Karl Kamrath

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Karl Kamrath
Born (1911-04-25)April 25, 1911
Enid, Oklahoma
Died January 29, 1988(1988-01-29) (aged 76)
Houston, Texas
Education Bachelor of Architecture, 1934[1]
Alma mater University of Texas
Occupation Architect
Spouse(s) Eugenie Sampson (1934-1975), Gardina McCarthy (1977-1988)[1]

Karl Kamrath (April 25, 1911 – January 29, 1988) was an American architect and tennis player. He, along with Frederick James MacKie, Jr., created the Houston-based architectural firm Mackie and Kamrath. The firm's buildings reflected the principles of Organic Architecture and Usonian architecture, an outcome of Kamrath's friendship with Frank Lloyd Wright.[3] His career spanned over five decades during which he designed residential, commercial, institutional and government buildings.[4] Prior to founding MacKie and Kamrath, Karl Kamrath worked for Pereira and Pereira, the Interior Studios of Marshall Field and Company, and the Architectural Decorating Company in Chicago, Illinois.[2]

Karl Fred Kamrath was born in Enid, Oklahoma to G.A. and Martha Kreplin Kamrath on April 25, 1911. While still a child, Kamrath's family moved to Austin, Texas. Throughout his life, Kamrath was an avid tennis player, and married fellow tennis player Eugenie Sampson in 1934.[2] That same year that he graduated the University of Texas with a Bachelor's degree in architecture.[1] In 1955, Karl Kamrath was elected as a fellow of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), an organization he was affiliated with since 1939.[2] He became the Houston AIA chapter president in 1960 and acted as the chairman of the Frank Lloyd Wright Memorial Committee from 1960 to 1962.[1] He was inducted into the University of Texas Longhorn Hall of Fame in 1978 and the Texas Tennis Hall of Fame in 1984.[5]

Major Buildings[edit]

  • Phyllis Wheatley High School[6] (1948)
  • Temple Emanu-El (1949, with Lenard R. Gabert)[4]
  • Houston Contemporary Arts Association Museum (1949, demolished)
  • Dow Chemical Company complex, Freeport (1953)
  • Schlumberger Corporation complex (1953) now University of Houston Energy Research Center[7]
  • Humble Oil Research Center (1954)
  • St. John the Divine Church (1954, with H. A. Salisbury)
  • University of Texas M.D. Anderson Hospital and Tumor Institute (1954, altered), featured in TIME magazine in December 1954[8]
  • Commercial Standard Insurance Company Building,[9] Fort Worth (1956)
  • Farnsworth and Chambers Building (1957) an early office facility for NASA and Project Mercury, now Houston Parks Gragg Building[10]
  • Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church, Bunker Hill Village (1957, 1973)
  • Temple Rodef Shalom, Waco (1962)
  • First Pasadena State Bank Building,[11] Pasadena, Texas (1962)
  • Science and Research Building, University of Houston (1968)
  • Travertine Nature Center, Chickasaw National Recreation Area. Sulphur, Oklahoma (1968)
  • Big Three Industries Building (1974)
  • Kamrath Second Residence, on Tiel Way in River Oaks, Houston (1953)[12]
  • George P. Mitchell house, Piney Point Village (1963, demolished), profiled in Fortune Magazine
  • C.B. Ellis house, on Green River Trail in Ft. Worth, Texas (1966)


  1. ^ a b c d Karl Fred Kamrath (1911-1988), American Institute of Architects
  2. ^ a b c d Kamrath, Karl Fred, Handbook of Texas On-Line
  3. ^ Miller, Scott Reagan, "Wright", The Architecture of MacKie and Kamrath, Rice University, 1993, pg 16-27
  4. ^ a b Miller, Scott Reagan, "Chronological List of Works", The Architecture of MacKie and Kamrath, Rice University, 1993, pg 193-237
  5. ^ Karl Kamrath Archive, University of Texas at Austin
  6. ^ http://www.houstonmod.org/bldg_detail.asp?id=5&by=arch&seled=MacKie%20and%20Kamrath
  7. ^ http://cincoranch.uh.edu/magazine/09f/features/energy/index.php
  8. ^ Miller, Scott Reagan, The Architecture of MacKie and Kamrath, Rice University, 1993
  9. ^ http://www.cosmicool.com/midcent/6421/index.html
  10. ^ http://www.houstontx.gov/parks/graggpark.html
  11. ^ http://www.houstonmod.org/bldg_detail.asp?id=97&by=arch&seled=MacKie%20and%20Kamrath
  12. ^ http://www.americanheritage.org/Houston_House___Home_Article.pdf

Further reading[edit]

  • Strom, Steven, Mackie & Kamrath Architects: Guide to the Architectural Collection, Houston Public Library, 2000, softcover booklet.
  • Miller, Scott Reagan, The Architecture of MacKie and Kamrath, Houston, Texas : Rice University, 1993.