Postcards will document my journey through the creative world I have traveled.
After living for three years in the mid-west and gaining my architecture license, I got two perfect opportunities. First, I had decided to apply to grad schools to gain some additional design education as I was considering an academic career. I received three acceptance letters. I chose to attend Rice University in the Fall of 1977. Their program was very diverse and connected to the energetic city of Houston. The benefit of a full scholarship was hard to ignore; plus the school is considered the Ivy League University of the South.
The second opportunity was to teach during the Summer semester at Auburn before heading to grad school. My faculty friend, Jack Plaxco, was leading a summer program in Europe for Auburn Architecture Students, and he needed a person to fill in at Auburn for students considering entering architecture. This gave me the opportunity to ‘test the waters’ teaching, as well as transition from the architecture profession back to academic life for graduate school.
The greatest lesson of that summer was that I enjoyed teaching very much, and I longed to continue developing my academic knowledge and tools. I also wanted to progress in the profession doing larger and more challenging building types and planning projects. The Auburn teaching experience and the Rice graduate program more than adequately fulfilled those desires.
Experiencing the high energy of the city of Houston, while attending the graduate studio at Rice, was exhilarating. Rice connected me to many architects, architectural wonders of the city, museums, and galleries; and was a very entrepreneurial professional environment.
In 1979 upon graduation, I was primed and ready to practice architecture in Houston.
Jim McGregor is a founder of Browne McGregor Architects and has served on the faculty at PVAMU and Auburn University. He is a graduate of Auburn University and Rice University. Before starting the firm in Houston in 1995 with Charles Browne, he worked at firms in Mobile, Denver, and Houston.