Frank's Dream

By Max Levy
Texas Architect Magazine
September 2017

Written on the occasion of the passing at age 90 of Frank Welch, FAIA, one of Texas’ most renowned architects.

Drawing often appears early in the lives of architects. For us it is a way of connecting with life, a way of projecting our aspirations. And so it may be with these drawings by a fifteen year old Frank Welch, growing up in Sherman, Texas, in 1942. They illustrate an essay for his high school history class, which he entitled, “New York: The Miracle City”. At a time when a radio was a piece of furniture in the living room, and Life magazines sat on the coffee table, one can imagine the boy at night, gazing at the glowing radio dial, listening to some distant broadcast from the glamourous world out there, and planning his getaway. Frank's cityscape sketch It is all in these drawings, the characteristics of Frank’s that we came to love: Frank's LaGuardia Sketch his wanderlust (LaGuardia Field); Frank's Radio City Music Hall Sketch his contagious enthusiasm for the arts (Radio City Music Hall); Frank's Rockefeller Sketch his love of atmosphere (Rockefeller Center); Frank's St. Patrick's Cathedral Sketch his discerning architectural eye (St. Patrick’s Cathedral); Frank's Subterranean Sketch his love of people and sense of humor (“Subterranean Squeeze”); Frank's Statue of Liberty Sketch his sensitivity to light (Statue of Liberty).

Though he never lived in Manhattan, something of The Miracle City lived in him. Frank’s dream to be a part of a cultural world came true, and he took us all along with him. For Frank Welch the boy, and the man………A+. Frank's A+ Sketch