Anderson, Ralph Alexander, Jr. (1923–1990)

By: Diana J. Kleiner

Type: Biography

Published: November 1, 1994

Updated: September 1, 2016

Ralph Alexander Anderson, Jr., Houston architect, the son of Ruby (Ellison) and Ralph Alexander Anderson, Sr., was born in Houston on January 1, 1923. He received a B.A. in architecture from Rice Institute (now Rice University) in 1943 and a B.S. in 1947. From 1943 to 1945 Anderson served in the United States Infantry in the European Theater of Operations. After graduation he worked for the firm of Wilson, Morris, and Crain, in which he became a partner in 1952; by 1978 the firm was known as Crain and Anderson. Among Anderson's notable Houston works, executed in the late stripped-down modernist style, are the World Trade Center (1962), the Kelsey-Seybold Clinic (1963), the Astrodome (1965), the West National Bank (1967), and the Houston Post Building (1969). He also designed the Austin American-Statesman building in Austin; KHOU-TV, Houston; WISH-TV in Indianapolis, Indiana; event centers at the University of Texas at Austin and El Paso, Baylor University, and several out-of-state universities; and award-winning homes in Texas and Louisiana. Architecture critic Stephen Fox described Anderson's Post building as one of the first examples of "freeway architecture," a rectangular box with concrete silos attached, projecting an image that could be apprehended from a speeding car. Anderson served as president of the Contemporary Art Museum, in 1957, the Houston Botanical Society in 1967, and the Houston chapter of the American Institute of Architects in 1966. He was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and a fellow of the American Institute of Architects. Anderson died in Houston on February 5, 1990.

Austin American-Statesman, February 6, 1990. Stephen Fox, Houston Architectural Guide (Houston: American Institute of Architects, Houston Chapter, 1990). Who's Who in America, 1974–75.

  • Architecture
  • Architects
  • Museums, Libraries, and Archives
  • Museums
  • Museum Administrators, Curators, and Directors
Time Periods:
  • Texas Post World War II
  • Houston
  • Upper Gulf Coast
  • East Texas

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

Diana J. Kleiner, “Anderson, Ralph Alexander, Jr.,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 22, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

November 1, 1994
September 1, 2016

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