Jones, Robert M.

(1921 - 2010 )

Architect Robert Merrill Jones was born in 1921 in New York, but grew up in the Tacoma area. Jones received his Bachelorís degree in Architecture from the University of Washington in 1948. Upon graduation, he gained valuable experience working in the offices of Paul Thiry in Seattle and Robert B. Price in Tacoma (1951-1957). During his tenure with Price, Jones received his Washington State architectural license on September 20, 1952.

In 1957, Jones formed a successful partnership with fellow Tacoma architect Alan Liddle. Together, the firm designed a variety of noteworthy projects, many of which were featured in Sunset magazine. Projects include the Titus-Will Ford Center (1967) in Tacoma; Bothell Jr. High School; the Dr. Buel Sever House (1959); the Methodist Church in Lakewood; University of Washington Hydraulics Building (1961) and Oceanography & Marine Sciences Building (1967); Lundberg House (1960); several structures at Charles Wright Academy in University Place; St. John Hospital in Port Townsend; Seward Elementary School (1962); and the Owen Hughes House (1963).

In 1968, Jones and Liddle parted ways and formed independent practices. Jonesís practice focused mainly on residential projects. His first design after the partnership dissolved was the Kirk Hull Beach House (1969) which won an AIA Regional Award. Notable later projects include the Ray Graves House in Lakewood (1970); the Charles Evans House (1969) in Parkland; the Edward Lane House (1972) in Lakewood; the Brian McGuire House (1975) in Lakewood; the Dr. Benveniste House (1976) in University Place; the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center (1975) in Illwaco; and the Dr. Davidson House (c.1972) and Dr. Krueger House (c.1975), both in Olympia.

Jonesís own home in Fircrest was featured in the August 1955 issue of Living Magazine. They called the $11,500 home ďa shelter in the woods.Ē It was built to meet challenges of topography, the rigidity of tight budgets, and new patterns of living. The house featured plastic faced plywood panels on the exterior, cork floors, fir ceilings, and a variety of built-in furniture.

Jones retired in 1992 and passed away in Lakewood on October 9, 2010.

- Michael C. Houser

Photo courtesy of Living Magazine.
Jones House, Fircrest (1955) <br>Photo courtesy of Living Magazine
Dr. Buel Sever House, Lakewood (1959) <br>Photo courtesy of UW Special Collections
House of Living Light, Seattle (1961) <br>Photo courtesy of UW Special Collections
Photo courtesy of Living Magazine.