Arch B. Swank, Jr.

Class Year
1936
Award Year
2006
Degree
ARCH
Profession
Architecture
Biography
Arch B. Swank, Jr. '36 (ARCH) (1913-1999) was one of the great innovative figures of Texas architecture. Born in Wills Point, Texas, he graduated in 1936 as a member of the first class to complete Texas A&M's five-year architecture program. In 1937 he entered a partnership with O'Neil Ford to form a small group of artisans in a creative workshop, mostly designing residences and researching various aspects of construction. In 1939 he and Ford designed the "Chapel in the Woods" at Texas State College for Women (now Texas Women's University), a building is known for its embodiment of Regional Modernism." He served as a commissioned Army officer during WWII, then partnered with Roscoe DeWitt to form the very successful DeWitt and Swank architecture firm. Among their most prestigious jobs was the Preston Center branch of Neiman Marcus department stores. In 1951, Swank was elected president of the Dallas Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. He worked frequently with O'Neil Ford in the 1950's and 60's. With Richard Colley and Sam Zisman they designed the Richardson semiconductor complex in for Texas Instruments. The same team, with Mexican architect Felix Candela, designed the Great Southwest Corporation's industrial park in Arlington. Both projects are known for their innovative hyperbolic paraboloid building structures. Swank oversaw the design and construction of a complex of buildings for needy children and the elderly for United Presbyterian Homes, in Waxahatchie, Texas in 1967 and designed the Correction/Detention Facility and the Courthouse Annex for Kerr County (1974-1979).
Photo of Arch B. Swank, Jr.