The Prescott Memorial Library is pleased to have been given the architectural drawings of the late architect William King Stubbs, who practiced architecture in north Louisiana from 1932 until his death in 1986. This archive opened December 5, 1994, the Tech Centennial Year.
King Stubbs was born in Monroe, Louisiana, on December 31, 1910. The son of Guyton and Indiana King Stubbs, he received his primary and secondary education in the Monroe public school system. After his graduation from the School of Architecture of Tulane University in 1932, he returned to Monroe to begin his architectural career as an apprentice in the firm of J.W. Smith and Associates.
The young architect used his early years in this well respected architectural firm as a self-imposed learning experience – the critical interface between education and practice – which prepared him for the professional challenges to follow. Here he could readily glean information from the tracings on file and projects in progress. His innate curiosity and interest in architecture made the Smith and Associates office experience an especially valuable opportunity for learning. Throughout his career, Stubbs would be noted for his acute sense of scale, proportion, and attention to detail. He remained in this firm until it was dissolved at the close of World War II.
In 1845, three architects of the former J.W. Smith firm – Curtis Smith, Merle Padgett, and King Stubbs – formed a partnership which lasted until 1947. At this time, Stubbs left to establish the sole proprietorship of William King Stubbs and Associates. This firm designed approximately 600 projects in Louisiana, Arkansas, and Mississippi. Building types included residential, educational, commercial, and industrial.
After Stubbs’ death, his family donated the graphic works of the office to the Prescott Memorial Library at Louisiana Tech University. The William King Stubbs Architectural Archive was established as part of the Department of Special Collections to serve as a permanent repository, not only for the works of the Stubbs firm, but also for other architectural practitioners who wish to donate their works at the closing of their offices. Some of those include the drawings and records of the A. D. Mathys firm and various drawings from the School of Architecture at Louisiana Tech University.
The gift of the Stubbs materials was made through the good offices of Professor F. Lestar Martin of the School of Art and Architecture. Professor Martin is the author the book, The Louisiana Architecture of William King Stubbs, published in 1994 by Louisiana Tech University, in conjunction with the Center for Louisiana Studies at the University of Southwestern Louisiana (now the University of Louisiana at Lafayette). Proceeds of the sale of the book will benefit the William King Stubbs Architectural Archive.
The William King Stubbs Architectural Archive comprises approximately 1,000 sets of architectural drawings and specifications from several architectural firms in Louisiana and Mississippi, including the three firms with which Stubbs was associated, J. W. Smith and Associates; Smith, Padgett, and Stubbs; and William King Stubbs and Associates. Also included are the architectural drawings of Louisiana buildings from the Historic American Buildings Survey conducted by the National Park Service in 1934; Sanborn maps of Monroe, Louisiana, 1932; and nomination forms, photographs and minutes of Review Committee meetings of the Louisiana division of the National Register of Historic Places, 1978-1992. There are also approximately 200 surveys and 600 drawings of fifty-year-old or older buildings in the north Louisiana parishes of Claiborne, Natchitoches, Bienville, Ouachita, Lincoln, Jackson, Union, and Webster compiled in the 1980’s by students in the School of Art and Architecture under the supervision of Professor Martin.
Important to the history of Tech is a 1901 map of Ruston, Louisiana, showing the original twenty acres of land donated in 1895 by William King Stubbs’ grandfather, Francis P. Stubbs, for the Industrial Institute and college of Louisiana (Louisiana Tech University). The map was drawn by W. M. Washburn, great grandfather of Professor Martin.
Restriction: It is the official policy of the William King Stubbs Architectural Archive that residential plans will not be consulted or duplicated without the written consent of the current owner of the residence.
We invite researchers to consult the materials in the Archive on the fourth floor of the Prescott Memorial Library, and architects to consider the William King Stubbs Architectural Archive as the repository of their works.