Kathryn (Kate) Holliday is an architectural historian whose research and teaching focus on the built environment in American cities. She studied architecture, art history, and environmental studies at Williams College and the University of Texas at Austin and she brings this interdisciplinary approach to the classroom and to her writing. She is currently a Mellon Fellow in Urban Landscape Studies at Dumbarton Oaks in Washington, DC where she is working on the book project Telephone City, a history of telephone buildings since the invention of commercial telephone service in 1876. She contributed a thematic essay to the SAH Archipedia based on that research titled “Building a National Network: Telephone Buildings in the United States” and her work on telephone buildings in New York is featured in the short film “Urban Giants: The Telecom Palaces of Ralph Walker.

Her most recent project is The Open-Ended City: David Dillon on Texas Architecture, a collection of essays by the late architecture critic that delves into issues of downtown redevelopment, urban sprawl, planning, and historic preservation in Texas cities in the age of postmodernism (University of Texas Press, 2019). Her two prior books are Leopold Eidlitz: Architecture and Idealism in the Gilded Age (W. W. Norton, 2008, winner of annual book awards from the Victorian Society’s New York chapter and SESAH, the Southeast Chapter of the Society of Architectural Historians) and Ralph Walker: Architect of the Century (Rizzoli, 2012).

She is also working longer term to assess the history of urban and suburban development in Dallas-Fort Worth in the 1960s and 1970s, looking especially at the effects of civic fragmentation on issues of equitable design and democratic space in the Metroplex. She is part of a team of landscape architecture and architecture faculty working on the “Reclaiming Black Settlements” project, which won the SOM Research Prize in 2020. By collaborating with community members in Freedman’s Towns along the Trinity River, the team will produce a design playbook that addresses environmental racism, historic preservation, and community development.

She has also contributed chapters to books on O’Neil Ford (Wasmuth, 2021) and Howard Barnstone (University of Texas Press, 2020) which reinterpret ideas about modernism, cities, and native landscapes in Texas. Her scholarly essays and articles on the history of architecture education, the AIA, and urban history have appeared in the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, the Journal of Architectural Education, the Journal of Urban History, Journal of Urban Design, Studies in the Decorative Arts, the Encyclopedia of Southern Culture, and the Dictionnaire des Creatrices. She has also lectured widely on her work in public venues like the 92nd Street Y and the Skyscraper Museum in New York, the Dallas Museum of Art and the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, as well as at universities and academic conferences from Havana to Singapore.

As founding director of the David Dillon Center for Texas Architecture, she established the annual Dillon Symposium, which brings together scholars and experts from across disciplines to discuss issues related to architecture and urbanism in north Texas. Topics have included the history and future of Freedman’s Towns in Dallas-Fort Worth, African American architects in Dallas, and changing conceptions of regionalism in Texas. The Center’s growing Oral History of Texas Architecture Project serves as a repository for the memory of the design profession in the region and is growing to include neighborhood histories gathered by students and residents. The Dillon Center works as a partner on research and public programming with non-profits in the region including bcWorkshop, ADEX (formerly the Dallas Center for Architecture), Preservation Dallas, Historic Fort Worth, AIA Dallas, and AIA Fort Worth.

Dr. Holliday also serves on the editorial board for Columns Magazine, the AIA Dallas quarterly publication and has contributed frequently to its pages. She is a member of the Board of Directors for Historic Fort Worth, a non-profit dedicated to promoting the value of historic preservation, and chairs its education committee. In the past, she served on the State Board of Review for the Texas Historical Commission’s National Register programs between 2009 and 2015 was also a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Architectural Education. Her work has been supported by Dumbarton Oaks, the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, the National Park Service Civil Rights Grant program, the Hagley Library, the SOM Foundation, the Nasher Foundation, the McDermott Foundation, the Rose Family Foundation, and the Dallas Regional Chamber of Commerce.


PhD, University of Texas at Austin, School of Architecture

MA, University of Texas at Austin, College of Fine Arts

BA, Williams College

Other Publications

2019    The Open-Ended City: David Dillon on Texas Architecture, edited with an introduction by Kathryn Holliday, foreword by Robert Decherd, afterword by Stephen Fox. Austin: University of Texas Press.
2012    Ralph Walker: Architect of the Century. New York: Rizzoli.
2008    Leopold Eidlitz: Architecture and Idealism in the Gilded Age. New York: W. W. Norton.

Book Chapters
2021    “Making the Woods for the Little Chapel: The Native Landscape Movement and Modern Architecture in Texas,” in Wilfried Wang, ed., O’Neil Ford Monograph Series No. 8: The Little Chapel in the Woods. Berlin Wasmuth &Zohlen.
2020    “To Be Modern in Texas: Lone Star Avant-Garde,” for Making Houston Modern: The Architecture and Life of Howard Barnstone, Barrie Scardino Bradley, Stephen Fox, Michelangelo Sabatino, editors, University of Texas Press; 2020.

Articles, Essays, etc.
2020    “Building the Network: Telephone Buildings in the United States,” invited interpretive essay and five new building entries for the Society of Architectural Historians Archipedia.
2019    Kathryn Holliday (primary author, 80%) and Colleen Casey (20%), “Urban Sprawl, Social Media and the Town Hall Square as a Symbol for Civic Culture,” Moderne Stadtgeschichte 1 (2019): 89-103. Publication of the Gesellschaft für Stadtgeschichte und Urbanisierungsforschung, special issue on global town hall squares edited by Christoph Strupp and Malte Thießen
2014    “Place and the City Biography: Between the Local and the Universal in the Sun Belt,” Journal of Urban History 40 (July 2014): 792-98.
2013    “The Architecture of Telecommunication: Verizon Building (Barclay-Vesey Building for the New York Telephone Company),” Journal of Architectural Education 67:1 (Spring 2013): 156-58.
2013    “Historiography of Southern Architecture” and “Resort Architecture,” contributor, The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture, Charles Reagan, ed., 2nd ed. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2013.
2012    “Beginnings and Endings: Phoebe Stanton on Pugin’s Contrasts,” invited review essay, Journal of Architectural Education, special issue “Beginning Design/ACSA 100,” 65:2 (Spring 2012): 106-16.
2009    “Whose City Hall Is It? Architecture and Identity in New Orleans.” Journal of Urban Design 14, n.3 (August 2009): 279-308.
2009    Guest editor, “Unraveling the Textile in Modern Architecture.” Special issue of Studies in the Decorative Arts XVI, n. 2 (Spring-Summer 2009), the journal of the Bard Graduate Center. Editor’s introduction, 2-6.
2009    “Walls as Curtains: Architecture and Humanism in Ralph Walker’s 1920s Skyscrapers,” Studies in the Decorative Arts XVI, n.2 (Spring-Summer 2009): 39-65.
2007    “The Architecture Profession and the Public: Leopold Eidlitz’s ‘Discourses Between Two T-Squares’,” Journal of Architectural Education 61, n.1 (September 2007): 32-43.
2006    “‘Build More and Draw Less’: The AIA and Leopold Eidlitz’s Grand Central School of Architecture,” Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 65, n.3 (September 2006): 378-401.

Book and Exhibition reviews
2021    Book review, Melissa Baugh and Michael Fazio, Buildings of Mississippi and Robert Cangelosi, New Orleans Architecture Vol. IX: Carrollton in Arris32, 74–76.
2021    Book review, Opus in Brick and Stone: The Architectural Planning Heritage of Texas Tech University in Southwestern Historical QuarterlyCXXV(1), 92–93.
2020    Book review, George E. Thomas, Frank Furness: Architecture in the Age of the Great Machines in Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, July 2020.

2018    Book review, Nancy McCoy and David Woodcock, Architecture that Speaks: S. C. P. Vosper and Ten Remarkable Buildings at Texas A&M in Southwestern Historian Quarterly 122, n.2 (October 2018): 221-23.

2017    “Constructing Houston’s Future: The Architecture of Arthur Evan Jones and Lloyd Morgan Jones,” Cite Magazine (2017).

2012    Book review, Wayne Craven, Gilded Mansions: Grand Architecture and High Society. Winterthur Portfolio 46, n.1 (Spring 2012): 107-08.

2010    Book review, James F. O’Gorman, In Every Manner of Architectural Style: The Architecture of Henry Austin in Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 69, n.2 (June 2010): 282-83.

2006    Exhibition review, “Adolf Cluss, Architect: From Germany to America,” Charles Sumner School Museum and Archives, Washington, DC, Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 65, n. 4 (December 2006): 646-648.

Blog Posts


    SOM Foundation and Dallas Chamber of Commerce grants, “Reclaiming Black Settlements: A Design Playbook for Historic Communities in the Shadow of Sprawl,” 2020

    National Park Service Civil Rights grant, “Freedman’s Town Stories,” awarded to bcWorkshop ($50,000) in partnership with the Dillon Center ($10,000), 2018-20. Project to document Dallas region Freedman’s towns.


    Society of Architectural Historians

    Society for the History of technology

    Urban History Association

    Society for American City and Regional Planning History

    Vernacular Architecture Forum

    Kathryn Holliday

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