Early Rice Building Years
At the time of Watkin's employment, 1909, Cram, Goodhue & Ferguson had received the commission to produce a campus plan and to design the initial buildings of the Rice Institute in Houston, Texas. Watkin worked on the development of both the campus plan and the building plan in the Boston office. When construction was to begin, in the summer of 1910, Watkin was sent to Houston to serve as Cram, Goodhue & Ferguson's representative supervisor.
In this capacity Watkin not only oversaw the construction of the initial Institute group of buildings - the Administration Building, the Mechanical Laboratory and Powerhouse, and the North and South residence halls - but most of the Institute's subsequent development. This included the Physics Laboratory (1913-1915), East Hall (1913-1914), West Hall (1915-1916), three proposed President's houses(1913, 1915, 1923-1924), the Field House (1920), the Chemistry Laboratory (1923-1925), a proposed Alumni Hall (1927), two proposed libraries (1927, 1940-1941), and the Founder 's Statue (1927-1930).
Watkin himself designed the Faculty Club-Cohen House (1927), the original Rice Stadium (1938), and the Naval ROTC Building (1941). He also served as consulting architect to Staub & Rather in the design and construction of the Fondren Library (1946-1949), M.D. Anderson Hall (1946-1947), and Abercrombie Laboratory (1947-1948).