Robert L. Jones
Born in McAlester, Oklahoma, Robert (Bob) Lawton Jones received one of the more elaborate educations in modernist design. It started when he decided to head out to Chicago, reasoning that an aspiring architect should make his way to the “most exciting city in architecture.” In 1949, he studied at the University of Notre Dame in nearby South Bend, Indiana, while working for Chicago firms such as Perkins + Will.
In 1951, he began graduate school at the Illinois Institute of Technology, learning from the dean of “less is more,” Mies van der Rohe. And if that weren’t enough, he then earned a Fulbright scholarship and studied in Germany under Egon Eiermann, one of Germany’s most prominent postwar architects.
He came back to Tulsa in 1954 to design a civic center master plan. In 1957 he joined two local partners to open the architectural firm known as Murray Jones Murray. Their work includes the Cox Business Center, First National Bank Tower, Center Plaza Apartments, Bishop Kelley High School, the terminal at the Tulsa International Airport and St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Oklahoma City.
The firm reached its peak in the early ’80s. Soon after, Jones began an eleven-year teaching professorship at the University of Oklahoma. He also served as campus planner for the University of Tulsa and retired from architecture in 1997.
Bob Jones was ninety-three when he died September 14, 2018.
Interview with Robert L. Jones
Müllerhaus Legacy Website Team
Date Created: August 20, 2018
Date Published: November 20, 2018
Notes: Recorded by John Erling in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Digital Audio Sound Recording, Non-Music.
Tags: Architecture, mid-century modern, Notre Dame, John Mayo, Charles Lindbergh, Mies van der Rohe, Egon Eiermann, Charles Eames, geo-thermal, art deco, Texaco, Frank Lloyd Wright, Crystal Bridges Museum, Bishop Kelley High School, University of Tulsa, University of Oklahoma School of Architecture, Oklahoma State University (OSU), Murray Jones Murray