Harwell Hamilton Harris

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Harwell Hamilton Harris
Born July 2, 1903
Redlands, California
Died November 18, 1990 (aged 87)
Raleigh, North Carolina
Occupation Architect

American Institute of Architects College of Fellows (FAIA)

Neutra Medal, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

Harwell Hamilton Harris, FAIA (July 2, 1903 – November 18, 1990) was a modernist American architect, noted for his work in Southern California that assimilated European and American influences.[1] He lived and worked in North Carolina from 1962 until his death in 1990.[2]


Harris was born in Redlands, California in 1903.[3] He began his studies at Pomona College but left after a year to study sculpture at the Otis Art Institute, now Otis College of Art and Design. In 1928, he began apprenticing under architect Richard Neutra with whom he was associated until 1932. He worked alongside Gregory Ain, and the two of them assisted one another as independent designers after leaving Neutra in the mid-1930s.[4]

Adopting Neutra's modernist sensibility, Harris merged the vernacular of California with a sensitivity to site and materials characteristic of the American Arts & Crafts Movement. In his residential work of the 1930s and 1940s, primarily in California, Harris created a tension and a continuum between exterior and interior with continuous rooflines. Learning from Frank Lloyd Wright, he designed interior spaces that are often based on the cruciform plan. His work is characterized by a careful use of materials and clean, fluid spaces.

From 1952 until 1955, Harris served as the Dean for the School of Architecture of the University of Texas. The group of modernist architects he attracted to the faculty there came to be known as The Texas Rangers. In 1955, he left the university and established a private practice in Dallas, which he maintained until 1962 when he moved to Raleigh, North Carolina where he re-established his practice and began teaching at North Carolina State University. He retired from teaching in 1973 but continued to practice architecture from his home studio in Raleigh until shortly before his death there on November 18, 1990. His home and studio at Raleigh, the Harwell Hamilton and Jean Bangs Harris House and Office, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2011.[5]

The ACSA (Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture) honored Harris with the ACSA Distinguished Professor Award in 1986-87.[6]

Harris' archive is located at the University of Texas.[7]

Buildings and projects[edit]


  1. ^ Fraser, C. Gerald (November 20, 1990). "Harwell Harris, 87, An Architect Known For House Designs". New York Times.
  2. ^ Frank Harmon (2012). "North Carolina Architects & Builders: Harwell Hamilton Harris (1903-1990)". North Carolina State University Libraries.
  3. ^ Germany, Lisa (1991). Harwell Hamilton Harris. University of Texas Press. ISBN 0-292-73043-8.
  4. ^ Denzer, Anthony (2008). Gregory Ain: The Modern Home as Social Commentary. Rizzoli Publications. ISBN 0-8478-3062-4.
  5. ^ "National Register of Historic Places Listings". Weekly List of Actions Taken on Properties: 12/27/10 through 12/30/10. National Park Service. 2011-01-07.
  6. ^ *ACSA Archives, Distinguished Professor Award winners.
  7. ^ *Harwell Hamilton Harris: An Inventory of his Papers, Photographs and Drawings at the Alexander Architectural Archive, University of Texas at Austin.
  8. ^ National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
  9. ^ http://www.havenshouse.org/
  10. ^ Loomis, John A. (July 17, 2004), "House on the hill: Architects of tomorrow get a chance to learn from a midcentury modern masterpiece", San Francisco Chronicle

Further reading[edit]

  • Caragonne, Alexander, The Texas Rangers: Notes from the Architectural Underground. Cambridge: MIT Press, 1993. ISBN 0-262-03218-X ISBN 978-0-262-03218-6
  • Germany, Lisa, Harwell Hamilton Harris. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1991. ISBN 0-2927-3043-8
  • McCoy, Esther (1984). The Second Generation. Gibbs Smith. ISBN 0-87905-119-1.
  • Nelson, George, and Henry Wright. Tomorrow's House. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1945.

External links[edit]