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FOOSHEE, MARION FRESENIUS

FOOSHEE, MARION FRESENIUS (1888–1956). Marion Fresenius Fooshee, architect, was born on July 27, 1888, in Weatherford, Texas, the only child of Francis Marion and Margaret Christine (Fresenius) Fooshee. The family moved to Corpus Christi, where his father died when he was seven. In 1898 he and his mother moved to Dallas, where she established a boarding house at the corner of Live Oak Street and Haskell Avenue. Fooshee spent his youth here and attended nearby Bryan High School, but did not attend a college.

About 1911 he secured a position with H. B. Thompson designing eclectic houses for the Dallas elite. Much of his work was in such established enclaves as Munjer Place (now a listed historic district), where Fooshee worked on the Aldredge House (5500 Swiss Ave., 1917), and houses for other prominent Dallasites, including Judge George C. Greer and Charles Sanger. Fooshee was a tall Southern gentleman whose easygoing, friendly demeanor made him well suited to serve Thompson's clientele-so well in fact, that several projects, including the majestic residence of Orville Thorp in Highland Park (4908 Lakeside, ca. 1915), are generally credited to the partners.

Fooshee entered officers' training camp at the outbreak of World War I and eventually was sent to the Bethlehem Ship Yards in San Francisco, where he performed architectural work for the navy. After his discharge in 1918 he began independent practice in Dallas. James B. Cheek, whom he met in Thompson's office about 1914, joined him soon after. At one point, the firm was apparently located in Wichita Falls. In Dallas, Fooshee and Cheek solidified their reputation for designing large houses for the wealthy. The two usually worked independently on their residential commissions; Fooshee is credited with the house at 3606 Cornell (Highland Park, ca. 1923). They also built apartment buildings and duplexes, including much of the 4400 block of Westway in Dallas, where both men lived. Fooshee was appointed architect for the Dallas Park Board in 1920, and the firm's practice expanded to include civic and commercial buildings. Among these is Highland Park Village (ca. 1930–35), the first self-contained shopping center in the United States, though this project is generally credited to Cheek. Fooshee and Cheek was one of eleven firms involved in the design and construction of the Hall of State at the Texas Centennial Exposition in Fair Park (1936). They were also involved in the design of the aquarium, and Cheek designed the United States Federal Exhibits Building. The firm designed a variety of gas stations, motels (some of which, including the Parkway Hotel, were partially owned by Fooshee), and several of the state's first radio and television stations. Fooshee is credited with designing the Grand Court Tourist Lodge (1931) and a Magnolia Service Station in Dallas. His firm was noted for its Spanish Colonial designs. Interestingly, mausoleums were considered a specialty of the firm.

In June 1927 Fooshee married Annie Linda Atkins of St. Louis; they had a daughter. Annie died in 1931, and Fooshee married Peggy Montague Neale in June 1940; they also had a daughter. Fooshee was a member of the Dallas Country Club and president of the Idlewild Club. He helped organize St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church and designed its first building. His civic activities included membership in the Dallas City Plan Commission, the American Institute of Architects, and the Junior Chamber of Commerce, as well as a key role in the attempt to remodel historic Union Station in Dallas. Fooshee continued his practice with Cheek until he suffered a heart attack and died on January 4, 1956. He is buried at Hillcrest Memorial Park in Dallas, the site of his most noted mausoleum.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Dallas Morning News, January 5, 1956. Jay C. Henry, Architecture in Texas, 1895–1945 (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1993). Texas Architect, November-December 1989. Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.

Duncan T. Fulton III

Citation

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

Duncan T. Fulton III, "FOOSHEE, MARION FRESENIUS," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/ffo39), accessed December 22, 2014. Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.