Birmingham Architecture & Design Collection
Warren, Knight & Davis Architects

Warren, Knight & Davis, Architects
Drawings, 1926-1928
AR 1656


William T. Warren, Eugene H. Knight, and John E. Davis formed the partnership of Warren, Knight & Davis in Birmingham in 1921. The original partners built a firm that was not only prolific but also integral to the development of Birmingham, the state of Alabama, and the Southeast during the first half of the twentieth century. John M. Schnorrenberg, Ph.D., scholar and curator of the Birmingham Museum of Art’s 1999 exhibition of the work of Warren, Knight & Davis, wrote in his exhibition catalogue that, “The firm [Warren, Knight, and Davis] formed together was the dominant architectural firm in Alabama from the 1920s to at least the end of the 1950s. Their reputation was high in the place they had chosen to make their careers.”

Outside of Birmingham, the firm contributed designs to several structures in the Montgomery state capitol complex, buildings on college and university campuses throughout the state, and courthouses in cities and towns throughout Alabama and Florida. In and around Birmingham, Warren, Knight & Davis designed many of the commercial buildings that define the city’s skyline, a majority of public school buildings in the city, and many homes for the city’s most prominent residents. During the 1920s alone, the firm designed, among other buildings, the Alabama Power Building, Independent Presbyterian Church, Protective Life Building, Norwood School, Country Club of Birmingham, Birmingham Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, and homes for several of Birmingham’s most distinguished residents, including Theodore Swann.

Theodore Swann was an inventor, industrialist, and successful businessman. The Swann home was designed between 1926 and 1928 in the English Tudor style, although design details reference several different historic periods and cultures. Construction was completed by 1930 at a cost of $600,000. Grounds for the home were designed by William H. Kessler.

Scope and Content

The collection contains over eighty items related to the design of the Theodore Swann Residence (1926-1928). Included in the collection are pencil on paper drawings, pencil on tissue drawings, and blueprints. Some drawings in the collection are attributed to William H. Kessler, Landscape Architect.

North Elevation, Theodore Swann Residence


Theodore Swann Residence, North Elevation. Collection #1656. Warren, Knight & Davis Architects. Birmingham Public Library. Department of Archives and Manuscripts.

Schnorrenberg, John M. Remembered Past, Discovered Future: The Alabama Architecture of Warren Knight & Davis, 1906-1961. Catalogue of Exhibitions at Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham Public Library, and University of Alabama at Birmingham Visual Arts Gallery. Birmingham, Alabama: Birmingham Museum of Art, 1999.
Page Last Modified: 1/23/2014 4:21 PM