Lucian T. Hood, Jr. (1916 – 2001) was an important Houston architect who was known primarily for his residential architecture. At his peak in the 1980s he had one of the most successful residential design practices of any Houston architect, serving a loyal clientele of wealthy individuals and real estate developers. His career spanned the 1950s to the early 1990s, and while he is remembered for the modernist designs of his early career, he was better known for his work in traditional architectural styles, which proved more popular with the public. Regardless of style, his work was marked not only by a keen sense of design, but also by a rigorous attention to detail. He dazzled clients and colleagues alike with his graphic skills, seen in the dramatic pencil renderings that accompanied most of his construction drawings.
Hood was born in the small town of Talpa, Texas but grew up in Fort Worth. He showed artistic talent as a child and eventually chose to pursue a career as an architect. He studied architecture at the University of Texas from 1935 to 1937. He returned to Fort Worth to work as a draftsman with architect Robert P. Woltz, Jr. from 1937 to 1942. During World War II, he served in the U.S. Army Air Corps and was based at Brooks Field in San Antonio. After the war he married Mary Edna Allen, and in 1946 the couple and their new son moved to Houston, where Hood enrolled in the architecture program at the University of Houston. There he studied under a distinguished faculty that included Donald Barthelme, Sr. and Howard Barnstone.
Hood went to work immediately with architect Philip G. Willard, a friend from Fort Worth. Together they produced a number of memorable mid-century modern houses in Riverside Terrace and other neighborhoods. Hood received his architecture degree from the University of Houston in 1952 and the following year left Willard to open his own office. From 1954 to 1955 Hood worked in partnership with Lars Bang to produce two office buildings, the Times Building at 2444 Times Blvd. (1955) and the Century Building at 2120 Travis (1956). Hood then returned to working on his own, assisted by several draftsmen. Over the next few decades he developed a small but busy practice designing single-family residences, apartment projects, and small office buildings. By the time he retired in 1992 he was so well known for residential architecture that others continued his work, offering Lucian Hood designs to those who associated his name with fine design and high quality. He was prolific, designing hundreds of projects over a forty-year career. While his designs are found throughout Houston, the greatest concentration is in the city’s exclusive Tanglewood neighborhood, particularly the section near Buffalo Bayou and the Houston Country Club.