Howard R. Meyer, architect, was born in New York City on February 17, 1903, the son of Jewish immigrants Emile and Estelle (Freund) Meyer. He studied architecture at Columbia University and graduated in 1928. In 1926, while still a student, he worked in the office of William Lescaze, then one of the leading modern architects on the East Coast. Subsequently, he worked for well-known eclectic architect Bertram G. Goodhue. Meyer married Schon Landman on October 16, 1928; the couple had one son. Inspired by his work in Lescaze's office, Meyer embarked on a yearlong trip to Europe to see the works of the leading modernists. He met Le Corbusier and visited the recently completed Weissenhofsiedlung in Stuttgart. In 1930–31 he supervised the construction of the Albanian-American Institute of the Near Eastern Foundation in Kavajë, Albania, for the New York architectural firm of Thompson and Churchill. He returned to New York after completing the project and in 1932 founded a joint practice with Morris B. Saunders which specialized in interior design and remodeling work.
In 1935, lured by the prospect of work, Meyer moved to Dallas. There in the late 1930s and early 1940s he designed a series of small modern houses, including the Sanger house (1937), the Rose house (1938), and the Zale house (1939). These structures, built in a modified version of the International Style, featured brick and redwood exteriors with open, free-flowing spatial plans. Meyer repeated these themes in his two most important houses, for clients Charles Storey and Ben Lipshy, both built in the late 1940s. These houses, less formal than his earlier work, represent Meyer's attempt to synthesize Frank Lloyd Wright's organic architecture and the International Style and at the same time to develop an idiom that would respond to the harsh Texas climate. Perhaps the best example of his later style is Temple Emanu-El in Dallas (1953–59); in it Meyer collaborated with noted West Coast architect William W. Wurster, sculptors Gyorgy Kepes and Octavio Medellin, and artist Anni Albers, for a work of unusual sophistication and richness. In 1959 the American Institute of Architects awarded Meyer its award of merit in recognition of work on Temple Emanu-El. During his last years Meyer worked on an extensive renovation of the Lipshy house, now renamed the Clark-Lipshy House, which won an award from the Greater Dallas Preservation League. In addition to his architectural practice, Meyer also served as a consultant to the Public Housing Administration in Fort Worth and Atlanta from 1962 to 1968 and on the Greater Dallas Planning Council from 1967 to 1968. He died of a heart attack in Dallas on January 10, 1988.
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American Architects Directory. Dallas Morning News, January 11, 17, 1988. David Dillon, Dallas Architecture, 1936–1986 (Austin: Texas Monthly Press, 1985). Christopher Long, "Howard R. Meyer," Texas Architect, March-April 1988. Howard Meyer Collection, Architecture and Planning Library, University of Texas at Austin. Who's Who in America, 1988–89.
Dallas/Fort Worth Region
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
“Meyer, Howard Raymond,”
Handbook of Texas Online,
accessed June 28, 2022,
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Original Publication Date:
December 1, 1995
Most Recent Revision Date:
April 8, 2020
This entry belongs to the following Handbook Special Projects: