Mission of the Neal
This Trust was created to be shared to the Public as a Depository of the vast Informational and Historic importance of Mr. Prince’s experiences and creativity in his professional life as an Architect, Architectural Engineer and the First International Hotel Innovator Interior Designer (which this honor is equally shared with Mr. Dale and Pat Keller, of Keller Associates).
Curriculum Vitae Summary:
Mr. Neal Prince, Architect, Architectural Engineer, International Interior Designer, Playwright, Equity Director – was Born in Corsicana, Texas and armed with degrees in Architecture and Architectural Engineering from William March Rice University in Houston, Texas. Mr. Prince did military service with the United States Army 39th Combat Engineers in Italy. Returning to Texas, he became active as the President of the Houston Little Theatre, which produced a prizewinning play that he had authored. After a period as President and the Business Manager of the Houston Little Theatre, he went to the East coast and served for a season as Director of a Summer Stock Theater Company in New Hampshire. A spell in New York with the Actors Studio brought him to the classical quandary of those bitten by the theatre bug: a regular job supporting a regular diet or stick it out on the Rialto. Creature comfort won and through the Architectural League he secured a position with the firm of York & Sawyer in 1950, which the Firm was noted for the design of hospitals; after several months of observations in New York Bellevue Hospital, Mr. Prince became the firm’s expert on the layout and planning of Emergency Rooms. In due course he decided against a lifetime in Healthcare Architecture, Mr. Prince switched firms to Schoen & Hennessy Architecture Firm in 1954 (The Named Partner was the son of Eugene Schoen, known as the Old Man, of who mentored Mr. Prince), and was assigned a project to design a motorway restaurant complex for Restaurant Associates, the New York area’s most creative force in restaurant operations at the time. The job involved a complete package: Architecture, Engineering and Interior Design. Mr. Prince took a genuine interest in the latter, and made a seminal career move to the Walter M. Ballard Corporation Firm in 1958, where, at Byron Calhoun’s request, he did ad hoc work on a project to remodel the Hotel Jaragua in Ciudad Trujillo in the Dominican Republic, most of which was never carried out, and a modest remodeling of the San Juan Hotel. The Firm of Walter M. Ballard had a contract for the Interiors of the Phoenicia Inter-Continental Hotel in Beirut, and Mr. Prince was sent out there to work on the Interiors and also, because of his background, to represent the architect, Edward Stone, in matters of the Interior layouts and finishes. All the furniture pieces were designed, crafted and manufactured locally. In January 1961, Mr. Prince was hired to work full time as the Director of Interior Design Division in the Pan-Am Development Department with the intention, at least in developing countries, that Inter-Continental Hotel would produce its International Hotels’ Interior Designs “in-house” and be reimbursed at cost under the TSA’s. Mr. Prince shortly engaged Kenneth Smith, an International Interior Designer from the Walter M. Ballard Firm, and Charles R. Alvey, a famous specialist in Graphics and Industrial Design. Mr. Prince’s concepts and ideas were the forefront of its time, after designing and opening as many as 154 International Inter-Continental Hotels from 1961-1985, Mr. Prince gained the deepest respect on the International Interior Design level. Mr. Prince is a person who uses function with ethnic style which mostly are lacking in todayâ€™s designs. With his ability to design each new Hotel using local materials and talents, such as the native artists and craftsman, he produced each Hotel with its own National personality and flare but maintained the Corporate highest standards of Inter-Continental Hotel. Mr. Prince gained the respect and acceptance by the local authorities. This in turn avoided any local resistance in building the new Hotels around the world. With the assistance of Charles R. Alvey, Kenneth Smith, James Ray Baker and Richard W. Simpson and and others, Mr. Prince became an Innovator as he created an industry of International Hotel Designs and personalities that reflected the Country in each property. Inter-Continental Hotels gained much growth and respect throughout the world by those concepts of designs. Still today, his work is unknown on a domestic level, but his concepts and designs are still cherished by all guest, management and the organization of Inter-Continental Hotels Group. Much is to be learned from Mr. Prince’s long history of experience from his first hotel, Phoenicia Inter-Continental Hotel in Beirut, Lebanon, to his last project doing the Willard Inter-Continental Hotel in Washington, D.C. Much is to be passed down from Mr. Prince’s great experience and knowledge. It is important that this is passed on in an educational manner. It is important that his experience’s and knowledge, which are still called upon as International Interior Designer Consultant, be learned and shared by others with respect and honor.