The Texas Board of Architectural Examiners was created in 1937 by the 45th Legislature after a gas leak in the basement of a school in New London, Texas, caused a massive explosion killing 295 children and teachers. The newly created Board was composed of six architects whose responsibility was to register Texas architects and regulate the use of the title "architect."
In 1969 the Texas Board of Landscape Architects was established as a Board of three landscape architects, and later also included the regulation of irrigators. In 1979 the Texas Board of Landscape Architects was abolished. In that same year, TBAE successfully completed its first review by the Sunset Advisory Commission (conducted once every 12-year as required by law) and the registration and regulation of landscape architects became the responsibility of TBAE. The Board's structure at this time was increased from six to nine members, and was composed of four architects, two landscape architects, and three public members.
In 1991 TBAE successfully completed its second Sunset review which led to the regulation of the use of the title "interior designer." This legislative effort altered the composition of the Board to four architects, one landscape architect, one interior designer, and three public members.
In 1999 the 76th Legislature enacted a law known as the Self-Directed Semi-Independent Project Act (SDSI). The Act established a pilot program involving three regulatory agencies – the Texas Board of Architectural Examiners, the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy, and the Texas Board of Professional Engineers. SDSI allows the agency to plan for the future and work toward long-term financial goals by removing the agency from the biennial appropriations funding cycle. SDSI provides the flexibility and incentive to be more fiscally responsible and responsive.
In 2003, during the 78th Legislature, TBAE completed its third Sunset review, resulting in the continuation of the agency for twelve more years along with changes to the enabling statute. The 78th session also saw the SDSI Project Act continued until 2009.