of Eugene T. Heiner
Photo courtesy Nesbitt Memorial Library, Columbus, Texas
Yorker by birth, Eugene T. Heiner came into the world on August 20,
1852 in NYC. At the tender age of thirteen, he was apprenticed to
a Chicago architect. He moved to Dallas
in 1877, and arrived in Houston in 1878. Houston
was where he would spend the rest of his short (but prolific) life.
See Eugene Thomas Heiner
- Historical Marker
is remembered mostly for his jails and courthouses. After his first
jail contract (Galveston)
he went on to do a dozen more - including Harris, Tarrant and the
the late 1880s Heiner designed several buildings at Texas A & M University
Station as well as the Brazos
County Courthouse in nearby Bryan.
One building at the Texas State Penitentiary in Huntsville
was designed by Heiner and several commercial buildings in Galveston.
The bulk of his work was close to home in Harris County. Heiner occasionally
designed private houses - including the home of Charles S. House and
that of Thomas H. Scanlan.
Henry Brashear Building (1882), a Heiner building in downtown Houston
at 910 Prairie Avenue
TE photo 2-2005
W. L. Foley Building, Houston 1889
Henry Brashear Building 1882
W. House Bank, Houston 1889
Houston High School, 1894
Houston Ice and Brewing Company, 1893*
Sweeney and Coombs Opera House, Houston 1890
that remains of the builing above - the Brazos County Courthouse Cornerstone
TE photo, 2-2005
Incomplete List of Heiner Courthouses:
County Courthouse, Bellville, 1888 (burned 1960)
County Courthouse, Angleton, 1897 (now a library)
County Courthouse, Bryan, 1892 (razed)
County Courthouse, Columbus, 1891
County Courthouse, Marlin, 1888 (razed)
Courthouse, Jasper (Altered)
County Courthouse, Beaumont, 1893 (razed)
County Courthouse, Hallettsville, 1897
County 1895 Courthouse, Bay City (razed)
County 1884 Courthouse, Livingston
County Courhouse, Ballinger 1889 (Altered)
County Courthouse, Wharton, 1889 (restored 2005-2006)
T. Heiner was a founding member of the Texas State Association of
Architects in 1886. He died in Houston
on April 26, 1901 and is buried in Houston's Glenwood
Cemetery - within sight of downtown Houston.
A historical marker has recently been erected over his grave.
|The Heiner Gravesite
and historical marker
2525 Washington Ave.
Glenwood Cemetery, Section C4
TE photo, 2005
20, 1852 - April 26, 1901)
Born in New York
City to German immigrants Nicholas and Margaretta Heiner, Eugene Thomas
Heiner apprenticed himself to a Chicago architect when he was thirteen
years old and later completed his training in Berlin, Germany. Heiner
became a draftsman for architect J. A. Vrydaugh in Terre Haute, Indiana,
in 1873. Three years later, with the prize money he won in a design
competition at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition, Eugene T. Heiner
moved to Dallas. There he
met and married Viola Isenhour. They settled in Houston
and were the parents of four daughters. His first major design was
rendered for the Galveston County Jail in 1878. Heiner became known
for his work on Texas
county courthouses and jails,
though his work also included many commercial buildings and private
Heiner's designs of the 1870s and 1880s often employed variations
of Classical detail typical of American High Victorian architecture.
The two-story Italianate and Second Empire style Smith County Jail
(1880-1881) was designed during the prosperous days after Reconstruction.
His style then shifted toward the increasingly popular Richardsonian
Romanesque, but retained his strong High Victorian tendency toward
vertical lines and structural ornamentation. Heiner designed more
than twenty courthouses and jails in as many years. He also was responsible
for the design of such unusual buildings as the Houston Cotton Exchange
and Board Of Trade Building (1884). A founding member of the Texas
Association Of Architects in 1886, he left a remarkable legacy of
public buildings in Texas.