Midland Frank Welch

Frank Welch is one of the country’s leading architects. Though he lives in Dallas, he spent 25 years living in Midland, Texas with his family. Frank Welch loves Midland and everything about it.  We had lunch with him not too long ago to ask him about his best Midland memories. Frank’s eyes just glimmered when he said, “everything plus the terrain.”

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Frank’s memoir, On Becoming an Architect, was published in March by TCU Press. The Sherman-born architect’s book chronicles some of his early professional ventures in Midland, where Frank Welch first established his architecture practice:

A vivid memory and sharp focus on sensory detail—particularly sights, sounds, emotions—enable Frank Welch to narrate the extraordinary story of his life with great richness and insight. From his boyhood in Sherman, Texas, through his education at Texas A&M in the 1950s and his first professional ventures, Welch’s story is a remarkable memoir of how he became one of the Southwest’s most important architects.

Mentored by Harry Ransom, Welch and his fellow architecture students, traveling in two-door sedans stenciled “Property of Texas A&M College,” made pilgrimages around the country to tour important architectural sites and meet many of the nation’s most prominent architects. Among them were Frank Lloyd Wright, whom the group met in Arizona at Taleisin West. In Chicago, Welch and his classmates met Mies van der Rohe. And on the coast, Charles Eames gave the group breakfast at his home on a bluff overlooking the Pacific.

Welch’s postgraduate years on the Continent and his professional career in Texas are beautifully rendered in a volume richly illustrated with sketches, photographs, and floor plans of some of the most intriguing architectural gems in the region.

In 1959, FRANK D. WELCH opened his first office: the origins of Frank Welch & Associates, a firm which has been recognized with over fifty design excellence awards. He has served as lecturer, visiting critic, and interim professor at many institutions, and is the author of Philip Johnson & Texas.

CD: Frank, tell us about life in Midland. (more…)