2014 Archives

Dallas architect James Pratt’s collection given to SMU’s Hunt Institute for Engineering & Humanity

September 18, 2014

DALLAS (SMU) – The one-of-kind personal collection of rare books and research materials that visionary Dallas architect James Pratt used for design inspiration over his long career has found a home in SMU’s Hunt Institute for Engineering & Humanity, and will be open to the public Oct. 1.

James Pratt with former Dallas Mayor Adlene Harrison
Architect James Pratt with former Dallas Mayor Adlene Harrison at the presentation of his collection to SMU.

Pratt, his family and friends were on hand for the dedication of the collection at SMU’s Lyle School of Engineering Sept. 15.  The James Pratt Collection on Urbanism, Architecture, Art & Humanity includes rare and significant first edition books, architecture-related magazines and monographs, and a diverse group of other books and publications.

For more than 60 years, Pratt, FAIA, has worked to make Dallas and urban North Texas a better community. When he retired to Santa Fe, New Mexico, in 2013, he generously donated his personal collection to the Hunt Institute.  Support for the Pratt Collection is made possible by a gift from Hunter and Stephanie Hunt of Dallas.

From his landmark work on Goals for Dallas and the Trinity River corridor to architectural projects such as the Quadrangle, Brookhaven College, St. Stephens United Methodist Church (25 Year Award Winner of the Dallas AIA Chapter) and the restoration of the historic Dallas County Courthouse, Pratt has had enormous impact on Dallas for the past six decades. The Hunt Institute expects the Pratt collection to serve as an active tribute to one of the preeminent influencers of modern Dallas, as well as represent a significant new resource for engineering students interested in pursuing careers in humanitarian-related fields.

The Hunter and Stephanie Hunt Institute for Engineering & Humanity in SMU’s Bobby B. Lyle School of Engineering strives to bring together the most talented minds from fields including engineering, science, business, international development and global economics, and combine their efforts with market forces to improve the standard of living for those living in extreme poverty. The institute focuses on access to clean water; creating affordable shelter, including design justice for the marginalized; hygiene education and promotion; access to energy; and meeting basic infrastructure needs.

Ribbon Cutting
James Pratt (center) cuts the ribbon on the presentation of his collection.