James Riely Gordon collection

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Texas State Association of Architects Minutes and Proceedings

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Geo S. Kane, Fort Worth J. J. Kane, " " J. Larmour, Austin W. W. Larmour, Waco Arthur A. Messer, Ft Worth [J. S.?] Moad, Dallas Burt McDonald, Austin M. McQuirk Dallas Alfred Muller, Galveston P. S. Rabitt, " Oscar Ruffini San Angelo M. R. Sanguinet Ft Worth Geo W Stewart Dallas Nathaniel Tobey Dallas Albert Ulrich Dallas James Wahrenberger, San Antonio A. O. Watson, Austin

Honorary Members.

E. J. Redfield - Galveston Oscar Lynch, Fort Worth

The following motions were adopted:

That a vote of thanks be extended to the President and members of Commercial Club for other kind attentions, and also to the president and members of the Board of Trade for the use of the Chamber of Commerce [?] and Committee rooms also to the press of the city of Fort Worth.

[?] being 11:15 oclock P.M., a motion to adjourn and partake of the hospitalities of worthy citizens of Fort Worth under the conduct Col. Hurley

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and Oscar Lynch, was put and carried.

On motion, the convention adjourned to meet in Galveston on the third Tuesday in Jany 1892.

Your secretary appreciates the honor conferred by the association in having erected him to fill so important an office, and wished to thank the retiring secretary for carefully compiling the minutes.

[He?] advising the election of some member that may be present, the future, for it involves too much work and responsibility up on the retiring secretary and particularly in this instance. Our late worthy Sec'y having been elected President.

The duties of two offices were placed upon him, as the Secretary-elect was not present.

A. O. Watson

Sec T. S. A. A - 91 -

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Proceedings -of theSeventh Annual Convention -of theTexas State Association of Architects -Held InHarmony Hall, Galveston

January 11, 1892

San Antonio, Texas Johnson Bros. Printing Company 1892

Officers:

Geo. E. Dickey ... President S. B. Haggart ... Vice-President Alfred Muller ... Second Vice-President J. Riely Gordon ... Secretary A. A. Messer ... Treasurer

Executive Committee:

C. A. Gill, Chairman,

Burt McDonald, Geo. W. Stewart, P. S. Rabitt, W. W. Larmour

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Proceedings

of the

Seventh Annual Convention

of the

Texas State Association of Architects

Held In

Harmony Hall, Galveston, January 19, '92

FIRST DAY - MORNING SESSION

Tuesday, January 19, 1892.

President Geo. W. Stewart called the convention to order, after which a motion prevailed to adjourn until 2 P. M.

During the intervening time the local committee arranged the fifty-two architectural subjects offered by members in response to Mr. Gordon's resolution of the previous convention. This feature from its inception was the source of much enthusiasm, and for the initial exhibition, made a large and creditable display of interesting and instructive subjects, and substantially proved to the members, and the public that the T. S. A. A. membership included within its ranks, talent of marked ability and promise, and has stimulated professional pride to such an extent that each member will in the future prepare his best efforts for the "Art Exhibiton" at each succeeding convention.

AFTERNOON SESSION.

The Secretary called the roll and a motion prevailed to pass the reading of the minutes of the last convention as Secretary Watson had mailed copies to each member and placed copies on the desk of each one present.

President Stewart then delivered his annual address as follows:

The President's Address.

To the members of the Texas State Association of Architects:

Gentlemen: In extending a greeting to the members of the Texas State Association of Architects, in this, our seventh annual convention, it may be in order to review the past work and influences exercised by the Association, observe what we have lost by delay and negligence, endeavor to profit by experience, correct the errors committed by one and all, and, so lay such a strong and creditable foundation that will redound to our glory and the good of our vast nation.

Take one of the most important measures introduce at the first annual gathering -- that of the schedule of fees for professional services with its various amendments.

After many years of hard practice architects found that a uniform fee must be decided on in order to offer all in the profession the same chances whereby to gain a respectable livelihood, so the scheudle of charges as adopted by the Texas Association was based on those in vogue almost the world over, and what common usage decreed was proper and right. The fees can not be exorbitant, for if so there would be many wealthy practitioners, but the reverse is the case, as our worthy brethren of long experience will testify.

With professional men a word is accepted as being as good as a bond, but I regret to say that even the latter is broken by some who shield themselves behind the cloak of fellowship while professing to

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Texas State Association of Architects. 5

live up to our requirements and the rules governing the same, but who almost daily break their promises by making overtures to the prospective client, to do work, for figures, that are about one-half of the regular fees.

In an official announcement, requesting plans and specifications for public buildings, the competing architects were invited to submit sealed proposals on the following conditions:

"1. The building to cost not over $22,000 each.

"2. PArties furnishing plans to state what per cent. of the cost of the buildings will be charged for plans furnished.

"3. What per cent. of cost of building will be charged for superintending the work on building to completion.

"The city reserves the right to reject any and all bids, etc., etc."

As the cost of the structure was not to exceed a stipulated amount, it appeared as though the award would be made contingent on the lowest fees proposal, irrespective of the merits of the sketches.

Is it for fame or wealth that we enjoy life? Take for instance the student or apprentice in the profession, particularly in Europe and our older northeastern states, entering an office at any age from 15 to 19 years, signing articles to serve for a period of three to five years without any remuneration, and oftentime paying a bonus in addition for the privlege of learning the devices, arts and technicalities of his future occupation, to preserve the office secrets and divulge nothing that transpires therein, then going through the drugery of cleaning off the boards, stretching paper, washing prints, dusting the cabinets and sketches, executing messages, copying specification, tracing details and a lot more unintersing work.

Reaching the estate of a draftsman, and working hard and long at a meager salary, he finally signs the fatal term, architect, to his name, and launches forth to do battle with the world. His hoped-for firends and clients rate him for maintaining such high fees and employ older heads at the same prices. Maybe he is taken to task by his clients for being too conscientious or lenient, and on the other hand is abused by the contractor for extoring too high a standard of workmanship and material, and for being a martinet, on the work, and so the years roll on.

When one is perfectly conscientious in the discharge of his duties he finds his percventages dearly gained and barely sufficient for the services rendered, more so on account of being now and again "brought into contact with scheming agents, manufacturers and unprincipled contractors," who work against his interests. Therefore, to guard against further abuse of this nature, a defense association, or, in other terms, a bill entitled "An act to regulate the practice of architecture," was introduced in January, 1886, for presentation to the legislature, but not until the following year was action taken on it by the association; then it appears to have been hoisted until 1888, when the bill as amended was gone over, and approved in convention, with instructions to have same published and presented in the house. In due time the bill was introduced, but gave offense to some members on the floor, in consequence of which it was pigeonholed. In 1889, in our convention the bill was carefully discussed and amended, so that all objectionable features were apparently obliterated, and our small but enthusiastic association grew interested over its importance, and teh weight of its twelve sections. Eminent counsel was secured, with power to over-rule our approved bill, to make such changes as appeared desirable, draft the reolution, look to the proper moders of procedure, and extert every endeavor to carry it through.

The bill was reduced to eight sections. Lobbyists were busily consulting with great legislators, who personally offered to "see it though" and bring it up for its third reading. Petitions were circulated among citizens of various towns by interested architects, but with such indifference that our representatives in the house were unfavorably impressed. Lethargy entered and the result was the when the Twenty-first legislature of the state of Texas adjourned the bill had only gone as far as the first ereading, and our labors were utterly lost for two more years. In 1891 the act is again taken up and special instructions give to one of the most influential members of our association to urge the passage of the act.

In 1887 the Engineers' Society of Texas endorsed our endeavors, and offered their assistance in working for our mutual welfare. In the respect they have suffered the same as ourselves.

About thirty months since the American Architect and Buidling News took occasion to criticise our action in the matter of licensing architects in the state, speaking against its enact for so close a compact of wild westerners in harsh terms, as that our intention was to exclude in every possible way the competition of architects from outside states, or taxing them such an extent as would prevent

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Texas State Association of Architects. 7

their coming into the state. I took the opportunity to reply, and placed our association's purposes in the proper light, also enclosing a copy of the act. Both the act and my letter were published in the aforesaid journal, together with the editor's reply, in which, their defense for making the attack was set forth in a polite manner, stating that they had been misinformed of the nature of the bill and were pleased to be set right and be enabled to rectify their previous opinion, also regretting that they had not been earlier apprised of the true intent of the bill. As to the manner of competition and methods of conducting same, most architects will condemn the practice of such, and some present might recall that of the Bosque county courthouse in which the commissioners stood by the architect in 1886, when they refused to look at the plans submitted by the contractors, and only received such as were entered by properly qualified architects, thereby setting an example which should be followed by other public bodies. Time and again, in every department throughout the state we are brought into contact with artisans, whose line of business, somewhat clashes with our profession.

The competition for the Texas world's fair exhibit building was carried out on good lines and the manner of selecting the designs and awarding the work was eminently satisfactory and the system much to be commended. True, the conditions were wanting in some particulars, and the requirements were not so strcity observed as the terms called for. In effect they were:

"Preliminary studies, floor plans and elevations only.

"Line drawings without color, built of Texas material (Frame), cost not to exceed $100,000.

"The supplementary circular calls for the scale of ten feet to the inch.

"All plans must be accompanied with a detailed estimate showing and quantity of each character of material to be used, the net cost of same and the cost of placing the same in the building."

Sections were necessary, although uncalled for, and were generally submitted. A goodly number of competitiors offered perspectives, contrary to the requirements of the committee, and as they are not essential in order to complete a set of drawings, being so often faulty, misleading and cooked, should not have been received.

If a committee specially desires perspectives, of course cate to their wants, but if they are not asked for they should be thrown out and placed where they are not seen.

In the wording "line drawings without color" the competitiors used great latitude in determining same and most of the elvations were shaded with pen and ink to the greatest extent.

Properly "line drawings" are rendered in pencil or with pen and ink without shade lines or shadows. If the projections are shown with a heavier line on the obscure side, they may be designated "profile" drawings, "back lining" or "black lining." This is the most simple way of giving effect.

If it is desired to have "full pen and ink" drawings.

IT IS A SIMPLE MATTER

to call for shaded drawings in pen and ink, which permit an unlimited amount of labor and effect. But if only outline drawings are required they should be called for, as that would back lining or profiling and be sufficiently explanatory.

So often do estimates, submitted with the drawings, by the architect come so much lower than the actual cost of the building, that I will cite the instance of a strange competition for a city hall in a northeastern city, in which "all necessary ground plans, sections and elevations, with details of the principal aprtments, also specification, bills of quantities, etc., were required and the total cost of the building, not to exceed $200,000. Prizes of $1,500, $1,000 and $500 were offered, the city reserving the right to the purchase of the other plans submitted on the payment of $100; further, not necessarily accepting any of the designs." The conditions were of so unsavory a character, and the requirements of the structure so great, that, a public journal stated, that the building would require to be of such dimensions, that it could not be carried out for the amount appropriated. The city engineer in reply mentioned that "the committee either thought it beneath their dignity to consult him in the premises, or that, knwoing that public buildings cost twice as much as the original estimates, they thought, that by limiting architects to $200,000 they could get a building finished for about $400,000, and so the trusth as to their real intention leaks out." It is well to avoid getting tangled in such matters, and selling our brain's work for such paltry and to such inconsistent bodies.

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Texas State Association of Architect. 9

In line with the resolutions passed last year bearing on the subject of architects entering into competitions, I wish to bring to your notice some regulations that might meet with your favorable consideration: A competent architect of undoubted integrity and skill should be employed to assist all committees in formulating the conditions of the competition, in the examination of plans and be paid by them for his services. As an adviser he should not be a competitior for the work, nor have any interest in it, but should see that all the conditions are in all cases complied with in the plans.

The number of drawing should be distnctly mentioned and it be imperative that all be rendered to the same scale, which scale should be as small as will readily explain without putting the authors to unnecessary expense and waste of time.

A stated scale will prevent architects hawking around the country their old worn out and dog-eared sets of drawings, containg the same old ideas, and the same old highly colored perspectives, which look wearied from so constantly appearing before committees.

A description -- not full specifications -- in type writing should accompany the drawings -- specially directed to point out peculiarities in the construction and material. No interlining by pen and ink be the competitor should be permitted or indulged in, nor should his name appear on the drawings or notes. His name and address should be in a sealed envelope,

AND HIS MOTTO OR DEVICE

only on the drawings.

The limit of cost should be clearly stated.

No designs should be accepted that exceed by 15 percent the limit of cost.

The hour and date up to which drawings will be received, should be thoroughly understood, and no designs accepted after that hour; except it can be shown by positive proof that the fault of delivery lay in the transfer.

The amount of the premiums should be at least 2 percent of the proposed cost of the finished building. Competitions whre no premiums are offered are far from satisfactory, the projections much for nothing.

If designs are presented which fulfill the conditions of the competition, even though none of the designs appear to the committee to be altogether up to their ideas or tu fulfill the requirements, the promised premiums must be given in their order, it behing reasonable to suppose that the competitiors have used their highest endeavours to produce a suitable edifice, and with the figure of cost. Modifications or improvements can be afterwards made at the sggestions of the projectors. All drawings should be publically exhibited after the awards are made.

As to the purchse of the premediated drawings; the payment for the loan of rejected sets embodying novel ideas; the right of the projectors to select an associate architect to act with the successful one in case of his being inexperienced in his work, are matters for the consideration of the competitors mainly.

The drawings should be returned prepaid to the authors within a reasonable time, together with a copy of the official decision and report of the examiners.

These and other matters should be carefully considered.

Close or private competitions, in which architects who seem specially fitted for the projected work are invited to participate, are preferable to open competitions. Their names are attached to the drawings, and the successful author always carries the work through to completion.

Competitions, although entered into very generally, are more often condemned than approved of by architects. The reasons are various; lack of time to properly consider and study the designs without infringing on his regular office work, which causes him to revive time out of mind theories, or if it is necessary to improve on existing structures, some improperly thought out features, showy and meretricious towers, unnecessarily broken sky line, or other catchy details are added to prove the originality of the design, and the interior utility is often thereby destroyed.

Friendship and peace of mind are often engendered, remarks are uttered that brook enmity, high aspirations are shattered and the defeated candidates return home with the feeling that they have not been justly treated, and this system repeated several times effectually bars their entering into future rivalry.

At our first gathering as a body we were invited to report to the executive committee any deviations from the schedule of charges of this association by any member thereof. The same question has been brought up at later times, but little notice has been taken of the

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Texas State Association of Architects. 11

caution, even if the members are cognizant of the fact that therules are constantly evaded and that it is working harm to the association. Cut prices in all departments foretell loss, and with it go character and dignity.

As an additional protection the introduction of the word architect in connection with the lien law is an immeasurably important one. He who is associated with the execution of the work from the first stroke of the pencil to the acceptance of the building by the proprietor from the contractor is certainly entitled to his just and hard-earned dues in full, and law should give him the desired protection.

The artist and artisan are both protected, and if it fell to the lot of every architect to be a statesman, soldier, sculptor, painter and engineer, as was the great Michaelangelo, it would hardly be necessary to sek for the favor of the legislative body in the incorporation of the one humble word.

The exhibition of drawings at the annual conventions will necessarily take many years to reach a successful issue or be in general favor with our craft, owing to the fact that modesty exists even among aspirants for honor, and our profession is no exception to the rule. Others of known ability are averse to having criticisms made on their works, while some feel that their quiet attempts might appear only secondary when placed in comparison with highly artistic and meritorious colorings of artists, or the more bold drawings of the born draftsman.

As to the resolution regarding the services of an architect to assist committees in the selection of competitive designs, I may state that with the year I have used my influence in recommending this section the attention of several committees with more or less success, but it has mainly resulted in the choice of different expert builders to report on the cost of construction more than on the merits of the designs.

Early in March last I learned from several sources that the Southwestern architects' association was formed at Corpus Christi and had elected Mr. J. R. Gordon as president. I at once wrote to him inquiring into its formation. He informed me that the resident architects there -- non-members of the Texas association -- resorted to such a decline in prices as to render it necessary to either organize or withdraw from that town; also that the organization was a purely local one and in no manner antagonistic to the T. S. A. A., and that he thought the members of the new body would apply for fellowship in ours.

It is a matter of congratulation in the competition for the Texas world's fair exhibition building that out of the twenty different sets of drawings submitted, the five selected best designs have the names of men of the Texas state association, and I sincerely hope that we may always merit so high a position in our future undertakings and show ourselves worthy of the confidence place in us wherever we may be called upon to exercise them.

Mr. Gordon moved, seconded by Mr. Gill, a vote of thanks to president Stewart for his very able address. Unanimous.

Report of Executive Committee.

To the president and members of the Texas State Association of Architects:

Gentlemen: -- The Executive Committee beg leave to report that they held two meetings during the year; that they have examined the report of the secretary which they find correct; that owing to illness in the family of the treasurer he has been unable to attend, and that they have passed for the present the examination of his report; Mr. E. T. Heiner has tendered his regination from the committee; Messrs. Tom Wood of Sherman, and D. E. Laub of San Antonio, were elected members; we heartily endorse the custom inaugurated at this convention of members exhibiting their work, and ask them all to co-operate in this, one of the most attractive features of the convention.

Executive Committee.

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Texas State Association of Architects. 13

Moved by Mr. Dickey, that as a compliment to the faithful and honorable practice of architecture in Texas, for a period of over twenty years, that Col. J. Larmour be elected an honorary member, without dues, for life, seconded by Mr. Gordon. Unanimous.

Mr. Dickey report that he had not received assistance from his associates upon the committee appointed to visit Austin during the meeting of the legislature and use their best efforts to have the word "architect" inserted in the lien law. Upon motion of Mr. Gill, Mr. Dickey granted further time to report.

SECOND DAY.

MORNING SESSION.

Mr. Watson having been excused by President Stewart, Mr. Riley Gordon, of San Antonio, was appointed secretary pro tem.

Mr. Rabitt moved, seconded by Mr. Tobey, a vote of thanks to preisdent Stewart for his beautifully engrossed memorial prepared by him and sent to Messrs. John W. Root and R. M. Hunt, president A. I. A. Carried.

Offered by Mr. Gill, seconded by Mr. Rabitt,

Resolved, by this association, that we strongly condemn as being unprofessional for architects to allow contractors or others to present in competition the plans of architects as being their own property or productions. Carried.

Offered by Mr. Gill, seconded by Mr. Rabitt.

Whereas, it is the frequent practice by those contemplating the erection of buildings, more especially in public buildings, advertising for plans and bids together. Therefore be it --

Resolved by this association that it is hereby declared to be highly unprofessional for architects to engage in competition where such practice is invited and that we strongly condemn such action in members of this association. Carried.

Mr. Clayton's invitation for a drive over the city, where upon motion of Mr. Tobey, seconded by Mr. Gordon, was unanimously accepted for 10 o'clock a. m., Jan. 21st.

OFfered by Mr. Muller, seconded by Mr. Dickey.

Whereas, it is desirous that the members of the Texas State Association of Architects, should form local chapters in their respective cities. Be it --

Resolved, that all members of this association endeavor to induce all architects, not members of our association and (honorably) practicing the profession, to join these local organizations with the view of ultimately securing them as members of the T. S. A. A. Unanimous.

Offered by Mr. Rabitt, seconded by Mr. Muller.

Resolved, that the president of this association call a special meeting to be held at Dallas, during the fair in OCtober, and that he notify each member sixty days beforehand that the object of the meeting is to change the time for holding the annual meeting from JAnuary to October. Carried.

Offered by Mr. Gordon, seconded by Mr. Gill.

Resolved, that the thanks of the T. S. A. A., be ten-

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Texas State Association of Architects. 15

dered the local committee, members of the press and citizens for magnificent manner in which they have entertained its members during the present convention, and that copies of this resolution be sent to the press for publication. Unanimous.

Offered by Mr. Gill, seconded by Mr. Muller.

Resolved, that the thanks of this association are hereby tendered the members who have furnished architectural work and matters of interest to the profession for exhibition at this meeting and urge members to take more interest in this matter at our future meetings. The exhibition at this meeting being a feature of decided success. Unanimous.

THIRD DAY.

MORNING SESSION.

Moved by Mr. Gill, seconded by Mr. Dickey, that the secretary have 250 copies of the annual proceedings published in the usual form, and also to have embodied the constitution and by-laws, and the schedule of charges, and to distribute same to the members of the association, and that $35.00 or as much as may be necessary be appropriated for expenses of same. Carried.

The executive committee report that owing to illness Treasurer Herbert had not been able to attend the convention and his report was delayed, and authorized the new committee to look into the same as soon as they found it convenient to assemble. The report was adopted.

Mr. Stewart, the custodian of the association badges, announced that he had several unappropriated and that the association was indebted for the amount of $13.85.

It was moved that the badges be handed over to the new treasurer and that he be further authorized to pay out the balance of the account due.

The executive committee approved the account of Mr. Stewart for $6.95, for disbursments made while acting secretary pro tem. during the past year.

On motion, the convention adjourned to meet in Dallas on the third Tuesday in January, 1893.

Entertainment.

The local committee of architects assisted by citizens of Galveston exerted themselves to the utmost in showing every attention to the visitors, and it is much regretted that there was so small an attendance to enjoy the pleasures.

The first evening was spent at the Tremont opera house. On Wednesday afternoon the tug "Cynthia" was boarded and about 2 o'clock the party, including ladies, was taken out to see the new jetties and a sail on the gulf beyond the bar. The sea breezes were more enjoyed than the roll of the craft.

After adjournment, Mr. N. J. Clayton, a former member of the association, chaperoned the visitors around different portions of the city, and provided carryalls to conduct the party down the beach to enjoy the novelty of an oyster roast. With appropriate remarks, Judge Hurt presented a beautiful molluse shell to Mr. Clayton as the champion oyster gauger, with Mr. Muller a close second.

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