Albert Felix Beckmann (Beckman), architect, was born in San Antonio, Texas, on September 16, 1855. After receiving his early education in San Antonio, he traveled to Germany, where he studied architecture. He returned to San Antonio around 1880 and in 1883 formed a partnership with James Wahrenberger, another German-trained architect. Among their most notable works in San Antonio were the White Elephant Saloon on Alamo Plaza, Dr. Kalteyer's Drug Store on Military Plaza, the City-County Hospital on San Fernando Hill (1886), and the original Joske's Store (1887, now demolished) at Alamo and Commerce streets. They also designed houses for many of the city's well-to-do residents, including Carl Hummel (1884), Edward Steves, Jr. (1884), Mrs. A. Elmendorf, E. Elmendorf, A. Nette, J. Minter, R. Pereida, S. Brewer, and others. In addition, Wahrenberger and Beckmann collaborated on jails in Brackettville and Eagle Pass, a courthouse in Eagle Pass, and a customs and warehouse building and a federal office building in Piedras Negras, Coahuila (1891). Beckmann spent eighteen months in Piedras Negras overseeing the construction.
He married Marie (Mary) Guenther on October 18, 1886. He was a member of the San Antonio Opera Club and the Turn-Verein (see TURNVEREIN MOVEMENT) and served as San Antonio city alderman from 1891 to 1896. Around 1891 Beckmann and Wahrenberger ended their partnership. Beckmann opened his own office but subsequently served with Wahrenberger as local architect for the St. Louis firm of E. Jugenfeld and Company for the construction of the Lone Star Brewery after 1895. He continued his practice until his death in 1900.
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Chris Carson and William B. McDonald, eds., A Guide to San Antonio Architecture (San Antonio Chapter, American Institute of Architects, 1986). Files, Architectural Drawings Collection, Architecture and Planning Library, University of Texas at Austin. San Antonio Express, October 25, 1881, July 24, 1889, June 11, 1890, February 4, 1891, April 3, 1892, July 23, 1893.
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
“Beckmann, Albert Felix,”
Handbook of Texas Online,
accessed May 22, 2022,
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Original Publication Date:
November 1, 1994
Most Recent Revision Date:
November 10, 2018