Robert E. Velten, AIA: 1929–2016

Robert E. Velten

Robert E. Velten, AIA, dedicated Brownsville architect – photo courtesy AIA LRGV

Robert E. Velten, AIA, of Brownsville passed away on May 16. A native Texan, Velten practiced architecture in the Lower Rio Grande Valley. In a way, he was entering the family business, as his father was a prolific contractor in Brownsville. Velten received his Bachelor of Arts in architecture from Texas A&M University. After serving in the Air Force, he worked for Henry D. Mayfield, Fehr & Granger, and A. H. Woolridge before opening his own architectural practice in 1959. 

Velten put his stamp on his hometown, notably designing the F.W. Woolworth building, Camille Playhouse, and Brownsville High School. In the January/February 2012 issue of Texas Architect, Stephen Fox described Velten’s Peraglie House as “a magical realist subtropical garden.” The architect was a fixture of the AIA Lower Rio Grande Valley chapter, assisting with the annual tour. 

Velten will be deeply missed by his friends and colleagues. Memorial services were held on Friday, May 20. Please leave your remembrances in the comments.