Architect Stories: Fay Jones

"The most economical enrichment of all is light on a shadowed wall."
—From Fay Jones's notes and sketches


Fay Jones was born in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, on January 31, 1921. He attended the University of Arkansas where he was in the first graduating class of the Architecture Department in 1950. After obtaining a Master of Architecture degree from Rice University, he taught at the University of Oklahoma for two years, where he worked with Bruce Goff, and also met Frank Lloyd Wright and was accepted as a Taliesin Fellow.

To read more about Fay's style and to see some of his beautiful organic buildings, just read more.

In 1953 he returned to teach at the University of Arkansas, serving as professor and first Dean of the School of Architecture, and from 1954 to 1998 created a private practice from a small studio in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Fay's style is described as organic architecture, which emphasizes the relationship between interior and exterior elements. He practiced an innovative vertical use of wood, stone, and glass that pays special attention to natural light. Eight of his buildings are on the National Register of Historic Places, and his most well-known projects are the Crosby Arboretum and Pinecote Pavilion in Picayune, Mississippi, the Cooper Chapel in Bella Vista, Arkansas, the Reed Residence in Hogeye, Arkansas, and the Thorncrown Chapel in Eureka Springs, Arkansas.

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