active in his firm until his death on September 21, 1969.

Related Records

Father and partner of Preston M. Geren, Jr.

Archival Holdings

The American Institute of Architects Archives
      Membership file contains membership application, unsuccessful nomination for Fellowship, Baldwin Memorial biographical form. Forms and letters in support of his unsuccessful Fellowship nomination have been scanned as a separate file.

Alexander Architectural Archive, University of Texas Libraries, The University of Texas
      Preston M. Geren (1891-1969) Drawings, 1937-1969
This group of material from Preston M. Geren's architectural practice consists of 462 architectural drawings representing five projects. Most of the drawings are engineering records produced between 1937 and 1969, with the majority done in 1968 and 1969.
The Kimbell Museum in Fort Worth, Texas (1969) is the most significant project in the collection. 177 engineering drawings represent the Louis I Kahn designed building, with Geren as Associate Architect.
For more information https://www.lib.utexas.edu/about/locations/alexander-architectural-archives