William Roy Wallace Architectural Papers circa 1913-circa 2000

Summary
Contents
Names/subjects
Using these materials
Creators
Wallace, William Roy, 1889-1983; Wallace, William Roy, Jr., 1922-
Size
184 linear feet (35 boxes, 11 card boxes, 31 drawers, 3 flat boxes, 21 oversize boxes, 31 tube boxes)
Call number
MC 00517
Access to materials

Collection is open for research; access requires at least 48 hours advance notice.

The William Roy Wallace Architectural Papers, circa 1913- circa 2000, contain architectural drawings and project files that document the work of Wallace and his associates. Included are plans for homes for many Winston-Salem tobacco and textiles scions from the 1930s to 1980s as well as for their counterparts in Burlington, Greensboro, High Point and Boone. Also included are designs created for various religious, educational, and commercial clients throughout the state. Drawings from Charles Barton Keen, Wallace’s mentor and a prolific designer of homes for the Philadelphia elite, who was also a favorite architect of wealthy tobacco and textile families in North Carolina, are also included here. Also included in this collection are drawings by Wallace's son, William Roy Wallace, Jr., and it is not always clear which Wallace was the architect for a particular drawing.

William Roy Wallace (1889-1983), a native of Pennsylvania, began his career in association with Philadelphia architect Charles Barton Keen (1868-1931), a designer of country houses for the Philadelphia elite. Keen created a second major body of work among the leading industrial families in the North Carolina Piedmont, including the famed Reynolda House (1912-1918) for the Reynolds family in Winston-Salem. Wallace worked with Keen as an office boy, a draftsman, and eventually as partner. In 1923 Keen and Wallace moved to Winston-Salem to manage the construction of the R. J. Reynolds High School and Auditorium. After Keen returned to Philadelphia, Wallace oversaw the Winston-Salem office and traveled back and forth from Philadelphia to supervise the firm’s many projects. Throughout the 1920s, the two architects worked on many of the great homes in Reynolda Park and Stratford Road in Winston-Salem, including the C. A. Kent House, the Robert Hanes House, and the P. Huber Hanes Sr. House. In 1928 Wallace settled permanently in Winston-Salem, where he established a practice with Harold Macklin and James M. Conrad. Like Keen, Wallace and his son William Roy Wallace, Jr., who joined the practice after World War II, continued in a Beaux Arts revivalist tradition that shaped the architectural heritage of Winston-Salem and other communities.

Biographical/historical note

William Roy Wallace (1889-1983), a native of Pennsylvania, began his career in association with Philadelphia architect Charles Barton Keen (1868-1931), a designer of country houses for the Philadelphia elite. Keen created a second major body of work among the leading industrial families in the North Carolina Piedmont, including the famed Reynolda House (1912-1918) for the Reynolds family in Winston-Salem. Wallace worked with Keen as an office boy, a draftsman, and eventually as partner. In 1923 Keen and Wallace moved to Winston-Salem to manage the construction of the R. J. Reynolds High School and Auditorium. After Keen returned to Philadelphia, Wallace oversaw the Winston-Salem office and traveled back and forth from Philadelphia to supervise the firm’s many projects. Throughout the 1920s, the two architects worked on many of the great homes in Reynolda Park and Stratford Road, including the C. A. Kent House, the Robert Hanes House, and the P. Huber Hanes, Sr., House. In 1928 Wallace settled permanently in Winston-Salem, where he established a practice with Harold Macklin and James M. Conrad. Like Keen, Wallace and his son William Roy Wallace, Jr., who joined the practice after World War II, continued in a Beaux Arts revivalist tradition that shaped the distinguished architectural heritage of Winston-Salem and other communities.

William Roy Wallace was born in Quarryville, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, on 19 June 1889. He graduated high school in 1909 and earned a one-year scholarship to Swarthmore College. Because his family could not afford tuition, he left Swarthmore after one year. At the advice of his Sunday school teacher, Wallace sought employment as an office boy with renowned archictect Charles Barton Keen who would become Wallace’s mentor and eventually his business partner.

Keen went to Winston-Salem, North Carolina, in 1909 to design and build Reynolda House for R. J. Reynolds and took 19-year-old Wallace with him. After Keen finished Reynolda House in 1912 he had become so sought after in Winston-Salem that he established an office there managed by Wallace. Keen divided his time between Philadelphia and Winston-Salem, and in 1922 was asked by Mrs. Reynolds to design and supervise the construction of Reynolds High School and Reynolds Auditorium. When that was completed, Keen asked to Wallace to return to Philadelphia and become his business partner.

Wallace worked with Keen in Philadelphia for five more years before returning to Winston-Salem, where he joined architect Harold Macklin. Wallace and Macklin opened an office in the newly-built Reynolds Building in downtown Winston-Salem. Wallace and his firm remained in that office until 1982.

Throughout his career, Wallace designed houses, schools, churches, office buildings, auditoriums, and cottages. During much of the 20th century, he was the architect of choice for many Winston-Salem business leaders and their families as well as for business leaders in Burlington, Greensboro, High Point, and elsewhere in North Carolina.

Wallace's son William Roy Wallace Jr., born 18 June 1922, joined the firm in 1945. The younger Wallace had studied architectural drawing at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and and worked as a draftsman for the United States Navy at Newport Navy Yard during World War II. After his father's death in 1983, William Roy Wallace Jr. managed the firm.

William Roy Wallace Sr. was married to Jeanette Dykes Turner Wallace (1895-1979). They had two children: Jean (Mrs. R. B. Wrege) and Bill (William Roy Wallace Jr.). William Roy Wallace died at his home at 732 Westover Avenue, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, on 10 February 1983. He was 93 years old.

Scope/content

The William Roy Wallace Architectural Papers, circa 1913- circa 2000, contain architectural drawings and project files that document the work of Wallace and his associates. Included are plans for homes for many Winston-Salem tobacco and textiles scions from the 1930s to 1980s as well as for their counterparts in Burlington, Greensboro, High Point and Boone. Also included are designs created for various religious, educational, and commercial clients throughout the state. Drawings from Charles Barton Keen, Wallace’s mentor and a prolific designer of homes for the Philadelphia elite, who was also a favorite architect of wealthy tobacco and textile families in North Carolina, are also included here.

Also included in this collection are drawings by Wallace's son, William Roy Wallace, Jr., and it is not always clear which Wallace was the architect for a particular drawing.

This collection contains drawings, project files, publications, and artifacts. The projects include schools, churches, office buildings, houses, garages and cottages. Some of the project titles reflect the language of the time they were drawn. Most projects have several drawings associated with them. Some drawings may be found in the in the project files.

There is a card catalog in this collection, which is indexed by client name and by project number.

Arrangement

The records of the William Roy Wallace Architectural Papers are arranged in four series: 1. Drawings, 2. Project Files, 3. Publications, 4. Artifacts

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], William Roy Wallace Architectural Papers, MC 00517, Special Collections Research Center, North Carolina State University Libraries, Raleigh, NC

Processing information

Processed by: Gwynn Thayer and Liz Bell, August 2015.

The collection is organized into four principal series:

Access to the collection

Collection is open for research; access requires at least 48 hours advance notice.

For more information contact us via mail, phone, or our web form.

Mailing address:
Special Collections Research Center
Box 7111
Raleigh, NC, 27695-7111

Phone: (919) 515-2273

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], William Roy Wallace Architectural Papers, MC 00517, Special Collections Research Center, North Carolina State University Libraries, Raleigh, NC

Use of these materials

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The materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. Copyright law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source.