J. Fred Buenz (1904-1991)


Buenz, J. Fred (John Frederick)

Variant Names

Buenz, Fred

Personal Information

Birth/Death:    1904-1991
Occupation:    American architect
Location:    San Antonio, TX

This record has not been verified for accuracy.

AIA Affiliation

Member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) 1952-?

Biographical Sources

American Architects Directories:
Biographical listing in 1956 American Architects Directory
Repeat of 1956 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:
John Frederick Buenz was born in Laredo, Texas in February 1904. His father was an early settler from Germany who first immigrated to New Braunfels, then opened a lumber business in Laredo selling railroad ties to the Texas-Mexican Railroad.
Fred Buenz attended the University of Texas School of Architecture from 1921-1923. One of his professors, Samuel Gideon encouraged him to transfer to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Buenz did transfer, studied in the MIT Department of Architecture from 1923-1926 receiving both Bachelors and Masters degrees. He continued his education at the L'Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Fontainebleau, France during the summer of 1926.
He married Harriet E'Lane Robertson in 1931. They had two sons, John, Jr. and Peter.
From 1933-1936 Fred Buenz worked for San Antonio architects Atlee B. and Robert M. Ayres. He opened his own office in 1936, but his architectural practice was interrupted by his military service for the Corp of Engineers at Fort Sam Houston during World War II. He resumed his private practice after the war from 1947-1958.
In 1940 Fred Buenz was hired by the San Antonio City Council to direct the completion of the San Antonio River Walk (Paseo del Rio), replacing architect Robert Hugman. Buenz was particularly instrumental in the design of the Arneson River Theater and the area around the Houston Street Crossing.
Buenz was a life-long member of the American Institute of Architects and the Texas Society of Architects. Fred Buenz died on March 8, 1991 in San Antonio.

Related Records

Archival Holdings

The American Institute of Architects Archives
      Membership file may contain membership application, related correspondence. Contact the AIA Archives at archives@aia.org for further information.
Alexander Architectural Archive, University of Texas Libraries, The University of Texas
J. Fred Buenz collection, 1926-1927, 1939, 1940
Drawings, photographs and medals illustrate part of the career of J. Fred (John Frederick) Buenz, a prominent San Antonio architect. Buenz is best known for his residential work, public school construction, and completion of the San Antonio River Walk.
For more information https://www.lib.utexas.edu/about/locations/alexander-architectural-archives