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Architect Colvin Plans Retirement

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Architect Colvin Plans Retirement

F. Huston (Tex) Colvin, founding partner of one of Ann Arbor's largest architectural firms, says he plans to retire next month as president of Colvin, Robinson Associates, Inc.

An architect here since 1936. the 68-year-old Colvin has been responsible for designing numerous building projects for U-M and the Ann Arbor Public Schools.

His firm currently numbers 11 architects designing more than $3 million worth of construction a year.

Colvin has watched Ann Arbor grow from a quiet college town to a sprawling university city and has achieved marked success despite the area’s seeming over-abundance of architects.

“It’s competitive. There are many architects here,” says Colvin. "But in this town they’re appreciated more.”

Colvin has a sense of humor that brings a tale from his Kiwanis associate Nick Prakken, retired manager for Michigan Bell Telephone Co. here.

Prakken recalls accountant Paul Icerman pulled up in front of Colvin’s home at 2010 Longshore a few years ago to pick up the architect and his wife, Jeane, for a vacation trip.

When he arrived, says Prakken, Colvin had lined the sidewalk with a dozen or more suitcases and boxes — most of them empty — just to see the befuddled look on Icerman’s face at the prospect of cramming all the baggage in one car.

Colvin, an Indiana native, says he got his nickname "Tex” from a brother-in-law who thought Huston was too stuffy a name.

Colvin has belonged to the Ann Arbor Kiwanis Club,more than 30 years and in 1961 served as its president.

He has been a director of the Chamber of Commerce, Ann Arbor Area United Fund and the YMCA, of which he was president in 1957.

Colvin was the first president of the Huron Valley chapter of the American Institute of Architects and served on the board of the state architects society in 1965.

During the 1960s, Colvin sat on the Ann Arbor zoning board of appeals, building code appeals board, and sign board of appeals. He remains a member of Washtenaw County’s building code appeals board.

The largest project of Colvin’s architectural career was the remodeling of Ann Arbor's former high school at Huron and State into the U-M's Frieze Building, he says.

Colvin will be succeeded as president of his firm by partner Richard Robinson, with whom he formed the venture in 1950.