D. Keith Downing, award-winning Texas architect, beloved father, friend, and avid fisherman died Jan 9, 2012 in Dallas. Longtime resident of the Park Cities, he was born in Paducah, Texas, May 28, 1932. Downing was a graduate of Texas Tech University, where he was later named Distinguished Alumnus of the College of Architecture at Texas Tech University. He founded Downing Associates architectural firm, where he led a broad and varied practice, designing the first high-rise tennis club in New York City, a thoroughbred horse racing farm in Oklahoma, and major industrial projects throughout Texas for clients such as John Stemmons, Dallas civic leader and developer.
Downing is acknowledged as one of the leading architects in Texas in preservation/restoration. He is remembered for his deep fascination with what he considered the “elegant intersection of design with artisan craftsmanship” of early Texas architecture. His award-winning works include structures at Old City Park in Dallas and the innovative Meadows Foundation 20 acre preservation/restoration project, the Wilson and Beilharz Blocks, the Meadows Foundation Headquarters building, restoration of the adjoining historic park, and many structures included in the original plan. Equally renowned was his creation of an 1830’s farmstead for industrialist, Pete Gifford, CEO, Gifford Hill. That property, called Wolf Run, located in North Texas, was later given to a Dallas private school to serve as an educational retreat.
In recent years, Downing led the restoration of the historic chapel built on the Kenedy Ranch in South Texas for Sarita Kenedy. He occasionally designed period and contemporary homes for both city and country life.
He is survived by spouse, Victoria Smith Downing; daughter, Nan Elizabeth Downing; son, Michael Lindsay Downing and wife Alexandra; grandson, Archer “Archie” Lindsey Downing; sisters, Joy Sue Moutos and husband Vas, and La Ruth Scruggs and husband Larry; nieces: Sheila Holt and husband Steve, Mary Ann Murphy and husband Joe, and Susan Kaye Bailey and husband Ken; nephew, Jimmy Moutos; grandnieces, Carrie Taylor and Allyson Holt; and the Loucille and Kenneth Smith families.
Services were held Feb 4, 2012, at Cox Chapel, Highland Park United Methodist Church. The Rev. Terry P. Jones officiated and Curtis Meadows, former president of the Meadows Foundation, delivered the eulogy. Tributes may be made to the Texas Tech College of Architecture, c/o Andrew Vernooy, Dean of Architecture, College of Architecture, 18th and Flint Avenues, P.O. Box 42091, Lubbock, TX 79409.