Notable Architects

Robert Law Weed was born in Sewickley, Pennsylvania in 1896 and attended the Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh.  After serving in World War I, Weed came to Miami in 1919 to practice architecture. He began designing large private residences before branching into public building design. In late 1946, Following his military service in World War II, Weed landed the prominent assignment of supervising architect of the master plan for the new 245-acre University of Miami main campus along with associate architect, Marion I. Manley.  Weed and Manley designed the Oscar E. Dooly Memorial Classroom Building in 1947, which set the International style as the predominant style on the campus. With Manley, Weed designed the majority of the buildings constructed on the campus during the 1940s, a period of great growth and expansion for the school.  An issue of Life magazine credited Mr. Weed for “completing the first completely modern U.S. campus – also one of the handsomest” (Miami Herald, October 9, 1961). A prominent local architect, Weed also designed numerous public buildings in Miami such as the Miami News Building, Miami Beach Burdines Department Store Building, and Dania Jai Alai Fronton, as well as U.S. consulates in the Congo and Lagos, Nigeria. Weed died in 1961 of heart disease.

Marion Isadore Manley, also known as “Archie,” was born in Junction City, Kansas in 1893 and attended the University of Illinois where she received a B.S. in Architecture. She moved to Miami in 1917, and during World War I, one of her first projects was converting a convent in Key West into military barracks. During the Depression, she shared a house in Coconut Grove with Marjorie Stoneman Douglas, the author of River of Grass. She worked with prominent Miami architect Phineas Paist in designing the U.S. Post Office and Federal Building in 1933. Along with architect Robert Law Weed, she created a master plan for the University of Miami and designed numerous campus buildings during the 1940s.  The two architects were able to come up with a very modern concept for the campus using limited materials due to the recent conclusion of World War II. Manley and Weed were responsible for making sure the overall master plan of the University did not become “needlessly extravagant.” Due to their receptive attitude towards alternative materials, new building techniques were developed in order to create very livable, clean, and stimulating dormitory buildings for the students. She was also the associate architect on the Oscar E. Dooly Memorial Classroom Building design with Weed. She was also chosen to create plans for numerous buildings on the campus, including the Canterbury House, Baptist Student Union, Cafeteria Building, the first Administration Building and the twenty-seven building apartment complex for veterans returning from WWII.   She designed the Ring Theater on the University campus with Robert Little in 1951. Over her long career, Miss Manley accumulated numerous professional and civic accolades. Manley died in 1984 at the age of 90.

Robert Murray Little was born in Uniontown, Pennsylvania in 1903 and studied architecture at the prestigious Beaux Arts School in Philadelphia. He moved to Miami in 1925 to work at an architectural firm designing buildings during the Land Boom era.  The modern Solomon G. Merrick Building on the University of Miami’s campus was one of his most significant achievements. In 1950, he designed this International style building around the frame of the proposed Mediterranean Revival building that was begun in 1926. He was instrumental in designing the Lowe Art Gallery and the Ring Theater in 1951 with Marion I. Manley. Little had a very practical and economical approach to design and function. His simple designs used bare concrete walls and inexpensive materials. For the University, Little also designed the Eaton Residence College, Varsity Locker Room, School of Music Group, School of Law, Graduate School Dormitory, and Science Building, and renovated the Student Union and Student Health Center. Starting in the mid-1950s, local architect Frank Watson worked with Little on the University’s projects.

Watson and Deutschman, an architectural firm, was responsible for at least one building found on campus, the Ashe Administration Building. Frank Edward Watson, a principal in the firm, worked with university architects Robert M. Little and Robert Law Weed earlier in his career. Like Little, Watson studied architecture at the Beaux Art Institute in Philadelphia. In addition, he worked with internationally-renowned architect Louis Kahn. Besides the Ashe Administration Building, a later incarnation of Watson’s firm, Watson, Deutschman, and Kruse, designed the Otto G. Richter Library and the Ungar Computing Center on the campus

Wahl Snyder designed the J. Neville McArthur Engineering Building on the University of Miami campus. Snyder was considered part of a group of South Florida architects practicing in the 1940s through the 1960s who developed a modern architecture that acknowledged the regional environment coupled with the technological advances of the era. He received a B.S. in architecture from Pennsylvania State University in 1932, came to Miami in 1935, and established his own firm in 1937. Residential architecture was the mainstay of his practice, and Snyder designed numerous homes for South Florida and the Caribbean. In 1946, the Florida South Chapter of the American Institute of Architects sponsored a competition to design a “$5,000 GI House for South Florida,” which was intended to demonstrate the type of house which could be built at a reasonable cost for the average veteran. Wahl Snyder, with associate Rufus Nims, won the competition. Snyder is also said to be responsible for introducing the Split-Level and Townhouse building types to the Miami area. In the 1950s and 1960s, Snyder began working on larger projects such as the Coral Park Elementary School, Miami Carol City High School, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s project in Culmer.

Caudill, Rowlett, and Scott was founded in 1946 as Caudill Rowlett by two Texas A&M university professors: Bill Caudill and John Rowlett. Wally Scott was soon added has a third partner. The architectural firms early experience focused on school design, and they were responsible for the first elementary schools designed with air conditioning in Texas, and built the first all glass gymnasium in the country, in Tyler, Texas. The firm designed school facilities and hospitals throughout the country and internationally during the 1950s and 1960s as construction of these types of facilities boomed. The original architectural firm expanded into other fields, changed names, reorganized into different divisions, and acquired new companies in the other fields throughout its history. They are responsible for the design of the Cox Science Building on the University of Miami's campus.