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Alfred C. Finn Papers

Identifier: MSS 0019

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of office and project records for Finn's architectural firm, including specifications and correspondence. This collection also includes thousands of photographs and negatives, many for projects during and after construction. A significant portion of the colleciton is also composed of architectural drawings by Finn for prominent works in Houston including the Gulf Building, St. Paul's Methodist Church and the San Jacinto Monument. Several works by other firms, including various iterations of Sanguinet & Staats, are also included in this colleciton.


  • 1913-1964

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Permission to publish or reproduce materials from the Alfred C. Finn Papers must be obtained from the Houston Metropolitan Research Center or the appropriate copyright holder.

Biographical Note

Alfred C. Finn was born in Bellville, Texas, in 1883. In 1895, Finn left home to work on the Brazos River Bridge at Hempstead. From there he went to Houston in 1900 where he worked for the Southern Pacific Railway shops. He studied drafting and became a draftsman for an abstract company. In 1904, he moved to the Dallas-Fort Worth area where he joined the architectural firm of Sanguinett and Staats as a draftsman and later as an apprentice to Charles G. Staats. The firm transferred him to its Houston office in 1912 as an assistant to the manager.

In May 1913, Finn established his own office. His first job was designing the ten-story Foster Building. In subsequent years, he designed many of the city's landmark buildings and claimed among his clients Tom Ball and Jesse H. Jones, the latter being an associate of many years.


36 Linear Feet (31 boxes)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged into three series based on format. 1. Manuscripts 2. Scrapbooks 3. Architectural Drawings

The architectural drawings are inventoried in the HMRC Architectural Drawings Database ( The collections photographs can be searched using the HMRC's Photographic Archives Database ( contains an inventory of photographs in this collection.

Acquisition Information

Initial material donated by Michael M. & Frank H. Spata in 1975. Additions donated by Alfred C. Finn, Jr (1978, 1980), Aaron Jelin with First Southern Properties (1979), Mildred Hawks (1980), and Jane Davis with the University of Houston (1997).

Alfred C. Finn Papers
Additions To Incorporate
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Houston History Research Center Repository


African American History Research Center
Houston Public Library
1300 Victor Street
Houston, Texas 77019
Houston History Research Center
Houston Public Library
550 McKinney St.
Houston, Texas 77002