H. JORDAN MACKENZIE IN TEXAS

In my previous post on H. Jordan Mackenzie, I inventoried all the known (and a few suspected) works of H. Jordan MacKenzie, including partnerships he was in such as MacKenzie and Goldstein, and Mackenzie, Ehrlis & Johnson.  That post can be seen here.

As stated in that previous post, MacKenzie moved to New Orleans around 1904 and left around 1917.  He moved to Houston and became a design associate with the firm of Alfred Charles Finn.

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Above is the Humble Oil  and Refining Company’s Filling Station #4, which unfortunately, has been demolished.  This was copied from the book “Houston Lost and Unbuilt” by Steven R. Strom.   The design is attributed to Alfred Charles Finn, but the building displays MacKenzie’s characteristic Art Nouveau style.

Below is the Sterling Mansion, which was built in Houston, Texas around 1914.  Ross Sterling was one of the founders of the Humble Oil Company.  Sterling hired Alfred C. Finn’s firm to design a new front porch in 1919.  The design is attributed to H. Jordan MacKenzie.  The house survives as an attorney’s office.

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8 thoughts on “H. JORDAN MACKENZIE IN TEXAS

  1. Naomi B,Richter says:

    Thank you for this splendid article about Mac. I have information about his early and later years and you filled in some of the rest, I am his distant relative.

    • mrouchell says:

      Thanks for commenting. I would love it if you shared the information that you have about his early and later years. I really know very little, and was mostly commenting on the buildings that he built in New Orleans and what little I could find via Google. Do you know if his drawings and office files still exist? Perhaps they are located in an architectural archive somewhere.

      • Naomi Richter says:

        Greetings Mr. Rouchell,

        H. Jordan MacKenzie was born Herman Kraetzer in Michigan in 1870. His father, Ferdinand Kraetzer and my great-grandfather immigrated from Prussia in 1855 They were 22 and 17 years old respectively. Ferdinand served in the Civil War with the Union Army,16th Cavalry. The brothers married and moved with their families to Chicago in 1872.

        When MacK was nearly 70 he searched for cousins who still lived in Chicago. My family received several letters from him between 1939 and 1942. The first ones bore the letterhead of Alfred C. Finn, Architect and the last one had the letterhead of the War Department, Camp Swift, Gastrop, TX. He also sent a clever Christmas card that he designed, with a blueprint background and his picture.

        In the letters he told of an old miner in Tombstone, Arizona whose son had died. The miner said if Herman would change his name he would adopt him and make him his heir. So Herman Kraetzer legally changed his name to H. Jordan MacKenzie. (His inheritance amounted to about $15,000) MacK’s first wife died and eventually he remarried a woman 30 years younger who had a 12 year old daughter. Apparently he had no children of his own.

        MacK enlisted in the Engineer, Civilian Branch, and was assigned by the War Department to an undisclosed location. My family eventually attempted to find out more and was told that he was on a ship bound for Australia that was reported missing (February,1943). Later (October 1943) the War Department wrote that he was in Resefe, Brazil, SA.

        A few days ago I googled, H. Jordan MacKenzie and found a Texas death notice dated 1956. He would have been 85.

        Thank you once again for the information about his illustrious career.

        Naomi Richter
        Kalamazoo, Michigan

      • mrouchell says:

        Is the H. initial in his name for Herman? Do you know where Jordan Mackenzie went to school for architecture? Do you know if any of his architectural drawings still exist, perhaps in an archive somewhere? One thing I’ve noticed about him is that he had an interest in Secessionist & jugenstil architecture. (Jugenstil is the German equivalent of art nouveau.) Google “jugendstil architecture” and check out the images.

  2. Naomi Richter says:

    Sorry, I do not have any information about his professional work.

  3. Herman Val McAdams says:

    H Jordan MacKenzie married Mignon Mai Pipkins and had two children, a daughter, Fredericka Raiford MacKenzie and a son Douglas. Mignon Mai died and H. Jordan MacKenzie married Gertrude Radford. They had one daughter Aljean MacKenzie. Even though he did not like the Herman, his grandson and great-grandson(me) have the first name of Herman.

    • mrouchell says:

      A comment below says H. Jordan MacKenzie didn’t have any children of his own. I suppose that this is incorrect? He didn’t like the name Herman so he used the initial H instead? Thanks for the information. Would you know where he went to school for architecture or the whereabouts of his professional files and drawings?

  4. mrouchell says:

    New Information on H. Jordan MacKenzie Architect. After a bit of Googling I came across an advertisement in the October 18, 1916 issue of The American Architect #2130. The ad reads, “Plans have been completed by Architect H. Jordan MacKenzie, 827 Gravier Street, for a lodge building to be erected by Lodge No. 447, Loyal Order of Moose, at a cost of $150,000.00 It will be located on Canal and Howard Streets.” Here is a photo by Charles Franck: http://www.louisianadigitallibrary.org/cdm/ref/collection/CLF/id/881

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