Alfred Giles (architect)

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Alfred Giles, architect
Schreiner mansion 2009.jpg
Capt. Charles Schreiner Mansion
Designed by Alfred Giles
Born (1853-05-23)May 23, 1853
Hillingdon, Middlesex, England,
Died August 13, 1920(1920-08-13) (aged 67)
Hillingdon Ranch, Kendall County, Texas
Alma mater Proprietary School at Gravesend, Kent
King's College, University of London
Buildings Historic courthouses
Historic private homes

Alfred Giles (1853–1920) was a British architect who emigrated to Texas in the 19th Century. 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. A number of his designs can be found in San Antonio and in Kendall County, Texas. He is arguably most well known in Texas for his numerous designs of county courthouses, and for the historic structures he designed in San Antonio.

Early life[edit]

Alfred Giles was born May 23, 1853 on his family's estate near Hillingdon, Middlesex, England. His parents were Thomas and Sophie (Brown) Giles. From 1864 to 1868, he attended the Proprietary School at Gravesend, Kent, with a goal of entering the ministry with the Church of England. Instead, he eventually chose a career in architecture and apprenticed for two years to Giles and Bivens in London, while taking architecture classes at King's College London. The firm hired him after the completion of his apprenticeship.[1] In 1873, Giles moved to New York City.

Move to Texas[edit]

Giles moved to the drier climate of San Antonio, Texas in 1875 for health reasons and spent the next three years working for building contractor John H. Kampmann.[1] After that period, Giles began his own architectural firm.[2]

The courthouses[edit]

Goliad County Courthouse

Prior to the current Bexar County Courthouse which was constructed in 1896 and designed by James Riely Gordon, the county had its offices in the Masonic Building. Giles was contracted in 1882 to remodel the county offices in that building. D. C. Anderson was the building contractor who did the work, which was completed in 1883.[3]

Alfred Giles added the Bandera County jail in 1881 to the already existing 1880 courthouse designed by B.F. Trester. The two buildings were added to the National Register of Historic Place in 1979 as Bandera County Courthouse and Jail.[4]

In Gillespie County, Giles designed the Romanesque Revival style 1882 Fredericksburg Memorial Library, originally as the county courthouse but now housing the Pioneer Memorial Library.[5] The structure became a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark in 1967, and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1971.[6][7]

In Dimmit County, Giles had been selected in 1883 to design the first Dimmit County Courthouse to be located at 103 N. 5th Street in Carrizo Springs, Texas. The county changed its mind and hired J. C. Breeding & Sons. It is believed, however, that Breeding used plans drawn up by Giles, as the finished Italianate style building resembled others Giles had designed in the same time period. That structure was named a Recorded Texas Historic Marker in 2000.[8]

The Italianate style Wilson County Courthouse was designed by Giles and completed in 1884. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978, and became a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark in 1984.[9][10] Also in the Italianate architectural style was the 1885 Llano County Courthouse Giles designed. That courthouse burned down in 1892 and was replaced.[11]

The Second Empire style Presidio County Courthouse in Marfa was designed by Giles in 1886. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1977. It was designated a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark in 1964.[12][13][14] In that same year, Giles was hired to design the 1886 Kerr County Courthouse. Contractor D.C. Anderson completed the building for $19,545. That particular courthouse burned down in 1925 and was replaced by the current standing structure.[15][16]

Three structures have existed as the Guadalupe County Courthouse, 1857, 1858, 1889 and the present structure built in 1935. Alfred Giles was the architect of Guadalupe County's 1889 Italianate style courthouse.[17][18]

In 1894, Giles designed the Second Empire style Goliad County courthouse.[19] In 1976, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places as part of the larger Goliad County Courthouse Historic District.[20]

Giles suibmitted a winning bid to design the Beaux-Arts style Webb County Courthouse in 1909. The plans specified yellow brick with white stone and red tile mansard roofs It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1981.[21][22][23] He also designed the 1909 facade added to the Kendall County Courthouse in Boerne. It was designated a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark in 1970.[24] It was added to the National Register of Historic Places] in 1980[25]

The Classic revival style Brooks County Courthouse in Falfurrias was designed by Giles in 1914 and designated a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark in 1977 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2012.[26][27] The similar Classic revival style Live Oak County Courthouse was designed by Giles in 1919.[28][29]

Bexar County, San Antonio vicinity[edit]

In 1880, retired Confederate States Army surgeon Claudius King had Giles design his home. The Dr. Claudius E. R. King House, used as both home and office by the physician, became a Recorded Texas Historical Landmark in 1973.[30]

In 1881, Giles was contracted to design the house for the Commanding General at Fort Sam Houston. The first occupant of the home was Christopher Columbus Augur. Although the 10,830 square feet (1,000 m2), two-story home has been occupied by dozens of base commanders in its history, it became known as the Pershing House after John J. Pershing occupied it in 1917. The Pershing House was put on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977.[31]

The Emil Elmendorf House was designed by Giles in 1884 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980. It became a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark in 1982.[32][33]

Maverick-Carter house

Giles designed much for the Maverick family in San Antonio. In 1875 he designed the Albert Maverick Building. In 1877, Giles designed the Italianate style George Maverick House and the Maverick Hotel. In 1882, he designed the Crockett Block for the Maverick family. He also created the Maverick Bank Building. Bexar County realtor William Harvey Maverick contracted with Giles in 1883 to design the Romanesque style Maverick-Carter House, which appeared on the National Register of Historic Places in 1998. That same year of 1883, Giles designed for the Maverick family, the Soledad Block, University Block and the George Maverick Storehouses.[34][35]

The Terrell Castle in Terrell Hills was designed by Giles in 1894 for San Antonio politician and United States diplomat Edwin H. Terrell.[36][37] While serving as United States Ambassador to Belgium, Terrell became fascinated with European castles. Upon his return to Texas, Terrell had Giles design a ten-room, four-story castle.[38]

At the San Antonio Botanical Garden, the 7,675 square feet (710 m2) Daniel J. Sullivan Stable and Carriage House was designed by Giles in 1896.[39] In 1971, the Hearst Corporation donated the house to the Witte Museum to make way for a parking lot. At a cost of $325,000 in 1988, the San Antonio Conservation Society had the house re-assembled at the botanical gardens. The house re-opened in 1995 at the entrance to the garden.[40]

King William Historic District[edit]

In San Antonio's King William Historic District, the Gothic Revival style Carl Wilhelm August Groos House that Giles designed in 1880, was built for one of the founders of Groos National Bank. It became a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark in 1977.[41][42]

The Edward Steves Homestead, which became a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark in 1970, is believed to have been designed by Giles while he was an employee of John H. Kampmann.[43][44]

In 1881, Giles designed the Italianate style Sartor House for jeweler Alexander Sartor, Jr. The King William Historic District home became a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark in 1983.[45]

Giles was commissioned in 1881 to remodel a home in the King William Historic District, the Neo-classical style Oge House for business leader and former Texas Ranger Louis Oge. The house was named a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark in 1971.[46]

Dimmit County[edit]

The Asher and Mary Isabelle Richardson House on U.S. Highway 83 in Asherton, was designed by Giles in 1911and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1988 and designated a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark in 1980.[47]

Gillespie County[edit]

Bank of Fredericksburg

Giles designed three structures within Fredericksburg, and a fourth structure at Morris Ranch. In 1881, he was paid $1,000 to design a new courthouse. The courthouse was completed in 1882. When a new courthouse was built in 1939,[48] the old courthouse became the Fredericksburg Memorial Library and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1971..[49] He designed the Morris Ranch Schoolhouse in Gillespie County in 1893. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1983 and designated a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark in 1981.[50] In 1897, Giles designed the Bank of Fredericksburg building, located at 120 E. Main in Fredericksburg. He also designed the Bierschwale home for Gillespie County elected official William Bierschwale.[51]

Kendall County[edit]

In 1879, in what became known as the Comfort Historic District, the completion of the Giles-designed August Faltin Building was constructed by John H. Kampmann. The August Faltin Building was to accommodate Faltin's expanding general store business, and was designated a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark in 1982.[52][53]

Local Comfort businessman Paul Ingenhuett contracted with Giles to design the original Ingenhuett-Faust Hotel at 818 High Street in 1880, and again contracted with Giles to expand the hotel in 1894. Louis and Matilda Faust operated the hotel from 1909 until 1946.[54] The hotel was designated a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark in 1985.[55] Ingenhuett secured the architectural services of Giles for the 1883 Ingenhuett Store. The store was operated until 2006, when it was destroyed by fire.[56] Paul Ingenhuett again hired Giles in 1891 to design the Ingenhuett-Karger Saloon at 727 High Street.. Hubert Ingenhuett operated the store until it was taken over by Ernst Karger. During the Prohibition years, the building was operated as a grocery store and ice cream parlor. It was designated a Recorded Texas Historical Landmark in 2010.[57][58] The 1897 Paul Ingenhuett Home at 421 Eighth Street in the Comfort Historic District was also designed by Giles. The home remains in private ownership and was designated a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark in 1979.[59][60]

The 1919 Old Comfort Post Office at 814 High Street was designed by Giles and operated until 1952. It was designated a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark in 1985.[61]

Giles and his brother-in-law Judge John Herndon James[62] became partners in the 13,000-acre Hillingdon Ranch near Comfort in 1885. Giles became a founding member of the Texas Sheep and Goat Raisers' Association and a member of the Texas Cattle Raisers Association. The ranch operation hired $15 a month Kickapoo Indians as its labor force.[63]

Kerr County[edit]

The 1879 Capt. Charles Schreiner Mansion, designed by Giles and built at 216 Earl Garrett Street in Kerrville was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1975 and designated a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark in 1962.[64]

Captain Schreiner also had Giles design the A. C. Schreiner, Jr. Home in 1879, located at 405 Water Street in Kerrville, as a gift to his son Charles A. Schreiner Jr. The home was inherited by grandson A. C. Schreiner, Jr. in 1912. The home was designated a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark in 1981.[65]

The 1890 Masonic Building built by Captain Schreiner at 211 Earl Garrett Street in Kerrville is attributed to Giles based on his contractual association with Schreiner. The Mason Building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1984. Giles also designed the 1882 Schreiner Store and the 1883 Schreiner Bank.[66]

Nueces County[edit]

Giles was contracted to draw up plans for a new Cheston L. Heath School to be located at 900 Lipan in Corpus Christi, on land purchased by the Corpus Christi Independent School District in 1901[67]

Travis County[edit]

Philanthropist Ira Hobart Evans purchased a house at 708 San Antonio Street in Austin in 1892, and hired for a remodeling of the structure.[68]

Other Texas structures[edit]

Circa 1881, Giles designed a $29,000 two-story bank building for Pat and Daniel Milmo on the corner of Lincoln and Salinas in Laredo in Webb County. The structure included a residence for Daniel Milmo.[69]

Monterrey, Mexico[edit]

Giles had a branch office in Monterrey, Mexico in the first decade of the 20th Century. His designs in Monterrey include Banco Mercantil (1901), La Reinera (1901), and Arco de la Independencia (1910); in Chihuahua, the Palacio Municipal was constructed before 1908.[1][70]

Personal life and death[edit]

On December 15, 1881, Giles married Annie Laura James, daughter of Englishman John James, surveyor of Bexar County, Texas, and they had eight children.[1]

Giles died at Hillingdon Ranch on August 13, 1920. He is buried beside his wife in San Antonio City Cemetery No. 1.[71]

Associations[edit]

  • Society of San Antonio Architects
  • Texas State Association of Architects

See also[edit]

Media related to Alfred Giles at Wikimedia Commons

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d George, Mary Carolyn Hollers. "Alfred Giles". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Archived from the original on 15 July 2011. Retrieved 19 August 2011. 
  2. ^ American Architect and Architecture 62: lvii. 1898. 
  3. ^ "THC-Bexar County Courthouse". Texas Historical Commission. Retrieved 20 August 2011. 
  4. ^ "Bandera County Courthouse and Jail". Texas Historical Commission. Retrieved 2 September 2011. 
  5. ^ Zelade, Richard (2011). Lone Star Guide to the Texas Hill Country. Taylor Trade Publishing. pp. 48–51. ISBN 978-1-58979-609-6. 
  6. ^ "THC-NRHP Old Courthouse". Texas Historical Commission. Retrieved 20 August 2011. 
  7. ^ "THC-Contractors, Gillespie Courthouse". Texas Historical Commission. Retrieved 20 August 2011. 
  8. ^ "THC Dimmit County Courthouse". Texas Historical Commission. Retrieved 2 September 2011. 
  9. ^ "Wilson County Courthouse". Texas Escapes. Blueprints For Travel, LLC. Archived from the original on 19 July 2011. Retrieved 19 August 2011. 
  10. ^ "THC Wilson County Courthouse". NRHP. Texas Historical Commission. Retrieved 19 August 2011. 
  11. ^ "THC-Llano County Courthouse". Texas Historical Commission. Retrieved 20 August 2011. 
  12. ^ "Presidio County Courthouse". Texas Escapes. Blueprints For Travel, LLC. Archived from the original on 19 July 2011. Retrieved 12 August 2011. 
  13. ^ "THC-NRHP Presidio County Courthouse". Texas Historical Commission. Retrieved 12 August 2011. 
  14. ^ "Presidio County Courthouse". William Nienke, Sam Morrow. Retrieved 12 August 2011. 
  15. ^ "TE-Kerr County Courthouse". Texas Escapes. Blueprints For Travel, LLC. Archived from the original on 19 July 2011. Retrieved 20 August 2011. 
  16. ^ "THC-Kerr County Courthouse". Texas Historical Commission. Retrieved 19 August 2011. 
  17. ^ "Guadalupe County Courthouse". Texas Historical Commission. Retrieved 2 September 2011. 
  18. ^ "TE-Guadalupe Co Courthouse". Blueprints For Travel, LLC. Retrieved 2 September 2011. 
  19. ^ "TE-Goliad County Courthouse". Blueprints For Travel, LLC. Retrieved 2 September 2011. 
  20. ^ "Goliad County Courthouse Historic District". Texas Historical Commission. Retrieved 2 September 2011. 
  21. ^ "Webb County Courthouse". Texas Escapes. Blueprints For Travel, LLC. Retrieved 19 August 2011. 
  22. ^ "THC-NRHP Webb Co Courthouse". Texas Historical Commission. Retrieved 19 August 2011. 
  23. ^ "THC-RTHL 510". Texas Historical Commission. Retrieved 19 August 2011. 
  24. ^ "THC-RTHL Kendall Co Courthouse". Texas Historical Commission. Retrieved 19 August 2011. 
  25. ^ "THC-NRHP". Texas Historical Commission. Retrieved 19 August 2011. 
  26. ^ "THC-RTHL". Texas Historical Commission. Retrieved 19 August 2011. 
  27. ^ Kelsey, Mavis Parrott; Dyal, Donald H; Thrower, Frank (2007). The Courthouses of Texas. Texas A&M University Press. ISBN 978-1-58544-549-3. 
  28. ^ "Live Oak County Courthouse". Texas Escapes. Blueprints For Travel, LLC. Archived from the original on 19 July 2011. Retrieved 19 August 2011. 
  29. ^ "THC Live Oak County Courthouse". Texas Historical Commission. Retrieved 19 August 2011. 
  30. ^ "THC-King House". Texas Historical Commission. Retrieved 19 August 2011. 
  31. ^ "THC-Pershing House". Texas Historical Commission. Retrieved 19 August 2011. 
  32. ^ "THC-RTHL Elmendorf". Texas Historical Commission. Retrieved 19 August 2011. 
  33. ^ "THC-Elmendorf House". Texas Historical Commission. Retrieved 19 August 2011. 
  34. ^ "THC-Maverick-Carter House". Texas Historical Commission. Retrieved 19 August 2011. 
  35. ^ "Maverick-details". Texas Historical Commission. Retrieved 25 August 2011. 
  36. ^ Blake, Robert Bruce. "THSA-Edwin Terrell". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas Stata Historical Association. Retrieved 23 August 2011. 
  37. ^ Baird, David (2007). Frommer's San Antonio and Austin. Frommer's. p. 71. ISBN 978-0-470-08299-7. 
  38. ^ Gerem, Yves (2001). A Marmac Guide to San Antonio. Pelican Publishing. p. 93. ISBN 978-1-56554-821-3. 
  39. ^ Franklin, Paul (2011). Top 10 San Antonio and Austin. DK Travel. p. 30. ISBN 978-0-7566-2487-3. 
  40. ^ Fisher, Lewis F (1996). Saving San Antonio: The Precarious Preservation of a Heritage. Texas Tech University Press. p. 454. ISBN 978-0-89672-372-6. 
  41. ^ York, Miriam. "Carl Wilhelm August Groos". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Archived from the original on 15 July 2011. Retrieved 19 August 2011. 
  42. ^ "THC-Groos House". Texas Historical Commission. Retrieved 19 August 2011. 
  43. ^ Everett, Donald E. "Edward Steves Homestead". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved September 17, 2012. 
  44. ^ Fisher, Lewis F. (1996). Saving San Antonio: The Precarious Preservation of a Heritage. Texas Tech University Press. pp. 250–253. ISBN 978-0-89672-372-6. 
  45. ^ "THC-Sartor House". Texas Historical Commission. Retrieved 19 August 2011. 
  46. ^ "THC-Oge House". Texas Historical Commission. Retrieved 19 August 2011. 
  47. ^ "THC-RTHL Richardson house". Texas Historical Commission. Retrieved 19 August 2011. 
  48. ^ "Gillespie County Courthouse". Texas Escapes. Blueprints For Travel, LLC. Retrieved September 7, 2013. 
  49. ^ "Fredericksburg Memorial Library". Texas Historical Commission. Retrieved September 7, 2013. 
  50. ^ "THC-Morris Ranch Schoolhouse". Texas Historical Commission. Retrieved 19 August 2011. 
  51. ^ "Fredericksburg Historic District". Texas Historical Commission. Retrieved September 6, 2013. 
  52. ^ Kiel (2011) p.48
  53. ^ "THC-August Faltin Building". Texas Historical Commission. Retrieved 19 August 2011. 
  54. ^ Kiel (2011) p.37
  55. ^ "THC-Ingenhuett-Faust Hotel". Texas Historical Commission. Retrieved 19 August 2011. 
  56. ^ Kiel (2011) pp.33, 34
  57. ^ Kiel (2011) p.35
  58. ^ "THC-Ingenhuett-Karger Saloon". Texas Historical Commission. Retrieved 19 August 2011. 
  59. ^ "THC-Paul Ingenhuett Home". Texas Historical Commission. Retrieved 19 August 2011. 
  60. ^ Kiel (2011) p.44
  61. ^ "THC – Comfort Post Office". Texas Historical Commission. Retrieved 19 August 2011. 
  62. ^ Strong, Bernice. "John Herndon James". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved 13 August 2011. 
  63. ^ Reid, Jan (June 1981). "The Coyote Wars". Texas Monthly: 228. 
  64. ^ "THC-NRHP Schreiner Mansion". Texas Historical Commission. Retrieved 19 August 2011. 
  65. ^ "THC A. C. Schreiner, Jr. Home". Texas Historical Commission. Retrieved 31 August 2011. 
  66. ^ "THC-Various Schreiner". Texas Historical Association. Retrieved 31 August 2011. 
  67. ^ "Cheston L. Heath School". Texas Historical Commission. Retrieved 2 September 2011. 
  68. ^ "Ira Evans Hobart House". Texas Historic Commission. Retrieved 2 September 2011. 
  69. ^ Adams, John A. (2008). Conflict and Commerce on the Rio Grande: Laredo, 1775–1955. TAMU Press. p. 115. ISBN 978-1-60344-042-4. 
  70. ^ Zelade, Richard (2011). Lone Star Guide to the Texas Hill Country. Taylor Trade Publishing. ISBN 978-1-58979-609-6. 
  71. ^ Alfred Giles at Find a Grave

References[edit]

  • Kiel, Ruth and Frank (2011). Comfort (Images of America). Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 978-0-7385-7948-1. 

External links[edit]