Caudill Rowlett Scott

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Caudill Rowlett Scott (CRS)
TypeArchitecture firm
FounderJohn Rowlett
William Wayne Caudill Edit this on Wikidata
Defunct1994 (1994)
FateAcquired by HOK
SuccessorCRSS or CRS-Sirrine
HeadquartersHouston, Texas, United States
Key people
ServicesArchitectural design, specializing in schools, commercial buildings, and skyscrapers

Caudill Rowlett Scott (CRS) was an architecture firm founded in Houston, Texas, the United States in 1946. In 1983, J.E. Sirrine, an industrial engineering firm, merged with the company and the company's name was changed to CRSS, popularly known as CRS-Sirrine. It divested itself in 1994.


The firm was started in 1946 by Texas A&M University professors William Wayne Caudill and John Miles Rowlett (1914–1978),[1][2] first in Austin, Texas and soon after were located in College Station, Texas.[3] The partners were joined in 1948 by Wallie Eugene Scott Jr. (1921–1989), who was Caudill's student.[2] William Merriweather Peña, another student of Caudill's was hired in 1948.[4][5] He was the first employee and in 1949, he was made a partner. He expressed that it would be best to keep the company name with the first three partners names rather than extending it with each new partner.[6] In 1954, Thomas A. Bullock Sr. (1922-2007) became a partner.

In the 1950s,[2] they were known for building schools,[5] with a "lean and clean" style. The schools, generally one-story, had simple designs with classrooms on one side of a corridor, maximization of windows for lighting and ventilation, and shed, flat, or gabled roofs.[7] In San Angelo, Texas, the Central High School was constructed with an open design, having 13 buildings on a campus. It was the first fully air-conditioned school in the country. Using the outdoors as an aesthetic, they designed a glass-walled and domed gymnasium in Brownsville, Texas for St. Josephs Academy. The editor of ArchitectureWeek stated that "they became known as masters of modern practice and construction management."[7] In 1958, CRS moved their office to Houston from Bryan, Texas. They began designing hospitals and had designed school and university buildings in eight countries and 26 states by 1969.[2]

The firm relied on research, including studies and surveys that they conducted, such as with the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES) Architecture Division, as well as the publications that they produced. For instance, Caudill authored the book Toward Better School Design. This involved the programming and designing business practice[3] documented and promoted by William "Willie" Peña in Problem Seeking: An architectural programming primer in 1969 with a CRS programmer, John Focke. Its concepts were incorporated into the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) in 1973,[8][9] and it has become a standard architecture textbook.[4]

Over the years, it developed a national reputation and also had international clients. It opened regional offices and the six partner firm employed 250 employees.[3] It became a public corporation, CRS Design Associates, Inc. in 1970 and had added engineering and construction divisions.[10] It was listed on the American Stock Exchange in 1971.[3] During the 1970's the firm became known for prestigious projects in the Middle East, including Saudi University of Petroleum and Minerals (now known as King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals) in Dhahran, which is notable for its contemporary Islamic design, and Riyadh University. The firm was also active in Kuwait and elsewhere in the Gulf States.[11]

In 1983, J.E. Sirrine, an industrial engineering firm, became part of the company and the company's name was changed to CRSS, popularly known as CRS-Sirrine. The Sirrine arm of the firm continued to pursue engineering work, much of it in the pulp and paper industry, while the architecture group continued to focus primarily on architecture-related work.

Eventually, the corporation also developed a core group which focused on businesses related to both architecture and industrial engineering. CRS Capital became involved in reinsurance for A/E-related firms and became involved in development of power-generation facilities. In 1994, a few years after the death of Scott, CRSS began divesting itself, selling off the architectural group to HOK of St. Louis and the Sirrine engineering division to Jacobs Engineering Group of Pasadena, California.[12]

Selected architecture projects[edit]


Fodrea Community School, designed by Caudill, Rowlett, and Scott, during construction

Continental U.S.



In 1972, CRS Architects received the Architecture Firm Award, the highest award of the American Institute of Architects.[25]

In 1975, the firm was given the prestigious Albert S. Bard Award for their design of the Salanter Akiba Riverdale Academy.[26]

In 2005, it was named "Firm of the Century" by Texas A&M University College of Architecture (in which the CRS Center is now housed).[27]


  1. ^ a b c Nancy B. Solomon (2008). Architecture: Celebrating the Past, Designing the Future. Visual Reference Publications. p. 272. ISBN 978-1-58471-162-9.
  2. ^ a b c d Stephen Fox (October 17, 2016). "Caudill, William Wayne". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved May 16, 2017.
  3. ^ a b c d e Avigail Sachs (December 5, 2008). "Marketing through research: William Caudill and Caudill, Rowlett, Scott (CRS)". The Journal of Architecture. 13 (6): 737–752. doi:10.1080/13602360802573884.
  4. ^ a b "Architect, war hero William Peña named distinguished alumnus". College of Architecture, Texas A&M University. March 13, 2015. Retrieved May 15, 2017.
  5. ^ a b Bill Marvel of the Dallas Times Herald (March 13, 1985). "Institute enshrines architect of schools". The Seguin Gazette Enterprise. Seguin, Texas. p. 26. Retrieved May 15, 2017 – via
  6. ^ Jonathan King; Philip Langdon (2002). The CRS Team and the Business of Architecture. Texas A&M University Press. p. 17. ISBN 978-1-58544-206-5.
  7. ^ a b Jonathan King; Philip Langdon. "Schoolhouse Modernism". ArchitectureWeek. Retrieved April 8, 2017.
  8. ^ Jonathan King; Philip Langdon, eds. (2002). The CRS Team and the Business of Architecture. Texas A&M University Press. pp. 45–46. ISBN 978-1-58544-206-5.
  9. ^ Wolfgang Preiser (June 11, 2015). Professional Practice in Facility Programming (Routledge Revivals). Taylor & Francis. pp. 16–24. ISBN 978-1-317-50871-7.
  10. ^ "William Wayne Caudill - College of Architecture". Retrieved 2016-11-17.
  11. ^ Ibrahim, Youssef M. (July 21, 1978). "Saudi Deal Expected With CRS" (PDF). The New York Times Company. pp. 6, Section D. Retrieved 25 January 2020.
  12. ^ Jonathan King; Philip Langdon, eds. (2002). The CRS Team and the Business of Architecture. Texas A&M University Press. p. 265. ISBN 978-1-58544-206-5.
  13. ^ a b Barrie Scardino; Bruce C. Webb (December 1, 2003). Ephemeral City: Cite Looks at Houston. University of Texas Press. p. 164. ISBN 978-0-292-70187-8.
  14. ^ a b c d e f g h "Caudill Rowlett Scott". Emporis. Archived from the original on March 12, 2016. Retrieved May 16, 2017.
  15. ^ T. Irwin Sessions (January 11, 2016). San Antonio's Historic Architecture. Arcadia Publishing Incorporated. p. PT2. ISBN 978-1-4396-5555-9.
  16. ^ Brittni Barnett (October 20, 2011). "After 40 years, Willis begins to fill". North Texas Daily. University of North Texas. Retrieved May 16, 2017.
  17. ^ Bradley Maule (April 17, 2013). "Final Bell Nears At Brutalist Southwest Philly Middle School". Hidden City Philadelphia. Retrieved May 16, 2017.
  18. ^ Anne M. Nequette; R. Brooks Jeffery (2002). A Guide to Tucson Architecture. University of Arizona Press. p. 171. ISBN 978-0-8165-2083-1.
  19. ^ Norval White; Elliot Willensky; Fran Leadon (June 14, 2010). AIA Guide to New York City. Oxford University Press. p. PT2231. ISBN 978-0-19-975864-7.
  20. ^ "Aggie Memorial Stadium". New Mexico State University Athletics. Retrieved May 16, 2017.
  21. ^ G. A. R. Parke; C. M. Howard; Mr. C. M. Howard (1993). Space Structures 4. Thomas Telford. p. 1462. ISBN 978-0-7277-1968-3.
  22. ^ Commerce Today. U.S. Department of Commerce. 1974. p. 39.
  23. ^ Jonathan King; Philip Langdon (2002). The Crs Team and the Business of Architecture. Texas A&M University Press. p. 206. ISBN 978-1-58544-206-5.
  24. ^ Thierry Delfosse (2017). Saigon Modernist: Fifty Years of Architecture. p. 124.
  25. ^ "Past recipients". American Institute of Architects. Retrieved May 15, 2017.
  26. ^ Fowler, Glenn. "Bard Awards Honor 8 Examples of Good Urban Design," New York Times (June 12, 1975).
  27. ^ "Texas A&M College of Architecture names CRS 'Firm of the Century'" (PDF). Probe. CRS Center for Leadership and Management in the Design and Construction Industry. Spring 2006. p. 1. Retrieved May 15, 2017.

External links[edit]

Media related to Caudill Rowlett Scott at Wikimedia Commons