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


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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of the

Seventh Annual Convention

of the

Texas State Association of Architects

Held In

Harmony Hall, Galveston, January 19, '92


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.


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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