Recently, Brazos lost two valued members of the architectural community, Ben Boettcher and Steven Schloss. We invite you to share your memories of them here as a tribute.
Ben Boettcher, AIA
Ben Boettcher was the principal architect at BBA Architects, a firm he founded in 1987 in Brenham. Boettcher graduated from Texas A&M with a masters in architecture in 1974 and began his career working with Travis Broesche, a notable Houston designer who moved to Brenham to finish his career. BBA is known for restoration and preservation projects, residential work, medical facilities, and banks, but most importantly, churches. The firm won several design awards for Boettcher’s preservation work, including a 1983 Texas Society of Architects Honor Award for Interior Architecture for the Basset & Basset Banking House in Brenham. The firm restored the building again in 2015. In 2017, AIA Brazos awarded the restoration of the Casino Hall Building in La Grange an Honor award for Excellence in Architecture.
Boettcher served as the president of AIA Brazos in 1989, after serving as treasurer and president-elect. In 1990, he served on the Texas Society of Architects Board of Directors. In Brenham, he served both the Washington County Historical Society and the Brenham Maifest Association. Boettcher was instrumental in helping his wife Cindy establish First Baptist Church School in Brenham in 1977 and Brazos Fellowship Church in College Station in 2005. Elizabeth Price, AIA, describes, “Ben had an easy smile, a warm presence, and an openness that made him a friend and mentor to many members of the chapter. His work in Brenham has a lasting impact on the community through projects ranging from the Blue Bell Aquatic Center to preservation of both commercial and residential historic buildings.” He leaves a legacy of excellence in architecture in Brenham. He will be greatly missed.
Steven Schloss, AIA
Steven Schloss was a project architect at The Arkitex Studio and Hawkins Architecture. He graduated from Stanford with a degree in American Studies in 1988, going on to work at the Smithsonian’s Museum of American History in Washington, DC. After stints as a multimedia designer and creative director, Schloss and his wife Rebecca moved to Texas, where he received his masters in architecture from The University of Texas at Austin in 2000.
Schloss joined The Arkitex Studio in 2003, working on projects such as the Texas A&M/Scotts Miracle-Gro Lawn and Garden Research Facility, Renovations to Hesby Student Atrium, Capsher Technology, and TDI Brooks Offices. His computer prowess combined with his design talents to create stunning visualizations that allowed clients to see how project ideas could become reality.
In addition to his work with The Arkitex Studio, Schloss worked with Hawkins Architecture. Andrew Hawkins, firm principal, describes him as the office dad. “Steve was good humored and enjoyed engaging with younger employees. He was always willing to give advice or steer conversations. He was always ready for a friendly debate over issues of the profession and practice with the younger staff.”
Schloss served the community on the College Station Design Review Board and the College Station Landmark Commission. At AIA Brazos, he served from 2012 through 2017, moving through the ranks of the executive committee in all positions.
Schloss was known as a dedicated and diligent architect, and his mentorship and passion for the betterment of communities will be deeply missed.
I noted the obituary of the two architects you posted. I am glad that you are sharing.
There was one architect Herber Ulbricht who passed away last year and I do not remember seeing any announcement of his passing made known to others. Below is his obituary. Hope you will share it just for the sake of all those who have worked for him in Houston, Texas, I worked for Mr. Ulbricht 12+ years. It was Hurricane Harvey time and I contacted AIA Houston, but never received a response from them.
I am very sad read of Ben’s passing. Ben gave me my first job as an architectural intern in 2000 and was instrumental in providing first hand experience on what it means to be an architect. I will always cherish the time I got to spend with Ben at BBA and he holds a special place in my heart. He was such a kind, loving and hard working man. I send my prayers and condolences to his family and the firm leaders.