Eickenroht, Marvin (1898–1969)

By: Mary Carolyn Hollers George

Type: Biography

Published: November 27, 2013

Updated: January 9, 2014

Marvin Eickenroht, architect and preservationist, was born in Seguin, Texas, on May 12, 1898, the son of Alfred and Elizabeth (Breustedt) Eickenroht. After graduation from Seguin High School, he served in World War I as a second lieutenant in the infantry (1918–19). He received a B.S. degree in architecture from the University of Texas at Austin in 1920 and a bachelor’s degree from MIT in 1923. He served his apprenticeship as draftsman-designer for the firms of Whitson and Dale in Dallas and Ralph Cameron and The Kelwood Company out of San Antonio, where Eickenroht moved in 1925.

He commenced professional practice in partnership with Bartlett Cocke in San Antonio from 1927 until 1931. San Pedro Playhouse (1929) for the city of San Antonio was the landmark accomplishment of the Eickenroht and Cocke firm. In 1931 the two established sole proprietorship under their own names. During World War II Eickenroht worked on a number of projects for the United States military.

Eickenroht’s expertise in designing churches, educational facilities, government buildings, and low-cost housing as well as his skill in architectural detailing drove his successful practice. Examples in San Antonio include St. John’s Lutheran Church (1931), Victoria Courts (1940–41) and Highland Park Lutheran Church (1946–47); in Austin, for the Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, chapel (1940–41), Stitt Library (1949), and student housing projects (1951) and University Presbyterian Church (1952) in association with the architectural firm of Page, Southerland, and Page; and in Seguin, buildings for Texas Lutheran College and Guadalupe County Agriculture Building (1952).

Eickenroht was elevated to fellowship in the American Institute of Architects (AIA) in 1966 for his contributions to literature. His articles celebrating the Texas Hill Country appeared in publications such as the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians and Texas Architect. He also served his profession as president of the West Texas chapter of the AIA (1940), as well as the San Antonio chapter of the Texas Society of Architects (TSA, 1944), and as a director of the Texas Society of Architects (1949–50).

In addition to being a prolific architect, Eickenroht was known for his work in historic preservation. In 1934 he was appointed district officer for District 33 of the Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) established by the National Park Service during the Great Depression in 1933 as a relief project for architects. Under the direction of Eickenroht and his assistant, Bartlett Cocke, HABS recorded 242 buildings in Texas in three months’ time. In 1936 he was named a regional director of the HABS program. Until his death, Eickenroht remained intimately connected with HABS as well as the San Antonio Conservation Society. His historic restoration work included projects involving Ursuline Academy and the Yturri-Edmunds house and gristmill in San Antonio. From 1953 to 1964 he chaired the TSA Committee on Preservation of Historic Buildings. He also chaired the Bexar County Historical Survey Committee when HemisFair ’68 was planned and promoted the preservation of historic structures on the site. He was active in the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce.

Eickenroht was married twice. In 1923 he married Florence Bates; they had a son, Marvin. On December 18, 1938, Eickenroht married Ann Hayes of Russellville, Arkansas. They had one son, Edmund. Marvin Eickenroht died in San Antonio on February 22, 1969. He was buried in San Geronimo Cemetery in Seguin.

Marvin Eickenroht Papers, 1904–1969, Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library, San Antonio. Marvin Eickenroht Papers, 1940–1967, Austin Seminary Archives, Stitt Library, Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary. Arthur J. Simpson, ed., Southwest Texans (San Antonio: Southwest Publications, 1952).

  • Architecture
  • Architects

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

Mary Carolyn Hollers George, “Eickenroht, Marvin,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 19, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/eickenroht-marvin.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

November 27, 2013
January 9, 2014