Henry Trost – One of the Greatest Architects of the Big Bend
Henry Trost was widely revered as an architect throughout the Big Bend region and beyond, having designed numerous historic homes, hotels, and structures from 1903 until 1933 when his firm closed operations.
Trost was adept at mixing architectural styles such as Prairie style (his El Paso home), Mission Revival (the demolished Franciscan Hotel in Albuquerque), and Spanish Renaissance (New Mexico State University’s Goddard Hall). Additionally, he designed modern structures.
Early Life and Education
Born in Toledo, Ohio to German immigrants Ernst and Wilhelmina Trost in 1860, Trost learned his craft from his father – an experienced carpenter and building contractor. Later attending art school in Toledo before beginning work as an architectural draftsman upon graduating.
From 1888-1896 he worked as an ornamental metal designer and eventually rose to become vice president of the Chicago Ornamental Iron Company renowned for its work on Lafayette Square Opera House’s front railings in Washington D.C.
He relocated from Tucson in 1901 and then El Paso in Texas in 1903. It was here where Gustavus joined forces with George as architects to form Trost and Trost; Adolphus would join their firm as structural engineer later on in 1908. Between them all, Trost and Trost designed over 300 buildings throughout West Texas, New Mexico and Arizona.
Henry has over two decades of experience working across all aspects of commercial real estate, from development and brokerage services, to project management and project administration. At Avison Young he currently manages office building and site selection consulting.
Henry Trost was born in Toledo, Ohio in 1860 to Ernst and Wilhelmina Trost – both carpenters by trade; Ernst was also responsible for overseeing their family grocery store while Wilhelmina managed it as well.
After graduating art school, he started work as an architectural draftsman and later relocated west. For eight years he lived and worked in cities like Denver, Pueblo, Colorado Springs and Galveston.
In 1903 he formed Trost and Trost with Gustavus Adolphus and George Ernst Trost of El Paso Texas to design over 300 buildings throughout West Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona.
Achievement and Honors
Henry Trost left an indelible mark in the Southwest through his buildings and structures, including homes, churches, hotels, theaters, lodges and even a penitentiary designed by his architecture firm. Additionally he designed more than 250 schools including Austin High School’s Old Main that still stands today.
At its conception, this building was considered state of the art and designed to house 500 students. Its striking features include horizontal bands of windows, solid construction and attention to detail.
He was an influential member of both the American Institute of Architects and Texas State Historical Society, serving on both committees for many years, founding University of Texas at El Paso and having many more achievements that deserve mention.
Henry Charles Trost was born in Toledo, Ohio to Ernst and Wilhelmina Trost – both carpenters/builders themselves. Henry would go on to join them.
He worked as a draftsman in Toledo from 1880-1883 before heading west, working in Denver, Pueblo and Colorado Springs as well as Albuquerque, Tucson, Galveston and New Orleans on various projects.
Trost was of the opinion that architecture should reflect its environment, designing structures to withstand even the harshest climates.
He married Lena Nystrom in 1891 and they went on to have four children together before he died at Rexburg Cemetery, Rexburg Idaho on April 7, 1933 and was laid to rest with his wife and son.
Henry Charles Trost was born in Toledo, Ohio to Ernst and Wilhelmina Trost (German immigrants who operated a grocery store). From an early age he developed an interest in architecture; studying art before eventually working as an architectural draftsman in Toledo.
Louis Sullivan was an important source of inspiration for Trost, as the pioneer of cast-in-place concrete ornamentation. Trost used the style found in Sullivanesque designs such as those found at Hotel Paisano and Hotel El Capitan to shape his hotel designs in West Texas.
Trost created four architectural marvels in the Trans-Pecos that began their lives as the centers of their communities, yet were ultimately saved by enterprising owners who saw potential in their decline years.