You Know the Landmarks; Now Meet the Engineering Firm

Admire the impressive architecture around Dallas but, like Caleb Duncan, know that “fun, creative, and interesting” structural engineering made it possible.

As president of L.A. Fuess Partners (LAFP), Duncan leads a company with four decades of experience tackling “interestingly complicated” projects. The work ranges from terminal renovations at Dallas Love Field and the American Airlines World Headquarters to exquisite homes in the Park Cities and Preston Hollow.

“We’re fortunate to work with some of the best architects, developers, and municipal and institutional clients in the world on truly landmark projects in North Dallas and the Park Cities, as well as around the country,” Duncan said.

The late Larry Fuess founded the company in 1979 and receives credit from LAFP leaders today for his congenial entrepreneurial spirit and a firm culture built on a commitment to collaborative excellence. LAFP has grown to include a branch office in Boston, Massachusetts.

Dallas projects have included the ballroom expansion, golfers bridge over Mockingbird Lane, and tennis buildings at the Dallas Country Club, the Hamon Art Library and Greer Garson Theatre at SMU, and The Plaza at Preston Center office and garage.

Other collaborations include the center court and several stores at Highland Park Village, The Hotel Lumen, and multiple projects for the Highland Park United Methodist Church.

“We loved the opportunity for creativity in solving the engineering challenges and making all of this work.”

-Caleb Duncan, president of L.A. Fuess Partners (LAFP)

Blending a replacement addition into the 1925 church building came with the added challenge of aligning new spaces with ones built when story heights were much shorter.

“The expansion looks just like a three-story building, but it has a basement two-stories-tall, classrooms in the upper levels, and trusses the full depth of the upper story spanning across a large auditorium space,” Duncan said. “It was also great fun to work with the existing drawings from 1925, including an original book of specifications which we found in the church’s library.”

Another project involved installing two new, organ cabinets behind a choir loft enlarged to accommodate more seating.

“We loved the opportunity for creativity in solving the engineering challenges and making all of this work,” he said.

Will Pender, as vice president of Rogers-O’Brien Construction, worked with LAFP and HH Architects in recent years on the Tolleson Family Activity Center at HPUMC.

“L.A. Fuess is an innovation frontrunner in structural engineering,” Pender said in a press release. “They combined concrete and steel to make this intricate structure work beautifully on a small, tricky, and somewhat challenging site. The associates in the firm are very adaptable and open to new ideas in working with the contractor to determine the best solution for the structural design. That makes it possible to come up with the absolute best solutions, and we did.”

Other projects have included The Mansion Condominiums on Turtle Creek, Nebraska Furniture Mart, and the headquarters for Toyota, State Farm, Liberty Mutual, and JPMChase.

LAFP principal Mark Peterman said, “We are continually grateful and inspired by the magnificent projects we have in our portfolio and ever excited about what’s on the horizon for tomorrow.”


For nearly 40 years, People Newspapers has worked tirelessly to tell the stories—good, bad, and sublime—of our neighbors in the Park Cities and Preston Hollow. To support our efforts, please contact [email protected] for advertising opportunities. Please also consider sharing this story with your friends and social media followers.

William Taylor

William Taylor, editor of Park Cities People and Preston Hollow People, shares a name and a birthday with his dad and a love for community journalism with his colleagues at People Newspapers. He joined the staff in 2016 after more than 25 years working for daily newspapers in such places as Alexandria, Louisiana; Baton Rouge; McKinney; San Angelo; and Sherman, though not in anywhere near that order. A city manager once told him that “city government is the best government” because of its potential to improve the lives of its residents. William still enjoys covering municipal government and many other topics. Follow him on Twitter @Seminarydropout. He apologizes in advance to the Joneses for any angry Tweets that might slip out about the Dallas Cowboys during the NFL season. You also can reach him at [email protected]. For the latest news, click here to sign up for our newsletter.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *