Frank Welch: Reflections from those that knew him finest
No Texas architect was extra beloved or revered than Frank Welch. We requested just a few of his buddies, colleagues, shoppers, and admirers to weigh in on his life and legacy.
George and I started our married life in a modest Frank Welch designed home in Midland. At the entrance was an atrium, an precise sq. carved in the basis, that I stuffed with tropical crops. The skylight above the atrium lit the front room, the kitchen and the eating room — identical to Frank lit up a room. Frank was a glamorous and elegant man. His distinguished but snug designs left a mark on Texas structure, and on me.
—Laura Bush, shopper and buddy, Dallas
Dad impressed me day-after-day. He taught me to all the time stretch myself in order to study and to expertise all that this world has to supply. He had an abundance of grace, magnificence, a way of others, spontaneity, joie de vivre, and imaginative and prescient in a really carefree, straightforward means — although it wasn't. I referred to as him "cricket" as a result of he was all the time on the go. Household, buddies, and the journey of discovery have been the most necessary issues to him.
—Woo Caroland, daughter, Nashville
A buddy of mine stated that Frank Welch was a neat man and coming to West Texas, and possibly it is best to meet him. Frank was a kind of guys that made buddies on contact. He redesigned our home in Midland, and about that point I purchased a ranch in West Texas. We wished a small home, a weekend retreat for our buddies and household. I instructed him it must be zero upkeep. That was the problem we gave him, and we chosen a location the place we may look out over the ranch. We let creativeness soar and The Birthday is what got here out of it. It was fantastic. We might depart, put our cots up, and stroll away. Frank grew to become a greater buddy day-to-day. If we made a house film, and we made quite a bit, he was all the time the producer. He was a rattling good architect.
—John Dorn, shopper and buddy, Santa Fe
The work of architect Frank Welch supplied direct proof of the humble readability which may give pleasure, amenity and that means to our lives. Thought of restraint, understatement, and even uncooked magnificence lived in his calm arcades, water-stuffed and shaded courtyards and volumes suffused with uncommon types of mild. His was a voice of maturity, erudition and poetry for these many years in which we've been privileged to know him.
—Mark Gunderson, architect and buddy, Fort Value
Frank embodied all the finest traits of a Texas modernist — he was a traveler, a storyteller, and a mentor who seamlessly merged his love for the Texas panorama with a modernist's ardour for simplicity.
—Kathryn Holliday, architectural historian, College of Texas at Arlington
Architecture at present is well known for reflecting its environment, area and local weather. Frank Welch pioneered that sort of design greater than a era in the past, creating a singular language of modernism that drew on the supplies, mild and spirit of Texas. From his early stone, glass and wooden homes in Midland to his urbane residences on Turtle Creek in Dallas, to his legendary design for The Birthday in West Texas, Welch's structure manifested a profound sensitivity to position. And shoppers beloved him. He was charming and beneficiant, and introduced his deep data, curiosity and broad pursuits in artwork, movie, pictures and literature to every part he touched.
— Cathleen McGuigan, editor in chief, Architectural Document, New York
The cultural eyes of Texas are upon him, and having been upon him for therefore a few years, they've grow to be higher eyes.
—Max Levy, architect and buddy, Dallas
After I was a younger architect, Frank Welch met yearly with 4 of us who have been a era youthful and simply starting our careers. We shared work and talked about what we have been doing in a weekend retreat. I used to be so impressed with Frank's generosity, perception and real curiosity in what everybody else was pondering. A long time later, he and I might sit by one another yearly at the fellows lunch at Texas Society of Architects' conference. He nonetheless had that very same curiosity, inquisitiveness and genuine pleasure in speaking about architectural concepts. He was an incredible humanist in each facet of his life and work.
—Lawrence Speck, architect and historian, College of Texas at Austin
Frank was an exquisite and modest architect. He all the time appeared to provide credit score to his collaborators and was such a keen mentor to share his data with younger architects in spite of aggressive relationships. He was such an exquisite particular person as nicely and beloved by everybody that got here in contact with him. He by no means gave up and lived a full life to the very finish. I considered him as a delicate O'Neil Ford.
—Thomas Taylor, structural engineer and buddy, Dallas
As a younger aspiring architect, my life was eternally modified by the mentorship of Frank Welch, however I consider the impression of his transcendent work held the energy to make a long-lasting impression on anybody who made the slightest effort to have interaction. For me, and many, Frank's legacy is outlined by the prospects of a life enriched by immersion in the arts, and by his enduring quest for reality in structure.
—Mark T. Wellen, architect, Midland. Welch workplace, 1977-1983