Allen Bartlett, ARCH 1925


Allen Bartlett, ARCH 1925


This is an Oral History interview with Alan Lyman Bartlett, Architecture class of 1925, conducted by Marilyn Somers in Mr. Bartlett's home on April 12, 1996. The subject of the interview is student life at Georgia Tech. Mr. Bartlett was born in 1903 in Denver, CO. In 1905 his family moved to Birmingham, AL. In 1912 they moved to Atlanta, GA. He attended Tech High School. His brother won a four-year scholarship to Georgia Tech in 1919 and he followed him in 1921. He remembers that he wanted to be an architect after he saw a house being built across the street during his junior year. He remembers the Tech campus as being "awe inspiring." Mr. Bartlett says that he liked meeting people and led a very social life at Tech. He says that he feels sorry for his brother because his brother had better grades but he had more fun. He lived at home and rode the streetcars to school. He remembers professors Bush Brown and Jack Skinner from his time here. He was required to take 2 years of ROTC but he took 4 in addition to being in Phi Sigma Kappa, the Marionettes, and writing for the Technique and Blueprint. He remembers being in a play written and directed by Harry Ellerbee. The Marionettes performed in the building and took trips all over the south. He had a summer job for 2 years with one of the best architectural firms in the state. For fun he went to church dances and went on dates with girls he met in church. After graduating, friends from his church got him a job in Birmingham. He worked there until the Great Depression hit and he had to move to Knoxville to find work. He worked in Knoxville for 2 years and then left for New York. He remembers that New York was an interesting place to be and remembers the Empire State Building and Rockefeller Center being built. He left New York because a friend got him a job in Atlanta with Henry Tooms, the architect who built the Little White House. When WWII began his boss closed the company and he got a job working for the Army. He spent the war years working for the Army as a purchasing agent building rubber plants and tire factories. In 1946 he returned to Birmingham to open his own company. He worked there for 30 years. Even after he retired he continued to work out of his home until 1981. He estimates that he has built over 600 homes in the state of Alabama. After he retired he started a seniors morning tennis league with a friend of his. He now has 10 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren. One of his sons went to the seminary and has become a bishop. If he was given the chance he would do it all again and choose Architecture. He says that he has never had a low period in his life.


1996 April 12