The Pecan Street Association is pleased to announce this year’s Heritage Award winner, Mr. Wayne Bell, FAIA.
Learn more about what the Heritage Award is.
The award ceremony will take place during the Pecan Street Festival on September 26th, 2015 at 1:45pm on our Everfest Main Stage (Neches & 7th St.). A representative from the Austin City Council will also join us to present their proclamation for “Wayne Bell Day.”
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WAYNE BELL: 2015 HERITAGE AWARD RECIPIENT
Wayne Bell, FAIA, historic preservationist/architect, contributed greatly to the restoration of historically significant buildings in Austin/Travis County.
Bell got his historic preservation start with the George W. Littlefield House on the University of Texas at Austin campus and working with Ima Hogg at the Winedale Historical Center in Round Top, Texas.
Bell was founder and senior principal of Bell, Klein and Hoffman, originally, Wayne Bell and Associates, an architectural firm specializing in historic preservation, which worked on restoration projects such as the Paramount Theatre, Franklin Savings, the Littlefield House, the Hirschfeld House, the Austin History Center, the Walter Tips Building, the Donnan-Hill House, the Davis Buildings, Hannig Row and the Old Millett Opera House (Austin Club). The firm received the Carl Burnette Outstanding Service Merit Award in 1985 for its contributions to the beautification of Austin.
Bell also served as a key adviser for projects such as the Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long Center for the Performing Arts and park on the south bank of Town Lake.
In 1968, Bell became Texas’ first “State Restoration Architect” with the Texas Historical Commission, serving as director of the National Register Program in Texas and in 1972, became Chief of the Historic Sites and Restoration branch of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and was appointed by Governor Mark White to the Architect of the Capitol search committee. He also served on the City of Austin’s Historic Landmark Commission from 1974-1975, where he was instrumental in preparing the Historic Zoning Ordinance and served on the Texas Historical Commission for the Texas Main Street Program from 2003-2011.
Bell’s first involvement with preservation efforts specifically on Pecan Street (outside of working with Pecan Street Association’s first year’s Heritage Award winner, Emma Lou Linn, on the Historic Landmark Ordinance) was through his firm, Bell, Klein and Hoffman – and their work on the Gage Furniture building at 204 E. Sixth St. and adjacent buildings surrounding that property. The firm bought shares in this property and moved their offices into 202 E. Sixth St. Their offices remained on Sixth St. until the dissolution of the firm in 1985. They were also responsible for the design of new buildings on the north side of Sixth St., west of Red River, incorporating historical design elements and maintaining the scale of the surrounding buildings. He then joined with David Hoffman in founding Bell and Hoffman, Architects, and officed on Brazos. Through the years, he consulted with several clients including David Graeber and Terry Booth, who own several properties on Sixth St.
Bell served as Professor of Architecture (later honored with “Professor Emeritus”) at The University of Texas at Austin from 1970-1995, first starting out as the “Meadows Centennial Professor of Architecture” in the School of Architecture, helping establish the master’s degree in historical preservation program at the School of Architecture. Much of his work is archived in the Alexander Architectural Archive at the University of Texas at Austin.
Bell was active in a number of organizations, including the National Council for Preservation Education; the National Register of Historic Places project; the Strand Planning Committee for Galveston; and the Texas Society of Architectural Historians.
- In 1992, the Heritage Society of Austin (now Preservation Austin) presented Mr. Bell with their Education Award and in 1999, they honored him with the prestigiousSue and Frank McBee Visionary Award, alongside such previous winners as Lady Bird Johnson, Roberta Crenshaw, Janet Long Fish, Beverly Sheffield, and Lieutenant Governor Bob Bullock.
- In 2001, the Texas Cultural Trust honored him with a Texas Medal of Arts Award, given to “Texas leaders and luminaries who have achieved greatness through their creative talents, as well as those whose generosity has opened doors to artistic opportunity for Texans of all ages.”
- In 2015, The Pecan Street Association awarded him their Heritage Award for his prolific preservation work on Pecan Street, a.k.a., Sixth Street.
- The City of Austin proclaimed September 26th, 2015, Wayne Bell Day.
- Lawrence (Larry) Speck, former Dean of the University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture, said that Mr. Bell “set a high standard for future projects” when speaking about his restoration work in downtown Austin, TX in the 1970s and early 1980s.
- In receiving the Sue and Frank McBee Visionary Award, he was dubbed, “the dean of Texas restoration architects.”