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CRANE, HUBERT HAMMOND

CRANE, HUBERT HAMMOND (1893–1959). Hubert Hammond Crane, architect, was born in Louisville, Kentucky, on April 25, 1893, the son of William Franklin and Lilborne (Hammond) Crane. In 1912–13 he attended the University of Louisville. During World War I he served as lieutenant of field artillery and was awarded the Silver Star and Purple Heart. In 1919 he received a major's commission in the Red Cross as chief of motor operations for Europe. Crane remained in Europe until 1920, when he returned to the United States to become a draftsman for Dallas architect David R. Williams. In 1922 he started his own architectural practice in Dallas but moved to Fort Worth just before the stock-market crash of 1929. Beginning in the 1930s Crane's background in European architecture enabled him to remodel historic residences and design traditional ones in the Ridglea, Monticello, Crestwood, River Crest, and Westover Hills areas. His designs were based on Georgian, Colonial, French Provincial, and early New England styles. His functional Cubistic design in white concrete for the Dr Pepper Bottling Plant (1938) was a notable stylistic departure. This forward-looking composition showed the influence of European Functionalist architects, whose simply massed, rhythmic designs featured white stucco or concrete surfaces, flat roofs, and large expanses of glass. At the time, the Dr Pepper Company building was the largest monolithic concrete structure in Fort Worth. This striking design proved to be Fort Worth's most outstanding and enduring example of the new, European style known as the International Style. Crane had three assignments in the Federal Public School Building Program: the South Hi-Mount Elementary School (1936), an addition to the Washington Heights Elementary School (1936), and an addition to the Circle Park Elementary School (1935). He was associated with five other Fort Worth architects on the city's two United States Housing Authority public-housing complexes (1938–40). During World War II he designed housing projects for military and civilian installations in Texas and Oklahoma for the federal Public Housing Authority. After the war he continued in private practice through the 1950s.

Crane was a charter member of both the Texas Society of Architects and the Fort Worth Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, which he served as president in 1953. He was a director of the Texas Society of Architects from 1949 to 1951 and from 1957 to 1959. He traveled throughout Texas in the 1940s and 1950s as guest lecturer to high school and college students and worked to improve education in architectural programs and techniques. He inaugurated the national Architect in Training Program (1957) and the local Craftsmanship Award. Crane regularly contributed poetry and prose to architectural and trade journals under the pen names Hubertus Junius, Herodotus Jones, Pete Pausanius, and Jonny Vitruvius. In June 1959 he was elected a fellow of the American Institute of Architects for his achievements in literature, education, and service to the institute. He married Julia Meade Starkey on June 6, 1919, and the couple had three sons. Crane died of cancer in Fort Worth on August 26, 1959.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Judith Singer Cohen, Cowtown Moderne: Art Deco Architecture of Fort Worth, Texas (Fort Worth: Texas Christian University Press, 1988). Fort Worth Star-Telegram, August 27, 1959. Texas Architect, May 1959.

Judith S. Cohen

Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Judith S. Cohen, "CRANE, HUBERT HAMMOND," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fcrss), accessed September 21, 2014. Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.