While our physical offices are closed until further notice in accordance with Austin's COVID-19 "stay home-work safe" order, the Handbook of Texas will remain available at no-cost for you, your fellow history enthusiasts, and all Texas students currently mandated to study from home. If you have the capacity to help us maintain our online Texas history resources during these uncertain times, please consider making a 100% tax-deductible contribution today. Thank you for your support of TSHA and Texas history. Donate Today »

NELSON, DONALD SIEGFRIED

Christopher Long

NELSON, DONALD SIEGFRIED (1907–1992). Donald Siegfried Nelson, Dallas architect, was born in Chicago, Illinois, on February 10, 1907, the son of August G. and Diana (Frederickson) Nelson. He studied architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he earned a bachelor of architecture degree in 1927. He also attended the École des Beaux Arts in Fountainebleau, France, in 1925, and the École Normal Superieur des Beaux Arts in Paris from 1927 to 1930 as winner of the Paris Prize. He began his practice in Chicago in 1929 as a junior member of Bennett, Parsons, and Frost, architects and city planners, and in the early 1930s played a major role in planning the design of the celebrated 1933 Chicago Century of Progress Exposition.

In the spring of 1935 George L. Dahl, chief architect and technical director of the Texas Centennial Fair, invited Nelson and several other Chicago architects to come to Dallas and work on the exhibit. In addition to helping plan the layout and overall arrangement of the fair, Nelson designed the World Exhibits Building. Afterward he remained in Dallas and worked as architect for federal memorials for the Texas Centennial as well as operating a private practice in Dallas and Austin.

From 1942 to 1946 Nelson served as the chief of planning and design at the headquarters of the United States Army Air Force in Washington, D.C. After the war he formed a partnership with Thomas D. Broad in Dallas, where he continued to practice for the remainder of his career. Over the course of the next three decades Nelson established himself as one of the region's most noted architects. Among his best-known works are the Dallas Mercantile Bank complex (1940–47; additions 1957, 1959, 1964, and 1969); the Texas Memorial Grand Lodge Temple, Waco (1950); the original passenger terminal at Love Field (1957); the Dallas County Government Center (1969); and the Scottish Rite Library and Museum, Waco (1969). He was the recipient of numerous awards, including the Meritorious Design Award from the Texas Society of Architects (1950) and Progressive Architecture magazine's Design Award (1956). He was a member of the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects, the Architecture League of New York, and a charter member of the Texas Society of Architects. He married Matilda Fowler on September 17, 1929. The couple had one son. Nelson died in Dallas on January 4, 1992.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 
Architectural Drawings Collection, Architecture and Planning Library, University of Texas at Austin. Dallas Morning News, January 8, 1992.

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, Christopher Long, "NELSON, DONALD SIEGFRIED," accessed July 05, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fnejz.

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
visit the mytsha forums to participate

View these posts and more when you register your free MyTSHA account.

Call for Papers: Texas Center for Working-Class Studies Events, Symposia, and Workshops
Hi all! You may be interested in this call for papers I received from the Texas Center for Working-Class Studies at Collin College...

Katy Jennings' Ride Scholarly Research Request
I'm doing research on Catherine Jennings Lockwood, specifically the incident known as "Katy Jennings' Ride." Her father was Gordon C. Jennings, the oldest man to die at the Alamo...

Texas Constitution of 1836 Co-Author- Elisha Pease? Ask a Historian
The TSHA profile of Elisha Marshall Pease states that he wrote part of the Texas Constitution although he was only a 24 year-old assistant secretary (not elected). I cannot find any other mention of this authorship work by Pease in other credible research about the credited Constution authors...