Skip to content

W.E. Simpson Collection

December 10, 2012
Construction of the Smith-Young Tower (now Tower Life Building), 1928.

Construction of the Smith-Young Tower (now Tower Life Building), 1928.

Special Collections is pleased to announce that the photograph collection of the W. E. Simpson Company has been processed and a guide is now available online.

The collection includes three photograph albums and individual photographic prints, documenting the work of the pioneer structural engineering firm that was based in San Antonio. The collection was processed by Heather M. Ferguson, from the McNay Art Museum Library, who completed an internship in Special Collections as part of her studies at Simmons Graduate School of Library and Information Services.

While a few of the photographs were taken by professionals, most are the work of amateur photographers. It is thought that Willard E. Simpson (1883-1967), founder of the firm, took many of them himself.

Among the earlier images is a view of the construction of West Texas Military Academy (later TMI) in 1910, one of the first uses of the tilt-up slab method of construction. Other views show Simpson’s work as a highway engineer,

Construction of cantilever sidewalk above the San Antonio River, between Houston and Travis Streets, circa 1918.

Construction of cantilever sidewalk above the San Antonio River, between Houston and Travis Streets, circa 1918.

when he designed many of the first public roads in the Texas Hill Country. Related images show bridge and retaining wall construction in various parts of Texas. Of particular interest are views of the construction of early high-rise buildings.

The W. E. Simpson Company designed the structural framework for many landmark structures such as the Smith-Young Tower, San Antonio, and the Gulf Building, Houston.

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: