Raiford L. Stripling Architectural Collection

Identity elements

Reference code

TxAM-CRS 167

Name and location of repository

Level of description



Raiford L. Stripling Architectural Collection


  • 1937-1989 (Creation)


62.00 Boxes

Name of creator

Biographical history

Raiford Leak Stripling was born November 23, 1910 in San Augustine. As a child, Stripling enjoyed many activities, showing a distinct artistic talent early on in his life. He did not express an initial interest in becoming an architect until after a trip at the age of 13 to the Chicago Livestock Exhibition in Chicago, Illinois where he was surrounded by many exceptional examples of architecture. Once returned to San Augustine, Stripling set his sights on that career path and graduated high school as the salutatorian of his class. In the fall of 1927, Raiford L. Stripling enrolled as a freshman in the department of architecture at the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas.

Raiford’s first two years were spent in a mix of military and artistic training. He was a member of the Corps of Cadets C Company infantry with quarters in Leggett Hall on the A&M campus. After two years and considerable company mischief, Stripling was advised that he would not be recommended for advancement in the ROTC program. He moved off of campus and continued his studies in architecture.

Under the guidance of Samuel Charles Phelps Vosper and Ernest Langford, two distinguished faculty members in the department of architecture, Raiford was schooled in the Beaux Arts tradition. Beaux Art training provided an architectural education with a strong basis in classical design, rigorous attention to fine detailing, and sound construction methods.

Immediately after graduation he worked with College Architect Frederick E. Giesecke and staff architect Samuel Charles Phelps Vosper. Stripling later spent some time working for the National Park Service in Santa Fe, New Mexico, with NPS staff member Charles E. Peterson, an opportunity that introduced him to the analytical examination of vernacular and religious historic architecture. Following the outbreak of WWII, Stripling worked with then Lt. Cmdr. Peterson in the camouflage unit at the Washington Navy Yards. In 1947 Stripling opened his own practice in his hometown of San Augustine, Texas. Over the course of his career he worked on some of Texas’ most significant restoration projects, as well as many single family residences, banks, churches, and schools. He was very involved in consultation work, and traveled often to provide his services and knowledge. In the latter years of the practice he was joined by his son, Ray, who continues to work in the area, often on projects started by his father.

In 1990 Raiford L. Stripling passed away, leaving behind a body of work that will contribute significantly to the fields of architecture and architectural history for many years to come.

Content and structure elements

Scope and content

This collection is made up of over 250 projects contained in 24 boxes, as well as drawings and construction documents housed in flat files in one map case.  Stripling’s work consists of 327 legal size folders, each related to architecture projects, as well as 60 folders of information associated with the field of architecture and miscellaneous items. 

The folders in the collection hold articles such as: contract documents, architectural services billing, contractors’ requests for payment,  correspondence, brochures, pamphlets, newspaper articles, magazine articles, photographs, sketches, drawings, and miscellaneous notes.

System of arrangement

The collection was received in a disorganized and unsystematic state.  Considerable time was spent taking an initial inventory of items to ascertain what comprised the Stripling Collection and then bringing material together.  This action was taken for both the large drawings and the file folders.

The content consists of material taken from 12 filing cabinets in the office of Raiford Stripling and Associates. The projects are categorized by building type into 24 boxes containing related project folders.

Box 1 – Banks: 8 projects

Box 2 – Churches: 17 projects

Box 3 – Civic & County: 7 projects

Box 4 – DECTEC: 13 projects

Box 5 – Educational: 13 projects

Box 7 – Hospitals (projects) and Inns (3 projects)

Box 8 – Museums: 6 projects

Box 9 – Offices & Businesses: 28 projects

Box 10 – Historic Offices, etc.: 6 projects

Box 11 – Parks, Forts, Missions:   8 projects

Box 12, 13, 14 – Residences: 78 projects

Box 15, 16, 17 – Historic Residences: 52 projects

Box 17, 19, 20, 21 – La Bahia, etc

Box 22 – Organizations: 19 organizations

Box 23, 24 – Miscellaneous

Box 49 - Photographs

Box 50 - Scans on CDs

Box 51 - Artwork

Several boxes of files have been separated from the Raiford L. Stripling Collection, having been identified as project files relating to projects by Ray Stripling after his father’s death.  This material is being prepared for return to San Augustine.

Items housed separately in a map case include all of Stripling’s large architectural drawings, construction documents, and illustrations requiring flat storage.

Also, boxes 25-48 and boxes 53-62 have been separated into mapcases.

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Physical access

These materials are stored offsite and require additional time for retrieval.

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Languages of the material

  • English

Scripts of the material

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