In Memory of Mr. Seth Irvin Morris

August 2, 2006

The Houston Public Library mourns the loss of Seth Irvin Morris, one of Houston’s most prominent architects. Mr. Morris died early Tuesday, August 1 st of pneumonia. He was 91 years old.

Mr. Morris was instrumental in building the Central Library’s Jesse H. Jones building in downtown Houston. His firm, S I Morris Associates, began design plans for the library building in 1971. By late 1972, the final design plan was completed and construction began in early 1973. The new Central Library opened its doors on January 18, 1976.

At that time, the Central Library was considered exceptionally outstanding. A modern six-story granite building with a three-story glass lobby, it was described by an architectural journal as “Houston’s first successful outdoor civic space – magnetic, joyous, and alive.”

Dr. Rhea Brown-Lawson, director of libraries, said, “The Houston Public Library was very fortunate to have had its Central Library designed and built by such a distinguished and respected architect. The Central Library is just one of many prominent buildings that Mr. Morris created that became a part of Houston’s skyline. He also built the first-of-its kind sports stadium, the Astrodome, the trapezoidal Pennzoil Place skyscraper, the One Shell Plaza, the Williams Tower located in the Galleria area, the Wortham Theater Center, and many more. Mr. Morris will be remembered as the master of modern architecture in Houston. We are saddened by his loss and think it’s unfortunate that he will not see the renovations being made to the Central Library now. ”

Seth Irvin Morris is survived by his wife, Suzanne and five children.