Mackie and Kamrath

The firm of MacKie & Kamrath was established in 1937 by fellow University of Texas alumnus Karl Kamrath and Frederick James MacKie, Jr. Between 1937 and 1942 the firm worked in a variety of styles but Kamrath, the designer, was drawn to modern architecture. Later in the 1940s after meeting Frank Lloyd Wright, MacKie & Kamrath shifted towards a modernist style that shaped their legacy in Houston. Kamrath had an opportunity to meet Frank Lloyd Wright when he visited Taliesin, Wright’s house and studio in Spring Green, Wisconsin. This encounter had a profound effect on Kamrath’s architectural designs as he committed himself to creating organic architecture following Wright’s Usonian principles. MacKie and Kamrath were among the first Houston architects to design modernist buildings. During the late 1940s and early 1950s, MacKie & Kamrath were Houston’s best-known modern architects and their work was published frequently in the national architectural press. The firm’s major buildings included, Phillis Wheatley Senior High School (1949), the City of Houston Fire Alarm Building (1939, demolished), the Covington and Kivlin houses (1941, 1942), and San Felipe Courts (1942, 1944). MacKie and Kamrath also designed the Farnsworth and Chambers Building (1957), a City of Houston Protected Landmark.