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Emerson Fehr

by sydney rubin last modified Jul 06, 2007 01:55 PM
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Emerson Fehr

Posted by sydney rubin at October 03. 2005

Does anyone have any history on the architectural firm of Emerson Fehr. I was at the Austin History Center on the weekend but they have not yet catalogued the collection left by Don Emerson so nothing is available for review. Thanks.

Re: Emerson Fehr

Posted by Susan McElroy at October 27. 2005

Apparently Arthur Fehr paired up with many architects over his lifetime; Granger was the first one I know of, but as late as the 70's I know that the firm was called Emerson-Fehr because my sister's boyfriend back then did an internship with them when in college. When I mentioned to my elderly neighbor (who seems to remember everybody) that I had heard that Granger went to Houston and was killed in a car accident in '69, she said Oh, but that was his son! So I guess the company has quite a history. There was a ceremony honoring the company recently and it was called Fehr and (something else)

Re: Emerson Fehr

Posted by sydney rubin at October 28. 2005

After I asked the question on this list, I went to do some research and here's some of what I've learned.

Fehr Granger operated as an Austin firm from about 1938 until the late 1960s, with a few years of suspended activity when one of them went to fight in World War II. (Probably Granger who was slightly younger than Fehr.) This was Arthur Fehr, former president of Texas AIA, and Charles Granger, who spent a couple of years in LA in the 1930s working in Richard Neutra's studio. Neutra's influence is seen in a lot of their work around Texas, but especially in their residential projects. When you look at the old Mueller Airport Tower, that's Fehr Granger.

One of Arthur Fehr's three sons, Killian Fehr, formed the firm of Emerson Fehr with Don Emerson in the 1960s - 1980s (it was orignally called Emerson, Fehr, Newton, then Emerson Fehr Architects.) Killian Fehr died sometime in the 1990s, a couple of years before his mom. The Austin History Center is working on cataloguing the documents and photographs donated to the city by these firms, but other information is available in other collections.

Thanks for the insight from the elderly neighbor. Much more fun than the dusty archive.

Re: Emerson Fehr

Posted by Chuck Voelter at October 28. 2005

good info s, i will offer one correction: the airport tower at mueller was designed by chuck croft, a retired architect i spoke to about a.d. stenger. he won an award for it.

i'll see some of you tonight!

cv

Re: Emerson Fehr

Posted by Don Emerson at July 06. 2007

Previously sydney rubin wrote:



Does anyone have any history on the architectural firm of Emerson Fehr. I was at the Austin History Center on the weekend but they have not yet catalogued the collection left by Don Emerson so nothing is available for review. Thanks.

Sidney,

I am part of that history you are looking for.  I am Don Emerson, very retired and living in Galveston.  I just had my 74th birthday last week.  Grant Fehr, of Austin and John Fehr of Midland are sons of Arthur Fehr. 

 I closed the practice after Kilian Fehr, my partner, passed away.  When I sold the office I gave the Austin  History center all our drawings and photographs and there were many.  I understood from John Fehr that many of the drawings were archived in the History Center.  It is good to know many of our buildings are still giving people a place to enjoy.  In the later years of the practice we did very few residences, just commercial.  Banks, schools, offices and the like.

Cheers,

Don Emerson



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