King, Arthur George (1906–1984)

By: Susan Allen Kline

Type: Biography

Published: August 4, 2021

Updated: August 4, 2021


A. (Arthur) George King, architect, was born in Corsicana, Texas, on May 20, 1906. He was the son of Charles E. and Hattie (Johnston) King. He attended two years of high school in Gatesville, Texas, and two years in Corsicana; he graduated in 1923. He matriculated to Rice Institute in Houston, where he received a B. A. in 1927 and a B. S. in architecture in 1928. He worked as a draftsman for Wyatt Cephas Hedrick in Fort Worth from 1928 to 1934. During this time, in 1931, he was awarded the Mary Baker Elliott Scholarship from Rice Institute, and this scholarship allowed him to travel in Germany, France, and Italy. From 1934 to 1943 he was a draftsman for Preston M. Geren in Fort Worth. During this time he and Everett Lee Frazior, Sr., designed Farrington Field, a massive reinforced concrete stadium constructed by Work Projects Administration laborers and completed in 1939. King also designed several residences under his own name. In 1939 he became a registered architect in Texas. From 1941 to 1943, while still working for Geren, he also served as supervising architect for Clarkson, Pelich, Geren, and Rady, a collaboration of prominent Fort Worth architects who worked on projects for the United States Housing Authority and the United States Army Corps of Engineers. From 1943 to 1946 he was a first lieutenant in the United States Army Corps of Engineers.

Upon returning to Fort Worth, King became a partner in Wiley G. Clarkson’s firm. His work for Clarkson, who was also a native of Corsicana, included the five-story Navarro County Memorial Hospital, a nurses’ home at the hospital, and an elementary school in that city. King started his own firm, A. George King & Associates, in 1952. During the 1950s he was involved with the design of several notable modernistic buildings. He and Clarkson served as associate architects to Herbert Bayer and Gordon Chadwick on the Fort Worth Art Center (1954, now the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth). Arguably, his best-known work is the aluminum geodesic-domed Casa Mañana (1958), with its novel theater-in-the-round design. The dome, designed and developed by Kaiser Aluminum Corporation, had a 145-foot diameter and consisted of 575 diamond-shaped panels joined by golden struts. Much of his firm’s work consisted of educational commissions as communities sought to provide school facilities for the post-World War II population surge. They included the Browning Heights Elementary School, Haltom City (1954); C. B. Berry Elementary School (1953) and Booker T. Washington School (1955, improvements), both in Arlington; the conversion of McLean Junior High School to R. L. Paschal Senior High School, Fort Worth (1955, with Preston M. Geren); and Richland High School (1961). Other work included Citizens State Bank, Alvarado (1955); First Methodist Church, Waxahachie (1955); Harris Hospital addition (1955), the four-story All Saints Episcopal Hospital (1957, addition 1964), and University State Bank, (1959), all in Fort Worth; and a nurses’ school and storage building for the Navarro County Memorial Hospital, Corsicana (1960).

In 1946 King was admitted to the American Institute of Architects (AIA), received a corporate membership as a partner in the firm of W. G. Clarkson & Company, and was a member of the Fort Worth chapter of the organization.

King married Una Winters on September 4, 1937, in Fort Worth. The couple had no children. He closed his practice in 1966 when both he and his wife were in poor health. He received AIA Emeritus status in 1967. A. George King died on January 5, 1984, and was buried in Greenwood Cemetery in Fort Worth.

AIA [American Institute of Architects] Historical Directory of American Architects: A. George King (1906–1984) (https://aiahistoricaldirectory.atlassian.net/wiki/spaces/AHDAA/pages/36892749/ahd1023907), accessed July 21, 2021. American Architects Directory, 1956; 1962. Judith Singer Cohen, Cowtown Moderne: Art Deco Architecture in Fort Worth (Fort Worth: Texas Christian University Press, 1988). Dallas Morning News, May 25, 1958. Fort Worth Star-Telegram, January 7, 1984. Vertical Files, Genealogy, Local History and Archives Unit, Fort Worth Public Library (Casa Mañana).

Categories:

  • Architecture
  • Architects
  • Churches and Synagogues
  • Hotels and Theaters
  • Other Structures

Time Periods:

  • Great Depression
  • World War II
  • Texas Post World War II

Places:

  • North Texas
  • Dallas/Fort Worth Region
  • Fort Worth

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

Susan Allen Kline, “King, Arthur George,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed October 27, 2021, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/king-arthur-george.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

August 4, 2021
August 4, 2021

This entry belongs to the following Handbook Special Projects:

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