Ground-breaking ceremony March 10 begins construction of State Bar Building; contributions to fund continue. Ground was broken March 10 to begin construction of the State Bar Building in Austin. The Bar's lot is on the southwest corner of Colorado and 15th Streets. A historic occasion for the legal profession of Texas, the ground-breaking ceremony was the culmination of many years dreaming and planning by leaders of the Bar. A building in Austin for the organized Bar was one of the objectives of the old Texas Bar Association that failed to materialize. The hope was passed on to succeeding generations, however, and was transmitted to the State Bar of Texas. Supreme Court Chief Justice John E. Hickman, first speaker in the ceremony, said: “The building to be erected here will be a symbol of our unity and a recognition of our corporate responsibility ... a pledge that we shall act in the public interest.” Attorney General John Ben Shepperd called the building “The arsenal of those whose profession is to fight for principle above everything.” Mayor W.S. Drake of Austin expressed the city's pride in having another state headquarters building in the capital city. Immediate past State Bar President Cecil E. Burney, Corpus Christi, in whose administration the building campaign began, said: “This is a great occasion for me, and I sincerely appreciate the fact that so many lawyers took time to help with the building.” State Bar President J. Glenn Turner, who presided, noted: “We particularly take pride in this project because it is the culmination of the dreaming and planning of several generations and because it has been made possible through the wholehearted support of the Bar. A memorial building to the great legal figures of Texas, it belongs to all the members of the legal profession in our state.” Others taking part in the ceremony included Vice-President Everett L. Looney, Austin, chairman of the building committee; board Chairman W.W. Naman, Waco; the entire board of directors and members of the building committee. Bad weather kept Wm. N. Bonner, Houston, chairman of the finance committee, from arriving in Austin in time for the ceremony. Spectators included members of the Legislature, Travis County Bar President Q.C. Taylor, state officials, Supreme Court Justices Graham B. Smedley, Few Brewster, Meade F. Griffin, Clyde E. Smith and Frank P. Culver Jr., past Bar Presidents George E. Shelley, Ben H. Powell, and H. Grady Chandler, other Austin lawyers and wives of some board and building committee members. August Watkins Harris, Austin, architect for the building, expected to cost $200,000 furnished and equipped, was also present. Earlier the same day the board of directors voted to award contracts on the building. The general contractor will be Yarbrough Construction Company, Austin, whose bid was $93,842, with completion of the building within 240 calendar days. Other contractors selected include Air Conditioning, Inc., Austin, for $10,938 for cooling, heating and ventilating; B.E. Howell & Son, Austin, for $4,551 for the plumbing and gasfitting work; and Paul Wright Electrical Co., Austin, for $10,627 for electrical work. Based on the low bids, total construction cost is expected to be approximately $140,000. Interior decorating, furnishings and equipment are expected to swell the total cost of the building to approximately $200,000. Bids were received up to the afternoon of March 9. They were opened and their contents analyzed by President Turner, Building Chairman Looney and other members of the building committee, and their findings were reported to the board of directors on the following day. Some 33 contractors in all submitted bids on the building. The contractors, all Austin firms, and their bids follow: General Construction John Broad Construction Co., $108,788; Camp Construction Co., $114,360; M.Z. Collins, $106,700; J.C. Evans, $104,286; A.C. Fitzgerald, $100,800; Rex D. Kitchens, $113,511; B.L. McGee, $102,651; Moore Construction Co., $110,518; O’Connell, Morton & Morrow, $107,330; J.M. Odom, $108,692; Yarbrough Construction Co., $93,842. Cooling, Heating & Ventilating William-Gaines, $11,111; The Evans Co., $11,000; Capitol Air Conditioning Co., $11,590; Young & Pratt, $12,397; Air Conditioning, Inc., $10,938. Plumbing & Gasfitting R.H. Barr, $5,978; Brydson Plumbing Co., $5,200; Bradshaw & Puryear, $4,840; Capitol Plumbing Co., $5,400; Fox-Schmidt, $5,106; Groos-Miller, $4,825; B.E. Howell & Son, $4,551; J.O. Andrewartha, $5,490; E.B. Barnhart, $4,890. Electrical J.O. Andrewartha, $11,405; O.H. Cummins Electrical Co., $10,865; Fox-Schmidt, $11,525; W.K. Jennings Electric Co., $10,933; Dean Johnston, $12,217; Walter A. Tew Electric Co., $10,930; Paul Wright Electric Co., $10,627; Jimmy Farrell, $14,970. One combination bid of $136,595 covering all construction items excluding heating and air-conditioning units was received from J.M. Odom, Austin. Entire funds for the construction of the building were contributed by lawyers, laymen and firms interested in the effort to provide the Texas Bar housing commensurate with its growing importance in the national legal field. At the ground-breaking ceremony, President Turner expressed gratification for the generous support received from all parts of the state. He also expressed the board’s pleasure over the fact that contributions are continuing. He said that the additional contributions are needed to furnish the building in a manner suited to its architectural design and to get needed office machines and equipment. A double-purpose building, it will be a memorial to the great legal figures of Texas and at the same time provide functional working quarters for the office staff. In Architect Harris’ words, “The entire structure is designed for durability, then flexibility, then substance and dignity, all with the idea of providing a prideful structure with the greatest in ultimate economy and lowest operating and maintenance cost.” The building will have 7,200 square feet of first floor area and 3,000 square feet of basement area. The outside walls will be masonry faced with cut stone and a marble base. Memorial Plaque A handsome Memorial Plaque of walnut with a cast bronze medallion of the State Bar seal and plates containing the memorial inscription and individual names will dominate the foyer inside the building. On it will be the names of all the persons memorialized through gifts to the building. Memorialized persons to date are shown in the list below. A wainscot of natural walnut with matching trim will be used in the Memorial Foyer, Directors’ Room, Lawyers’ Lounge, six conference rooms and the secretary-treasurer’s office. In the working office section of the building the walls will be full plastered with chair rail, base and doors and trim in birch or maple. Acoustical ceilings, composition and hard tile floors and summer-winter air-conditioning will be used. The air-conditioning system is flexibly arranged to serve the building under full occupancy or to serve only the office space when the other rooms are not in use. Although there have been several large donations to the building fund, a large number of smaller gifts have been contributed by lawyers from all parts of the state. The board of directors has expressed the hope that all members of the State Bar will participate in the building effort regardless of how small or how large their contribution may be. Among recent large gifts is one of $5,000 from the surviving descendants of the late District Judge Arthur W. Seeligson and his late son, Lamar Seeligson, of San Antonio. One of the conference rooms in the building will be named for them. Large gifts Other large gifts received since those mentioned in the February issue include: $1,000 from Bismark Pope, Laredo, John A. Pope Jr., Rio Grande City, and J.T. Canales, Brownsville, as a memorial to John A. Pope; $1,000 from Robert A. Lovett, former Secretary of Defense, as a memorial to Robert Scott Lovett; $1,000 from the Hidalgo County Bar Association as a memorial to Judge Bryce Ferguson; $1,000 from W.D. Gordon, Beaumont; $1,000 from John S. Redditt, Lufkin, as a memorial to I.D. Fairchild; $1,000 from Mrs. Lucy B. Holmes, Houston, as a memorial to her husband, Harry Holmes; $1,000 from the Alice Bank & Trust Co., N.A. Hoffman of San Diego, A.C. Jones of Beeville, Mrs. Etta Moyer of Alice, Mrs. W.R. Perkins of Kerrville, and Perkins, Floyd & Davis, Alice, as a memorial to Judge W.R. Perkins; $1,000 from Angus G. Wynne, Dallas, in memory of his father, W.B. (Buck) Wynne; $1,000 from the Capital National Bank, Austin; $1,000 from Continental National Bank, George Thompson Jr. and others, Fort Worth, in memory of George Thompson Sr.; $1,000 from Fort Worth & Denver City Railway, Seth Barwise and others, Fort Worth, in memory of J.H. Barwise; $1,000 from Mrs. M.G. Cox, Cameron, in memory of her husband, M.G. Cox; $1,000 from Harris A. Melasky, Taylor; and $1,000 from Mr. and Mrs. A.M. Gaines, Los Angeles, Calif., in memory of Mrs. Gaines’ father, Selig Deutschman. Memorial gifts Almost immediately after the late Wm. J. Park, secretarytreasurer of the State Bar, passed away on February 7, gifts in his memory began to come into the State Bar office. These are being placed in a special fund with the goal of providing a memorial to Mr. Park in the building. Persons who wish to contribute in Mr. Park’s name may send their gifts to the State Bar office with a notation that they wish their check to be added to his memorial fund.
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