The Advisory Council was invited into the Solar Decathlon studio to visit with the students and hear a brief presenation by Robyn Heeks and Kris Vetter. After the studio visit, many Advisory Council members drove to 2006 Leona, the site where the team is building the house. Photograph by Fritz Steiner.

5 May 2005

Dean's Journal

On April 22 and 23, the School hosted the spring Advisory Council meeting. The meeting began with a luncheon in Battle Hall Library hosted by the Council in honor of the 2005 graduating class. Council members Susan Benz [B.Arch. '84], chair, John Nyfeler [B.Arch. '58], Bibi Dykema [B.Arch. '79], and Mike McCall [M.Arch. '80] addressed the students to congratulate them on their achievements and stress the importance of remaining involved after graduation by keeping in touch and providing annual support to the School.

Director of the Urban Design Program Dean Almy outlined a proposal for the Dallas Urban Laboratory. The Dallas Urban laboratory is envisioned as an opportunity for the School to contribute to the ongoing research on and envisioning of Dallas' future urban environment. As Dallas evolves over the next few decades, the role of the Urban Laboratory, through its research initiative, will be to contribute to the debate on shaping the growth of the city and the metropolis.

Next, Associate Dean and Associate Director of the Center for American Architecture and Design Kevin Alter summarized recent Center projects and publications, including the forthcoming CENTER 14 on landscape urbanism being edited by Professor Michael Benedikt and Dean Almy. We continue fundraising efforts to help underwrite this issue, which promises to be a significant publication on the emerging field of landscape urbanism.

We also highlighted the ongoing success of two student-led competition teams -- our Urban Land Institute (ULI) Gerald Hines Urban Design finalist team and our Solar Decathlon (SolarD) team. SolarD team member Robyn Heeks highlighted the extraordinary support provided by the SolarD team's sponsors thus far, and brainstormed with members on ways to raise funds to get their project to Washington, D.C., to compete on the National Mall in October. Advisory Council members were also invited to visit the work site at 2006 Leona, near the softball stadium, where students will be hard at work all summer building the SNAP house design.

For a map to the site and more information on how you can support the UT SolarD team, please visit

Advisory Council members Graham Luhn, architect, and Elizabeth Barlow Rogers, Director of Garden History and Landscape Studies at Bard Graduate Center in New York. Photograph by Fritz Steiner.

Several Advisory Council members attended the School lecture by Mayer Rus, design editor of House and Garden and former Interior Design editor. Mayer Rus candidly discussed how architects, interior designers, and landscape architects are published in "shelter" magazines. He observed that "the cutting edge does not need to make you bleed to be interesting." Rus joined members of the Advisory Council and School faculty for dinner at the Dennis Karbach residence on Congress Avenue, designed by Tim Cuppett [B.Arch. '84].

On Sunday, April 24, I attended the lecture by former School faculty member and current University of Washington College of Architecture and Urban Planning Dean Bob Mugerauer. His talk at the Harry Ransom Center was titled "Community and the Loss of Place." The lecture coincided with the new Ransom Center exhibit "Place: Photographs of Environment and Community."

I participated in the University Sustainability Forum with Provost Sheldon Ekland-Olson, Vice President Pat Clubb, Associate Vice President-Campus Planning John Rishling, and Environmental Science Institute director Professor Jay Banner on April 26 (which is Frederick Law Olmsted's birthday). The forum was well attended by faculty and students from across campus.

I drove to San Antonio on Wednesday, April 27, for the ULI spring conference. Our student team's boards were prominently displayed with the other finalists from Colorado, Columbia, and Harvard. As an Academic Fellow, I am an ex-officio member of ULI's Sustainable Development Council. I organized and moderated a panel on Austin's Green Building Program for that council on April 28. Our panel featured Austin Green Building Program director Richard Morgan, Advisory Council member Will Shepherd [B.Arch. & M.Arch. '76], and Peter Pfeiffer [M.Arch. '83] of Barley and Pfeiffer. (I also stopped by the Alamo while in San Antonio.)

That evening, I had dinner at Associate Professor Juan Miró and Rosa Miró's home with the Studio Mexico students and faculty. Visting Mexican faculty members included Manuel Herrera and Ricardo Fernández from the Universidad de Veracruz-Villa Rica and Ilan Vit from the UNAM (Universidad Autónoma de Mexico) in México City.

On Monday, May 2, I participated in the University Leadership Council. Pat Clubb, Chair of the Department of Art and Art History Ken Hale, Professor Jack Gilbert, chair of the Faculty Building Advisory Committee, reviewed the University's new Art in Public Places policy. (It is available online at: President Larry Faulkner discussed the budgetary challenges that the University is facing in the Legislature. The forthcoming commencement program was reviewed with the hope that we will have strong faculty participation.

Yesterday, I flew to Washington, D.C., to participate in an event organized by Virginia Tech. Held at River Farm on the Potomac River, the small conference brought together invited distinguished lecturers, deans, and provosts to discuss the future of research universities in creating sustainable urban regions. My presentation today is called "Metropolitan Resilience: The Role of Universities in Facilitating a Sustainable Metropolitan Future." It will become part of a book edited by Virginia Tech faculty.

—Fritz Steiner


Thomas Brown, Zach Cardwell, Nancy Choi, Michael Karnowski, and John Zapf at the spring 2004 commencement. Photograph by Charlotte Pickett.

2005 Commencement

May 21

The Evening Commencement will be held on Saturday, May 21, 2005, at 8:00 p.m. on the South Terrace in front of the Main Building.

Details about UT-Austin's commencement ceremonies, including maps, the commencement speaker, candidate information, and schedules for individual schools and colleges, and webcast of the event is available at:

Pinhole photograph by Sarah Hill.


January 27 through August 12
Visual Resources Collection's Inaugural Image Exhibition:
"Lensless Photography: The Art of the Pinhole"

Visual Resources Collection, Sutton 3.128

The exhibit showcases black and white pinhole photographs taken by students in Lecturer Russell Krepart's fall 2004 Vertical Studio. Various locations, from sites in Marfa, Texas, to a bathroom in Sutton Hall provided a variety of lighting conditions challenging the students to experiment with pinhole technology and film exposure times. The photos were printed in the School of Architecture's Photo Union Darkroom ( by class participants. The pinhole cameras constructed by the students will also be displayed.


Price Tower, Bartlesville, Oklahoma, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Photograph by Elaine Bristol.

Anthony Alofsin, Roland Gommel Roessner Centennial Professor, was elected to the national board of the Society of Architectural Historians in April. He will have a busy fall as his exhibition, "Prairie Skyscraper," opens at the Price Tower Arts Center, Bartlesville, Oklahoma, on October 14. The exhibition explores Frank Lloyd Wright's only built skyscraper, and the accompanying catalogue (published by Rizzoli) includes graphic analyses by students in the School of Architecture and Department of Fine Arts who took Dr. Alofsin's course on Wright last fall. Dr. Alofsin will also give a public lecture, "The Art of Frank Lloyd Wright" on October 16 at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., and the keynote address to the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy on October 20 in Los Angeles.

Larry Speck Receives Chancellor's Council Outstanding Teaching Award

Larry Speck. Photograph by Marsha Miller.

UT-Austin's Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost recently announced that Professor Lawrence W. Speck, the W. L. Moody, Jr., Centennial Professor in Architecture and Distinguished Teaching Professor, is the 2004-2005 recipient of the Chancellor's Council Outstanding Teaching Award. The award recognizes excellence in undergraduate teaching at UT-Austin.

Larry Speck came to the faculty of the School of Architecture in 1975 after teaching at M.I.T. for three years. He served as Founding Director of the Center of American Architecture and Design 1982 - 1990, was Associate Dean 1990 - 1992, and was Dean of the School 1992 - 2001. He has maintained an active architectural practice since 1975, initially as Lawrence W. Speck Associates and since 1999, as a principal in the firm Page Southerland Page.

Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs Louise Harpman stated: "In my role as Associate Dean, I meet with our undergraduates all the time and I am always so pleased to hear stories about how "amazing" Professor Speck is—how he really listens to them, cares about them and checks up on them—this from the top students as well as the strugglers. I have also witnessed (and indeed benefited from) a similar level of care and concern as a junior colleague. Larry loves this School, this University, this profession. I have felt the power of his convictions since I arrived, and his enthusiasm is infectious. "

University of Texas Distinguished Teaching Professor David Heymann says of Professor Speck: "Larry Speck is an extraordinary teacher of undergraduate students. It is just a quality of the man. Nothing - and I mean nothing - in the ridiculous spectrum of things Larry accomplishes is as important to him as connecting with undergraduates about things he cares about. It is part of a larger pattern. I have seen him late at night on cable access speaking to citizens' groups and the city council, and you can see - as a fellow teacher - how much work he puts into knowing that he is being understood by everyone in the room. But when it comes to his precious freshmen, forget it. That is his whole deal, his touchstone, his why he does what he does. When he comes out of that monster lecture class he is the happiest man at the University."

The award will be publicly acknowledged at "The University at 122" anniversary celebration in September.

Storrer Collection Donated

Noted Frank Lloyd Wright scholar, Dr. William Allin Storrer, has donated his manuscript, research and reference archive to The University of Texas at Austin Libraries. The collection consists of photographic prints, negatives, slides, drawings, papers, books, and periodicals that led to his groundbreaking publications -- The Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright: a Complete Catalog; The Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright: a Guide to Extant Structures; and The Frank Lloyd Wright Companion. Storrer chose The University of Texas at Austin because of its School of Architecture's "focus on organic and environmentally viable architecture and because of the presence of Wright scholars Anthony Alofsin and Richard Cleary among its faculty."

The Storrer Collection joins nearly one hundred other archival collections consisting of more than a quarter of a million drawings and thousands of photographs and related materials in the Alexander Architectural Archive and more than 88,000 volumes in the Architecture and Planning Library.

Storrer produced the first comprehensive catalog, along with a definitive numbering system, of Wright's nearly 500 built works. The 3rd edition of the Catalog identifies in photo or drawing every extant constructed project. It also incorporates the maps and directions from his earlier Guide (1991). Storrer's Companion (1993) provides an additional textual component, plans, and photographs, as well as new documentation on nearly 100 properties that have been destroyed. The range of this documentation makes his publications essential tools for all Wright scholars.

"The Storrer Collection represents the most comprehensive documentation of Frank Lloyd Wright's built work that has ever been assembled outside Wright's own archive," states Alofsin. "It will provide generations of scholars with an incomparable foundation upon which to base future Wright research and study. Having the Storrer collection in the Alexander Architectural Archive confirms The University of Texas at Austin as the primary location for advanced scholarly research on Wright, America's best known architect and a major cultural figure of the twentieth century."

"Dr. Storrer's generous contribution marks a significant opportunity for the School of Architecture," emphasizes Dean Fritz Steiner. "With Storrer's appointment as Adjunct Professor of Architecture, The University of Texas at Austin now offers graduate students seeking to pursue advanced scholarship on Frank Lloyd Wright unparalleled expertise and a range and depth of archival materials found at no other institution of higher education."

Once processed and cataloged, the Storrer collection will be available by appointment within the Alexander Architectural Archive.

Alumni Updates

Ernie Parrott. Photograph by Charlotte Pickett.


On April 28, Ernie Parrott [B.Arch. '55] and his wife Suzanne attended a campus-wide reunion hosted by the Texas Exes in honor of the 50th anniversary of the class of 1955. Mr. and Mrs. Parrot reside in Lakewood, Colorado, where he works for the Bureau of Land Management. He began his career with Preston Geren in Ft. Worth and was later a partner with Raymond Rapp in Galveston.

Ralf Brand, [Ph.D. CRP '03] recently became a Lecturer at the School of Environmental Planning at Queen's University Belfast in Northern Ireland.

"Teahouse Garden," designed by Gregory Thomas. Photograph provided by Gregory Thomas.


On Saturday May 7, Gregory Thomas [B.S. Arch. Eng. '83, B.Arch. '85] will have two of his "Garden Architecture" designs featured in the Capital City Men's Chorus (CCMC) "Gardens by Design Tour" in Austin. The tour will include his Teahouse Garden in Pemberton Heights (1103 Gaston Avenue) and a "Welcome Garden" in the Deep Eddy neighborhood (2406 W. 8th Street). The event is a fundraiser for CCMC and features a wide range of beautiful private gardens both large and small. The gardens will be open from 8:00 to 2:00. For more information, please refer to the CCMC web site:

Professor Patricia Wilson recently traveled to San Francisco for the American Planning Association Conference and had the opportunity to visit with several alumni in the Bay Area. She reported the following updates on Community and Regional Planning alumni. Cesar Escalante [M.Arch. '99, MSCRP '02] is working for a design firm as an architect. Mary Dorst [MSCRP '91] works in housing development with the Asian Development Corporation in Oakland. She previously worked in housing development for the Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center in San Francisco. Gary Hembree [MSCRP '89] is director of redevelopment for the Richmond Redevelopment Authority. Mr. Hembree puts together multi-million dollar deals to revitalize the once decaying town without gentrifying it. His latest project is a TOD bringing together Cal Trans (the train) with BART (the rapid transit) and the buses, along with a new urbanist mixed income residential development. At the conference, Professor Wilson also ran into Kim Miller [MSCRP '97] who is looking to get back into international planning.

W. Eugene George.


W. Eugene George, FAIA, [B.Arch. '49] received the D. B. Alexander Lifetime Achievement Award presented by the Heritage Society of Austin at their recent 44th Annual Awards Celebration honoring "individuals and institutions for their visionary approach to preservation and commitment to maintaining Austin's architectural, cultural, and environmental heritage." The featured speaker for the event was Joseph P. Riley, the mayor of Charleston, South Carolina. Mayor Riley is a leading expert on preservation, urban design, and livability issues.

The program included a summation of the honoree's long and illustrious career, compiled by noted preservationist Peter Flagg Maxson. Among the highlights:

"Architect, educator, and author Eugene George, FAIA, has for over fifty years done much to foster an appreciation of historic architecture in Austin, Texas, Virginia, Mexico, and beyond. As a scholar, he researched little-documented, but fascinating Texas-Mexican border architectural history. His many students gained a great appreciation of the historic built environment through his teachings. Through writing in both popular periodicals and scholarly journals, he has reached a national audience."

Mr. George is one of the leading architects of the historic preservation movement in Texas. He reactivated the Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) in Texas during 1961 following a dormant period of more than two decades. His restoration projects include vernacular structures at Round Top, Texas (1969-1970), restoration at the Yorktown Battlefield and the Nelson Block, both in Virginia (1976, for the National Park Service), and The Sixth Floor (museum at the John F. Kennedy assassination site, in Dallas, Texas, 1987), among many others.

While maintaining a professional practice, Mr. George also established a notable career as an educator -- teaching at UT-Austin, serving as dean of the College of Architecture at the University of Houston, and in 1997, inaugurating a new graduate program at the University of Texas at San Antonio.

During the 1960s, Mr. George served as editor for Texas Architect magazine. He has lectured in the United States, Mexico, and England on such topics as preservation technology, the architectural history of Texas, architectural education, and the history of construction technology.

In 2004, Mr. George was elevated by the American Institute of Architects to its prestigious College of Fellows.

AIA Alumni Reception, Las Vegas - Cancelled

Despite our best efforts to coordinate an alumni reception during the American Institute of Architects 2005 National Convention and Design Expo in Las Vegas, we will be unable to host an event this year. Unfortunately, the convention once again conflicts with UT-Austin's spring commencement ceremonies. Further complicating our planning efforts, AIA's coordination with convention locations yielded an inadequate availability of reception sites and times. We apologize that we will be unable to sponsor a reception this year.


We encourage all alumni to share news with us by submitting updates to alumni coordinator Stephanie Palmer at In addition, if you know of other alumni who may not be receiving this, or other SOA publications, please forward their information to Stephanie or encourage those alums to contact her.

DesignBuildTexas News

Interior, DesignBuildTexas house. Photograph by Paul Bardagjy


The DesignBuildTexas house is featured in the current issue of Texas Architect (May/June 2005) in an article called "Field Education" written by Ingrid Spencer. The article highlights the work of project director Louise Harpman, faculty member and field coordinator Russell Krepart, and the sixteen students who built the demonstration house. The professional photographs were taken by Austin photographer Paul Bardagjy, who donated his services to the project.

DesignBuildTexas house. Photograph by Paul Bardagjy.

"Museum Courts Berlin" Exhibit

"Museum Courts Berlin" exhibit, Pergamon Museum, Berlin. Photograph by Kelly Rittenhouse.


Visiting Associate Professor Barbara Hoidn sent this report on the spring 2004 O'Neil Ford Studio's "Museum Courts Berlin" exhibit, which showed in Berlin's prestigious Pergamon Museum April 13 through May 5.

The twelve projects designed by students for the future expansion of the Museum Island at the center of Berlin were shown together with similar projects by students from Harvard's Graduate School of Design and the Technical University, Dresden.

"The opening was packed with people and was attended by high ranking officials of Berlin's various urban planning organizations (federal and local), including the former and the current Senate Building Directors, Barbara Jakubeit and Hans Stimmann, who were very positive about the results.

Packed opening night, "Museum Courts Berlin" exhibit, Pergamon Museum, Berlin. Photograph by Kelly Rittenhouse.

"Speeches were given by Florian Mausbach, the president of the German Federal Building Board, by Klaus Peter Schuster, Director General of the Prussian Heritage Museums, and by Professor Ivan Reimann, professor at Dresden University's architecture school.

"The work of the various studios has led to an idea competition to be held by the German Federal Building Board in summer 2005, since they have realized, in part due to the student projects, that the site is far too precious to be developed in a 'just as usual manner.'

"Congratulations to everyone for this joint effort, and again a whole-hearted thank you to Kevin Alter and Fritz Steiner for their support. It really made a difference to have students Kelly Rittenhouse and Tom Cox there, not only to install the exhibit, but to show that the School supported the event. Berlin was very enthusiastic about this truly international exhibit."

"It's My Park! Day" Clean-Up

CRP students Ashley Lyons and Sarah Slovak helping out on "It's My Park! Day." Ashley is holding a bicycle found in the woods, whose frame was in usable shape and was subsequently donated to a bicycle repair group to then be given to someone who needs a bicycle. Photograph by Malcolm Yeatts.


Community and Regional Planning Program students Ashley Lyons, Sarah Slovak, and Carol-Ann Church, along with Assistant Professor Tracy McMillan participated in the Austin Parks Foundation "It's My Park! Day" clean-up on April 23. The group worked with the East Riverside/Oltorf Neighborhood Planning Association to clean up Roy G. Guerrero Colorado River Park for future trail development.

Website Redesign

The School of Architecture is redesigning our website, and we want you to join in.

Just go to the Website Suggestion Form at and let us know what information, features, and applications you would like to see in the new School of Architecture website.

And it's all public, so even if you don't have a suggestion, go see what people are saying about the site.


Architecture and Planning Student Council + American Institute of Architecture Students website,

(area code 512)

Dean's Office, 471-1922, fax 471-0716

Career Placement Director, Sheila Balog, 471-1333,

Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Programs, Jeanne Crawford, 471-0109,

Graduate Program Coordinator, Rosemin Gopaul, 471-0134,

Center for American Architecture and Design, 471-9890,

Center for Sustainable Development, 475-8013,

Assistant Dean for Development, Kris Muñoz Vetter, 471-6114,

Publications Editor, Pamela Peters, 471-0154,

Friends of Architecture Director and Alumni Coordinator, Stephanie Palmer, 471-0617,

Director of Photography, Charlotte Pickett,

Architecture and Planning Library,, 495-4620

Mailing Address
The School of Architecture
The University of Texas at Austin
1 University Station B7500
Austin, TX 78712-0222

Unless otherwise noted, all photographs by Charlotte Pickett, Director of Photography, School of Architecture.