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Happy birthday E. Fay Jones!

Euine Fay Jones, (January 31, 1921 – August 31, 2004) was an American architect and designer and a student of Frank Lloyd Wright. After seeing a movie about Wright and and his Johnson Wax Building, Jones embarked on a career which would combine "drawing and building." Jones enrolled in the University of Arkansas in order to study architecture through the university's engineering program.

In his lifetime, 129 of his 218 design projects were brought to life; 84 of his designs were built in his native Arkansas. Jones' most famous buildings are the Thorncrown Chapel in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, the Mildred B. Cooper Memorial Chapel in Bella Vista, Arkansas, and the Pinecote Pavilion at the Crosby Arboretum in Picayune, Mississippi.

Photo by Al Drap, courtesy of Fay Jones Papers, Special Collections, University of Arkansas Libraries, Fayetteville

 duskshot_filtered2_fsThorncrown Chapel at Dusk

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Euine Fay Jones was born in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and for the rest of his life, his architectural projects would be largely based in his home state. In high school, Jones began designing treehouses and underground forts and he "drew on everything." In order to have access to architecture classes, Jones enrolled in the civil engineering department at the University of Arkansas.

After serving as a pilot in World War II, Jones earned his Master of Architecture degree from Rice University, and then taught at the University of Oklahoma. In 1953, Jones came back to Arkansas to begin his twin careers of teaching and practice. In 1966, he became the first chair of the architecture department, and in 1974, he was named the first dean of the new School of Architecture. Jones earned wide renown for his astute understanding of the roles of interior and exterior spaces of light.

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View of Thorncrown Chapel from the pulpit

Jones' most well-known design is the Thorncrown Chapel, which was once selected as the fourth most favored building by the American Institute of Architects, as well as the best American building since 1980. In 2000, Jones was named by the AIA as "one of the ten most influential architects of the twentieth century."

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Inside Mildred B Cooper Memorial Chapel in Bella Vista, AR, via LinFlint on Flickr

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The Shaheen/Goodfellow Weekend House

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The Pinecote Pavilion at the Crosby Arboretum in Picayune, Mississippi

Jones designed the Fulbright Peace Fountain which is located on the main campus of his alma mater, and in 2009, the University of Arkansas' School of Architecture was renamed as the Fay Jones School of Architecture.

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 The Fullbright Peace Fountain at the University of Arkansas 

Eight of Jones's buildings in Arkansas are on the National Register of Historic Places: the Applegate House and Cooper Chapel in Benton County, Thorncrown Chapel, the Shaheen/Goodfellow Weekend House in Cleburne County, the Edmondson House in St. Francis County, and the Hantz House and Fay Jones House in Washington County. Jones was a recipient of the American Institute of Architects Gold Medal in 1990. He was accepted as a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects in 1979 and as a Fellow of the American Academy of Rome in 1980.

 

E. Fay Jones Guide Book, His Surviving Built Work Author and Photographer Craig W. Stevens

Additional Info

  • Birthday Date: Friday, 31 January 2014
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