In Memoriam: James Reece Pratt MArch ’53
James Reece Pratt MArch ’53 passed away on November 6th, 2018, at the age of 91. James was born in Stamford, Texas on March 25, 1927 to James “Reece” and Margaret (Barret) Pratt. From his mother, James developed a deep appreciation for research, history, culture and travel. His aunt, Ruth Barret DuBrul, was equally influential, inspiring persistence and perfectionism through sharing her passions of cooking and gardening. James’ passion for Dallas led to his being one of the city’s most visionary and influential architects of his time. His contributions to the urban landscape included notable public and private structures, city-wide urban planning, and historic preservation. His work was distinguished for connecting diverse communities and cultures while respecting and acknowledging the specific environment and topology. James and his firms, James Pratt, Architect (1957); Pratt and Box (1958-1969); Pratt, Box, Henderson and Partners (1970-1984); and James Pratt Architecture, Urban Design, Inc. (1984-2014) were recognized nationally and internationally.
James was a world traveler fascinated by history and all cultures, studying planning and architecture in international cities to broaden and deepen his work. His love of culture and craft was also evident in his pursuit of Japanese gardening and ceramics. Notable projects included glorious chrysanthemum displays and sculpting the faces of sixteen historical world figures. Tying together all of James’s interests was his 40-year-long research into and study of La Reunion, the 1850s Fourierist Utopian community which briefly attempted to establish itself outside of Dallas. Sabotaged: Dreams of Utopia in Texas is to be published by the University of Nebraska Press in 2019.