Atlee Bernard Ayres (July 12, 1873 – November 6, 1969) was an American architect. He lived in central Texas.
Atlee B. Ayres was born in Hillsboro, Ohio, on July 12, 1873, the son of Nathan Tandy and Mary Parsons Ayres. The family moved to Texas, lived in Houston, and then moved to San Antonio in 1888, where Ayres' father managed the Alamo Flats luxury apartment hotel for many years. In 1890, Ayres went to New York to study at the Metropolitan School of Architecture, a subsidiary of Columbia University. There, he won first prize in the school's annual design competition. His teachers included William Ware, a student of Richard Morris Hunt. Ayres took drawing lessons at the Art Students League at night and studied painting under the noted teacher and artist Frank Vincent DuMond.
Upon his graduation in 1894, he returned to San Antonio and worked for various architects. He subsequently moved to Mexico, where he practiced until 1900. That year he moved back to San Antonio and began a partnership with Charles A. Coughlin that lasted until Coughlin's death in 1905. One of their projects was the three-story home of Ethel Draught, at 1215 N. St. Mary's St, now part of the campus of Providence Catholic School.
Early in his solo career in San Antonio, Ayres designed a hotel (1907) later known as the Heimann Building,and now occupied by Avance, a non-profit serving children and families in need. He also made the plans for the still-surviving Halff house (1908), and for a villa for Col. George Washington Brackenridge that was later torn down. He also designed the David J. and May Bock Woodward House, which currently functions as a club house for the Woman's Club of San Antonio and was placed on the National Register of Historic Places listings in Bexar County, Texas on February 16, 1996.
Ayres drew the plans of Courthouses for Cameron County in Brownsville, 1912; for Jim Wells County Alice, begun 1912; for Kleberg County in Kingsville, 1914; and for Refugio County in Refugio, completed 1917. He also oversaw adding a third floor and extensive reconstruction of the original 1887 Val Verde County Courthouse at Del Rio in 1915.
From 1914 to 1917, Ayres served as the State Architect of Texas. In 1924, he created a new partnership with his son Robert M. Ayres. Many of the firm's works were designed in the Spanish Colonial Revival style architecture, which was massively popular throughout San Antonio and the surrounding area. They include the Hogg house (1924), the Mannen house (1926), the Newton house (1927), and the Atkinson house (1928), which is now known as the Marion Koogler McNay Art Museum,.The firm was also adept in using other revival modes, including the English Tudor of the Jesse Oppenheimer residence (1924) and the Colonial Revival of the H. Lutcher Brown residence (1936).
Other commissions include the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, the Texas State Office Building, the Carothers Dormitory (1937) and the original Pharmacy Building, among others on the campus at the University of Texas at Austin.
He was active with other public, commercial buildings, and residences in South Texas towns, such as the 1920 Uvalde home of then-Congressman John Nance Garner,and the 12-story addition to the Hamilton Hotel in Laredo in 1923. He designed the Seguin High School in 1914 (now the Mary B. Erskine School), the Starcke Furniture Co. building (1912), the Aumont Hotel (1916), Langner Hall at Texas Lutheran University, as well as the Blumberg and Breustedt mansions in Seguin. In San Marcos he designed a home for banker Lloyd Johnson in 1919. In Gonzales, his homes include the Booth House, now a bed & breakfast, and other fine homes.
He designed San Antonio's Plaza Hotel (1927), its Federal Reserve Bank Building (1928), and, with his son Robert, its first skyscraper, the thirty-story Smith-Young Tower (1929), "still one of the city's most commanding works".His firm helped design the exterior of the San Antonio Municipal Auditorium (1923) and the Administration Building at Randolph Air Force Base (1931), often affectionately referred to as the "Taj Mahal," and remodeled the historic Menger Hotel (1949–53).
Ayres was the author of Mexican Architecture: Domestic, Civil & Ecclesiastical, published by William Helburn, Inc., of New York in 1926.
He was a charter member of the Texas Society of Architects, and he was one of a group of architects instrumental in securing passage of state legislation in 1937 for the licensing of architects to practice.
Atlee B. Ayres was first architect from San Antonio to be honored as a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, in 1931.
He married Olive Moss Cox in San Antonio in 1896, and the couple had two sons, Atlee Jr and Robert. After his wife's death in 1937, he married Katherine Cox in 1940. Ayres was still practicing architecture when he died at the age of ninety-six on November 6, 1969, in San Antonio. He was buried in Mission Burial Park in San Antonio.
Gonzales is a city in Gonzales County, Texas, United States. The population was 7,237 over 6 square miles at the 2010 census. It is the county seat.
Seguin is a city in and the county seat of Guadalupe County, Texas, United States; as of the 2010 census, its population was 25,175, by 2019 its population was estimated to be 29,992. Its economy is primarily supported by a regional hospital, as well as the Schertz-Seguin Local Government Corporation water-utility, that supplies the surrounding Greater San Antonio areas from nearby aquifers as far as Gonzales County. Several dams in the surrounding area are governed by the main offices of the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority, headquartered in downtown Seguin.
James Riely Gordon was an architect who practiced in San Antonio until 1902 and then in New York City, where he gained national recognition. J. Riely Gordon is best known for his landmark county courthouses, in particular those in Texas. Working during the state's "Golden Age" (1883–1898) of courthouse construction, Gordon saw 18 of his designs erected from 1885 to 1901; today 12 remain.
The Tower Life Building is a landmark and historic building in Downtown San Antonio, Texas, USA.
George Rodney Willis, was an American architect associated with the Prairie School and the Oak Park, Illinois studio of Frank Lloyd Wright who thereafter had a successful career in California and in Texas.
The Holiday Inn Express San Antonio N-Riverwalk Area is a hotel in downtown San Antonio, Texas, USA.
Architecture in the American city of San Antonio, Texas comes from a wide variety of sources, but many of the city's buildings reflect Texas' Spanish and Mexican roots; with some influence from French builders, among others. Relatively rapid economic growth since the mid twentieth century has led to a fairly wide variety of contemporary architectural buildings.
Henry Truman Phelps was a prominent Texas architect responsible for the design of many Texas county courthouses and other public and commercial buildings in San Antonio and around the state.
The Cameron County Courthouse is a historic building located at 1150 East Madison Street in Brownsville, Cameron County, Texas. It was designed by architect Atlee B. Ayres in the Classical Revival style of architecture. Built between 1912 and 1914 by Gross Construction Company as the second court house of Cameron County, it served as such until 1914 when the 1979 courthouse was completed in the 900 block of East Harrison Street. Its relatively plain exterior belies the grandeur of the art glass dome above its central rotunda. On September 27, 1980, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places. Between 1994 and 2006, the building was completely renovated at a cost of over $17 million. It was rededicated on October 17, 2006. Sometimes called the Dancy Building in honor of County Judge Oscar Cromwell Dancy, who championed its construction in 1912, it now houses the Cameron County Court at Law No. 1 as well as county offices.
Julius Carl "Jules" Leffland was a Danish-born architect known for his work in Victoria, Texas, and throughout South Texas. He was active in South Texas from approximately 1886 until the 1910s. Many of his works are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Leo Maria Joseph Dielmann was a prominent and prolific architect in Texas. He designed over 100 churches, with several of them, along with other buildings, now listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.
Brooks County Courthouse is located in Falfurrias, in the U.S. state of Texas. The structure was designed by Alfred Giles in 1914 in the Classic revival style. Prior to the erection of the brick county courthouse, local government housed itself in rented space. The courthouse was named a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark in 1977. Renovation began on the courthouse in 2006.
Alfred Giles (1853–1920) was a British architect who emigrated to the United States in 1873 at the age of 20. Many of the private homes and public buildings designed by Giles are on the National Register of Historic Places and have been designated Recorded Texas Historic Landmarks. Based in San Antonio, his buildings can be found predominantly in south Texas and northern Mexico. Giles is credited with "a profound influence on architecture in San Antonio."
The David J. and May Bock Woodward House is located in the Alta Vista district of the Bexar County city of San Antonio in the U.S. state of Texas. It was designated a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark in 1994. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places listings in Bexar County, Texas on February 16, 1996.
The San Antonio Municipal Auditorium was a building located at 100 Auditorium Circle, San Antonio, Texas. It was built as a memorial to American soldiers killed in World War I.
Robert Moss Ayres was an American architect who lived and worked in Texas. He was the son and business partner of Atlee Ayres.
The Tobin Center for the Performing Arts is San Antonio's performing arts center. Located next to the San Antonio Riverwalk, it is named for Robert L. B. Tobin, one of the city's most prominent residents.
The Refugio County Courthouse, at 808 Commerce in Refugio, Texas, is a courthouse which was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2002.
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