Scope and Contents
The Ralph Anderson Collection consists of correspondence, photographs, architectural drawings, publications, memorabilia, Rice University records and World War II records. It covers a broad spectrum of Ralph Anderson's life beginning with his grade school transcripts and ending with the very poignant diary that he kept through the last year of his life.
Although most of the documents relate to the personal and professional life and career of Ralph Anderson, Jr., there are also a few records pertaining to other family members.
Permission to publish material from the Ralph Anderson, Jr., Papers must be obtained from the Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University.
Biographical / Historical
Ralph Anderson, Jr. was born January 1, 1923 in Houston, Texas, the son of Mr. And Mrs. Ralph Anderson, Sr. Ralph Anderson, Sr. (Andy) was the Sports Editor of the Houston Post and later the Houston Press.
Ralph Anderson, Jr. attended school in Houston, graduating from Lamar High School in 1939 and Rice Institute (later Rice University) in 1943 with a B. A. degree in Architecture. While at Rice, he won The American Institute of Architecture Student Medal, and was the first architectural student at the university to be elected to Phi Beta Kappa, a national honorary fraternity.
After being inducted into the Army in 1943, he was sent to Harvard University. Upon completion of an Advanced Studies Program, he went to France where he served in the European Theatre of Operations. As a result of a head wound received at the Battle of the Bulge, he was awarded both the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star.
When the war ended, Ralph Anderson returned to Rice Institute, and received a B. S. degree in Architecture in 1947. After graduating, he joined the firm of Wilson, Morris and Crain. He worked for two years, then took a leave of absence in 1949 for an extensive study tour of Europe. He returned to the firm in 1950 and was made a partner in 1952. In 1972 the firm became known as Wilson, Crain and Anderson and in 1975 it became Wilson, Crain, Anderson and Reynolds. He was President of Crain/Anderson, Inc. in 1978.
Ralph Anderson was an artist, book reviewer, lecturer and author. He took part in the 12th Annual Texas Painting and Sculpture Exhibit in 1951. He wrote Handcar White: The Battle History of 2nd Battalion, 328th Infantry Regiment WWII and Spain Today, plus numerous articles for architectural journals.
He was a registered architect in Texas, Indiana, Louisiana, the District of Columbia, Missouri, Kansas, North Carolina, Oklahoma and Ohio, and designed both family residences and commercial buildings. The World Trade Center in Houston, the Astrodome, Kelsey-Seybold Clinic, the Houston Post Building, the Harris Court House Addition, and the Alice Pratt Brown Fine Arts Library at Rice University were among his many designs.
He won numerous awards, such as the Award of Merit, Texas Architecture, 1961, 1965; The Commendation Award, Houston Chapter A. I. A. 1962; Interior Certificate of Commendation, Municipal Art Commission, 1973, and many more. He became President of the Houston Chapter of the American Institute of Architects in 1966 and was elected a Fellow in the A. I. A., in 1967.
Ralph Anderson was a member of Allegro, The Tejas Club of Houston, and the Argyle Club of San Antonio.
He died February 3, 1990 in Houston.