You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myStatesman.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myStatesman.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myStatesman.com.

Austin architect contributed modernist buildings to city’s landscape

The late designer and teacher also illustrated children’s books and painted watercolors.


Thomas “Tom” Shefelman, who helped design several of Austin’s outstanding modernist buildings, died Wednesday at 89. Seattle-born Shefelman, a graduate of the University of Texas School of Architecture and the Harvard Graduate School of Design, also illustrated children’s books and painted watercolor scenes from his travels, often in tandem with his wife, Janice Shefelman, who survives him.

Among his contributions to the cityscape are the Starr Building, built for American National Bank and later renovated for the McGarrah Jessee advertising firm at Colorado and West Sixth streets. He loved designing churches, including the soaring Central Presbyterian Church at Brazos and East Eighth streets. Many of his projects — such as the Norwood Tower, Stephen F. Austin Hotel and Travis County’s courthouse — took the form of renovations.

Also an urban planner who served on many Austin commissions, Shefelman taught for years at UT, as Wayne Bell, long the dean of Austin preservation architects, recalls.

“The few times that we participated on projects together — and during our times carrying on the job of educating young architects — I always found him to be a truly decent person,” Bell said. “His interest in education was exemplary, and to participate with him on joint ventures always confirmed my respect for him.”

Shefelman passed away quietly, surrounded by family and friends, retelling old jokes and stories.

“My dad’s creations flowed from his head and hands like radiating shimmering beams of form and light and color,” his son, Dan Shefelman, said. “He taught me the love of making things. He called them ‘shapes and spaces.’ I will miss him terribly and pass along that gift in his name.”

“He was my first and best art teacher,” said his other son, Karl Shefelman. “He taught me how to truly see the world as an artist, and I will carry his wisdom and talent forward in my own art, heart and mind as long as I live. Dad touched so many people worldwide with his beautiful architecture, drawings and creative genius. And yet, despite all this, he was an incredibly humble man with a stoic, self-effacing humor.”

Plans for a memorial haven’t yet been announced. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in his name to KMFA-FM.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Bear wanders into Walmart parking lot in Kentucky
Bear wanders into Walmart parking lot in Kentucky

Some late-night shoppers in Kentucky were surprised to  be greeted by a  black bear in the parking lot. >> Read more trending news  A bear was spotted in a Walmart parking lot in Somerset around 1:30 a.m. Monday, WLEX reported.. Police and Kentucky Fish and Wildlife officials were called to the scene to lure the bear into...
Climber rescued from crevasse on Mount Rainier
Climber rescued from crevasse on Mount Rainier

Rangers at Mount Rainier National Park rescued a climber Sunday, the day after she fell into a crevasse while descending from the summit of Mount Rainier. >> Read more trending news The climber was rescued from 12,300 feet elevation on the Emmons Glacier, on the mountain's east side, by the park's A-Star B3 helicopter.  A party of three...
Police: 16th person arrested in Manchester bombing
Police: 16th person arrested in Manchester bombing

British police have arrested a 16th person in connection with last week’s suicide bombing in Manchester, Reuters reported Monday. >> Read more trending news The 23-year-old man was arrested in Shoreham-by-Sea, Sussex, "on suspicion of offenses contrary to the terrorism act", Greater Manchester Police reported on its Twitter...
Alaska volcano erupts again; aviation alert code raised to red
Alaska volcano erupts again; aviation alert code raised to red

An Alaska volcano that has been active for nearly six months erupted again Sunday, Bloomberg reported. >> Read more trending news The Alaska Volcano Observatory said Bogoslof Volcano in the Aleutian Islands erupted at 2:16 p.m. Sunday and sent a cloud of ash at least 35,000 feet high. The eruption lasted 55 minutes, Bloomberg reported...
UT scientists might have found key to stopping hospital infections

Hundreds of thousands of people in the United States, if not more, suffer infections each year from medical devices that have developed microbial films — sticky mats of bacteria that are hard to find and clean off. But University of Texas researchers say they have figured out why the film develops, a finding that could lead to a way to prevent...
More Stories