The genesis of the idea for the formation of the Houston Chapter of the Construction Specifications Institute surfaced in 1957 when Walter R. Kaye began to hear of the Institute and, casting about for someone to do the organizational work, found that Graham R. Jackson had been a member since 1948. Other Institute members were Ham Brown, Claude R. Cato, Harry D. Payne, and Abel B. Pierce.
Those members, with Walter Kaye, Alfred R. Lea, Roy W. Leibsle, Lewis J. Woodruff, and Don V. Purington, held an organizational meeting in September at a lunch at Hebert’s Ritz (Host for the lunch has been lost to history). They communicated with Dallas Chapter members Terrell R. Harper, Henry T.J. Martin, and Bill P. Dunne, who provided guidance for getting the organization in motion.
The chapter organizational meeting was held 27 January 1958 at Elliot’s Steak House with Harry Payne as temporary chairman, Lewis Woodruff as temporary secretary, and some 40 persons present. Grayson Gill, vice president of the Dallas chapter, spoke on the objectives and accomplishments of the Institute. Bylaws were adopted, officers elected, and a formal application to the Institute for a Houston charter was voted. Acting on his prerogatives, the chair commissioned the sponsors of the fellowship hour full ‘Colonels’ with all of the rights, duties, and privileges appertaining thereto. Thus began a continuing tradition, which lasted for a number of years.
The charter was issued 15 February 1958, listing 67 members. The charter presentation was made 24 March 1958 at the same restaurant with 75 members and guests present, including representatives of chapters of AIA, AIEE, ASCE, AGC, and Producer’s Council. Henry Martin and Bill Dunne spoke, and Willard H. Barrows of New York, Vice President of the Institute, presented the charter.