Architects

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Almand, John Parks

John Parks Almand worked as an architect in Arkansas for fifty years, beginning in 1912. Ten of his commissions have been recognized for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places, including Central High School, First Church of Christ Scientist, and First Presbyterian Church, all in Little Rock (Pulaski County). First United Methodist Church in Fordyce (Dallas County) is also included, as well as Couchwood, the country home of Arkansas Power & Light founder Harvey Couch, and the Medical Arts Building, both in Hot Springs (Garland County). John Almand was born on May 8, 1885, in Lithonia, Georgia. He was the third of eight children of Alexander J. and Clara Bond Almand. Almand attended Emory College in Georgia and graduated …

Blackwell, Marlon Matthew

Marlon Matthew Blackwell is a professor of architecture at the University of Arkansas (UA) in Fayetteville (Washington County) and is recognized both nationally and internationally for his architectural design work. He also co-founded and conducts an international architectural program and is the principal architect in an award-winning private design firm. Marlon Blackwell was born on November 7, 1956, to a military family stationed in Munich, Germany. He was brought up in various locations including Alabama, Colorado, Florida, Montana, and the Philippines, and was a high school wrestler. Blackwell entered Auburn University in the summer of 1974, studying architecture and being selected as one of Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities. In 1980, he was awarded a bachelor’s degree in …

Blaisdell, Frank M.

Frank M. Blaisdell was an architect and civil engineer who settled in Arkansas in 1905 and played a vital role in the growth of Little Rock (Pulaski County). While he was primarily a landscape architect, he left a permanent mark on the state by designing several buildings that still stand in the twenty-first century. Frank M. Blaisdell was born on September 17, 1855, in Boston, Massachusetts, to Mary A. Blaisdell and William Blaisdell. His father, who held the rank of general, was killed in battle at Petersburg, Virginia, during the Civil War in 1864. After his father’s death, Blaisdell became involved with the Massachusetts Commandery of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion. He attended West Point for three years …

Clarke, Albert Oscar (A. O.)

Albert Oscar (A. O.) Clarke was a self-educated teacher-turned-architect who worked as a draftsman under the leading architect of St. Louis, Missouri, of the 1880s, Jerome Bibb (J. B.) Legg. He later partnered with William Matthews to draw dozens of commissions in St. Louis in the 1890s. Clarke was then recruited for the employ of William “Coin” Harvey for his resort in Monte Ne (Benton County), where Clarke designed the two largest log buildings in the world at the time. He went on to design Classical Revival–style structures throughout northwest Arkansas, as well as in Clarksville (Johnson County). A. O. Clarke was born on May 23, 1859, to Edgar W. Clarke, who was a Presbyterian minister, and Martha A. (Northrop) …

Cromwell Architects Engineers, Inc.

Cromwell Architects Engineers is one of the oldest architectural firms in the nation and is clearly the oldest in Arkansas. Begun in 1885 with one architect and his draftsman son, by the twenty-first century, the firm had more than 100 employees offering a variety of services and could show an enormous body of completed work around the world. Most notably, the firm employed Charles Louis Thompson (1868–1959) and his son-in-law, Edwin Boykin Cromwell (1909–2001), both of whom were well known in their profession. The firm’s history begins with the arrival in Little Rock (Pulaski County) of Benjamin J. Bartlett. It is likely that both he and his son came to the state because they had been selected in 1885 to …

Eichenbaum, Howard Samuel

Howard Samuel Eichenbaum Sr. was a practicing architect in Little Rock (Pulaski County) until his death. Eichenbaum’s importance to Arkansas may be found in his eclectic experimentation with architecture to express modernity fused with regional tradition, and in his advancement of—and advocacy for—architects in Arkansas. Howard S. Eichenbaum was born in Little Rock on April 26, 1904, the son of Ephraim Eichenbaum and Sadie Cohn Eichenbaum. He was educated in Little Rock’s public schools and earned his degree in architecture at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1924 (there was no professional program in architecture in Arkansas until 1946). He married Helen Marion Levin; they had three sons. In 1930, Eichenbaum partnered with Frank Erhart to found Erhart and …

Garver, Neal Bryant

Neal Bryant Garver arrived in Little Rock (Pulaski County) in 1918 to help provide engineering services for the construction of a munitions plant during World War I. As the Arkansas State Highway Department’s first bridge engineer, Garver also led the design of more than 2,000 bridges from 1921 to 1950, helping to modernize the state’s roadways by adding river crossings. In 1919, Garver started what became the state’s largest engineering firm, which began by providing structural engineering services for Little Rock High School (later called Little Rock Central High), North Little Rock High School, the Pulaski County Jail, and many other structures. Neal Garver was born on February 17, 1877, in Lee County, Iowa, near the Mississippi River, to the …

Gibb, Frank Wooster

Frank W. Gibb was a prolific architect whose many designs include those of iconic Arkansas county courthouses and a pair of National Historic Landmarks. Frank Wooster Gibb was born on February 24, 1861, in Rutland, Vermont, to Edward Gibb and Isabella Emerson Gibb. The family moved to Chicago, Illinois, where the elder Gibb established a carriage-furnishings business, then to Little Rock (Pulaski County) in 1871 when the business was destroyed in the great Chicago fire. Frank Gibb graduated from the Missouri School of Mines and Metallurgy (which eventually became the Missouri University of Science and Technology) at Rolla in 1881 and then returned to the Arkansas capital to establish a business as a mining consultant and assayer, becoming a member …

Gilbert, Cass

Cass Gilbert was one of the most famous and influential architects in American history. He designed numerous government buildings and public institutions that dot the American landscape, with the Arkansas State Capitol being among his earliest efforts. Cass Gilbert was born in Zanesville, Ohio, on November 24, 1859, to Samuel Gilbert and Elizabeth Wheeler Gilbert. He was named for his uncle, Lewis Cass, who served in the U.S. Senate, the Cabinet, and was the Democratic Party’s nominee for president in 1848. Gilbert’s family left Ohio for Minnesota when he was nine years old. His father died shortly after the move, leaving his mother to care for Cass and his siblings. However, she was committed to seeing that her children continue …

Ginocchio, Frank Joseph

Frank Joseph Ginocchio was a Little Rock (Pulaski County) architect whose skills in supervision and in wartime construction shaped the development and expansion of Camp Pike (later renamed Camp Joseph T. Robinson) in North Little Rock (Pulaski County) during World War I and World War II. When his architectural firm merged with architect Charles Thompson’s practice in 1928, Ginocchio became part of the longest-lasting succession of architectural firms in Arkansas, now known as Cromwell Architects Engineers. During Ginocchio’s long career, many of the buildings he worked on were located in the Little Rock area, including the Hall Building, Forest Heights junior high school, M. M. Cohn department store, the Arkansas Arts Center, and the Governor’s Mansion. He also worked on …

Jones, Fay

aka: Euine Fay Jones
aka: E. Fay Jones
Fay Jones was an internationally known architect from Arkansas who won the American Institute of Architects’ highest honor, the AIA Gold Medal, in 1990. From his small studio in Fayetteville (Washington County), he practiced architecture from 1954 to 1998. He designed 2l8 projects, encompassing residential buildings, educational and commercial buildings, chapels, pavilions, and intricate metal structures. The most acclaimed of Jones’s buildings is Thorncrown Chapel in Eureka Springs (Carroll County). Of the 218 projects for which records exist, 129 projects were built; eighty-four were built in Arkansas. Euine Fay Jones was born in Pine Bluff (Jefferson County) on January 31, 1921, to Euine Fay Jones and Candie Alston Jones. The family moved to El Dorado (Union County), where Jones grew …

Mann, George Richard

George Richard Mann, an architect educated at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), was hired to design the Arkansas Capitol in 1899. He moved to Little Rock (Pulaski County) and developed a highly respected practice, taking on projects that included many of the largest and most significant buildings constructed in Arkansas in the first thirty years of the twentieth century. When he died in 1939, Mann was considered by some the “dean of Arkansas architects.” George Mann was born in Syracuse, Indiana, on July 2, 1856. He was the son of Richard F. and Elizabeth Defreese Mann. His father was in the milling business but was killed as a soldier in the Civil War. When not in school, Mann worked …

McDaniel, Irven Granger

Irven Granger McDaniel was a World War II bomber pilot and prisoner of war (POW) who, after returning home, joined his father’s architecture firm and later formed his own, designing a number of noteworthy buildings in Hot Springs (Garland County). Irven Granger McDaniel was born in Memphis, Tennessee, on April 24, 1923, one of four children of architect Irven Donald McDaniel and Camille Lewis McDaniel. McDaniel’s father had established a practice in Hot Springs by 1930, and McDaniel was a student at Hot Springs High School and taking flying lessons by the time he was seventeen years old. As Europe became embroiled in World War II, McDaniel went to Canada and enlisted in the Royal Air Force on July 4, …

Owens, Silas

Silas Owens Sr. was an African-American stonemason, carpenter, and farmer from Faulkner County. Owens was known in the central Arkansas area for his superior craftsmanship and a vernacular style of construction known by the twenty-first century as the Mixed Masonry. This style of architecture could be found throughout Arkansas, and there were many contemporary masons who utilized the technique; however, Owens’s work stood out. His artistic eye, exhaustive work ethic, and exacting coursing methods resulted in a deliberate pattern that became his trademark. Silas Owens Sr. was born on December 26, 1907, to Haywood and Matilda Owens in the Faulkner County community of Solomon Grove (which merged with Zion Grove to become Twin Groves in 1991). He and his five …

Park, Neil Hamill

Neil Hamill Park was one of the first professionally trained and licensed landscape architects to practice in Arkansas and was instrumental in the introduction of the discipline of landscape architecture to the state. In his long career, he shaped many significant landscapes, particularly in Little Rock (Pulaski County). His diverse career vividly reflected many of the significant economic and cultural shifts from the 1920s through the 1970s. Neil Hamill Park was born in Lansing, Michigan, on May 12, 1904, to Agnes Hamill Park and Elijah Crane Park. In 1912, the family moved to Parkin (Cross County), where Agnes Hamill Park had been transferred to manage the Lansing Company; she subsequently became a noted community leader, spearheading efforts to bring electricity, …

Sanders, Theodore Marcus

Theodore Marcus Sanders was an accomplished architect who designed a variety of buildings in Little Rock (Pulaski County) and other cities in Arkansas. Many of his buildings have been nominated to the National Register of Historic Places, including the Ada Thompson Memorial Home, the Woman’s City Club building, and the Cornish House—all in Little Rock. He was partner in the Thompson, Sanders and Ginocchio firm, which continues to operate in the twenty-first century as Cromwell Architects Engineers. Theodore Sanders was born in Little Rock on March 13, 1879, to Fred and Fannie Sanders. He was one of ten children. The family had settled in Little Rock in 1879 after a relative saved them from starvation on the family’s fledgling farm …

Schnable, John Adams

Lieutenant Colonel John Adams Schnable was a noted Arkansas architect and engineer who designed and built Spring Mill and two rock bridges over Salado Creek in Independence County, as well as the Jacksonport (Jackson County) courthouse in Jackson County. He was a Civil War veteran and one of the few German immigrants who fought on the side of the Confederacy. John Schnable (name spelling varies) was born on June 11, 1817, in the German Confederation shortly after its creation in 1815 by the Congress of Vienna. Researchers are unsure about the names of his parents. He was directly involved in the Revolution of 1848 and, as a result, migrated to the United States and arrived in Virginia in 1851, where …

Segraves, Warren Dennis

Warren Dennis Segraves was an architect who practiced in Fayetteville (Washington County). He was among the first designers in northwestern Arkansas to promote and utilize the International-style mode of modernism in his work. Warren Segraves was born on November 7, 1924, in Oskaloosa, Kansas, to Samuel Patrick Segraves and Velma Dennis Segraves. The family moved to Fayetteville when he was a small child. At age eighteen, Segraves enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps. Serving as a bombardier in the European Theater during World War II, he earned the rank of captain. In 1946, Segraves married Rhea Ash, his childhood friend and Fayetteville High School classmate. After his marriage, and while working for his father-in-law’s trucking company, he enrolled at the University …

Shryock, Gideon

Gideon Shryock is responsible for one of the finest examples of Greek Revival architecture west of the Mississippi River—the Old State House in Little Rock (Pulaski County). Shryock’s other recognizable architectural achievements include Kentucky’s Old State House and Old Morrison Hall at Transylvania College in Lexington, Kentucky. These structures still stand and still represent freedom, power, wealth, and limitless possibilities. Gideon Shryock was born on November 15, 1802, to Mathias Shryock and Elizabeth Gaugh Shryock in Lexington, Kentucky. Mathias Shryock was once described in a newspaper article as a “practical builder” but not a professionally trained architect. The family found prosperity and popularity in Lexington. Shryock’s father held slaves as early as 1810 and served as captain of the Lexington …

Stone, Edward Durell

Edward Durell Stone, one of the foremost American architects of the mid-twentieth century, established an international reputation and designed buildings throughout the world. Though he lived in New York City for much of his adult life, Stone made a lasting contribution to the architecture of his native Arkansas. Edward Stone was born on March 9, 1902, in Fayetteville (Washington County) to Benjamin Hicks Stone, a merchant and businessman, and Ruth Johnson Stone, a former English teacher at the University of Arkansas (UA) in Fayetteville. The youngest of three children, Stone attended Fayetteville’s public schools but was not a serious student. His mother encouraged his talents for drawing and building things and allowed him to have a home carpentry shop. At …

Thompson, Charles Louis

Charles Louis Thompson was a highly prolific architect who created one of the most successful architectural practices in Arkansas during the late nineteenth and first half of the twentieth centuries. His firm designed more than two thousand buildings, of which hundreds still exist today. Charles Thompson was born in November 1868 in Danville, Illinois, to James C. and Henrietta Lightner Thompson. He and his six siblings were orphaned when he was fourteen, and they moved to Indiana to live with relatives. He quit school at the age of fourteen and went to work in a mill to help support his brothers and sisters. During his extra hours, he worked for an architect named Hunt, who taught him drafting and exposed …

Trapp, George Francis

George Francis Trapp was one of several architects active in Little Rock (Pulaski County) in the mid-twentieth century, a period of relative prosperity and growth that included much public and private building. Two qualities consistent throughout his career were sensitivity to siting (judging how a building’s design and material related to the site) and boldness in setting shapes against each other. George Trapp was born on March 20, 1900, in Chicago, Illinois, to Charles C. and Fanny Trapp. The family moved to Little Rock in 1914, and Trapp’s father worked for the Otis Elevator Company and the Big Rock Stone Company. Trapp’s interest in architecture might have been inspired by some of the new tall buildings in Little Rock, such …

Webb, John Lee

John Lee Webb was a well-known African-American contractor and philanthropist in Hot Springs (Garland County). John L. Webb was born in Tuskegee, Alabama, on September 17, 1877, to the Reverend B. L. Webb, who was a Baptist minister, and his wife, Henrietta Webb. The couple had ten other children. John Webb’s family was not wealthy, so he had to provide for many of his own wants. Webb began studying at the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama in 1897 at nineteen years old and was spoken of highly by the wife of Booker T. Washington, founder of the institute. He volunteered for the Spanish-American War, serving from April 25 to August 12, 1898. After the war, he returned to Tuskegee and finished …

Williams, John Gilbert

A champion of the modern approach to architectural design, John Gilbert Williams was an architect, landscape architect, and the founding faculty member of the Department of Architecture at the University of Arkansas (UA) in Fayetteville (Washington County). John G. Williams was born on April 30, 1915, in Van Buren (Crawford County) to Vera Jane Wallace Williams and Charles Bunyan Williams; he had one older brother. He studied engineering at Arkansas Polytechnic College (now Arkansas Tech University) in Russellville (Pope County) before pursuing his bachelor’s degree in architecture from Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical College (now Oklahoma State University). After graduating in 1940, he returned to Russellville to teach drawing and math at Arkansas Polytechnic College for two years. While in Russellville, he …