Dean & Dean, Architects

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Chicago, Illinois, 1903-ca. 1940


George Robinson Dean, Architect & Partner 1903-1919

Arthur Randall Dean, Architect & Partner 1903- ca. 1940

Dean & Dean, Architects was an architectural partnership founded in 1903 by brothers George and Arthur Dean. The two architects grew up in Nebraska, and have been referred to locally as “the college architects” in reference to their numerous campus designs for the Doane College in Crete, Nebraska.[24] After their studies, both men were soon working in Chicago firms. After a period of time working independently, the Dean brothers started their firm together. When George Dean died in 1919, Arthur carried on the firm for about two more decades.[11]

George and Arthur were the fifth and seventh children of Reverend Samuel Chase and Augusta Abbot Dean’s eight offspring. Reverend Chase and his wife were missionaries in India, where their first six children were born: Horace, 1857; Carrie, 1859; Walter, 1861; Frank, 1863; George, 1864; and Edwin, 1866. The family returned to the United States in 1867. Arthur Dean was born in 1869 in the Dean family’s previous home, Mount Vernon, New Hampshire. They later moved to Georgia, where Norman was born in 1871.[3]

Reverend Samuel moved the family to Nebraska in 1872; first organizing a Congregational church and farming in Steele City, and later preaching in Wymore, Plymouth, and South Bend, Nebraska. Six of the Dean children attended Doane College, with three graduating from there.[a] Each Dean became successful in their fields: Horace was a dairy farmer; Carrie was a teacher; Walter became a dentist, and Frank, an ophthalmologist.[8] Edwin first was a pastor, and later became the Doane College president from 1925-1936.[15][23][25] Norman Dean was a businessman in Omaha.[8][15]

Dean & Dean formed in the spring of 1903.[4] Their first big commission came in 1906 for the United States Steel Corporation at Gary, Indiana, which work consisted of a company office building and three large groups of houses.[20][22] More prominent was the industrial work for the town of Morgan Park, Duluth, Minnesota, where the firm designed and built the entire “model” town for United States Steel Corporation.[6] During World War I, Dean & Dean were commissioned by the government to design housing for the War Chemical Plants at Niagara Falls, New York.

After George’s death in 1919, Arthur carried on the Dean & Dean firm alone.[5][12] Arthur Dean designed 275 more houses for U.S. Steel, a group of houses for the Middlewest Utilities Company at Grand Tower, Illinois, and another group for the Kentucky Utilities Company at Pineville, Kentucky. Arthur designed three more buildings for the Doane College campus in Crete, as well as the Master Place.[4:6-7] Arthur continued the firm until nearly his death in 1949.[14]

DoaneCollege Conservatory D&D 111 1w.jpg
Whitcomb Conservatory & Lee Memorial Chapel (1906-1907), Doane College. (Doane College Archives)

This page is a contribution to the publication, Place Makers of Nebraska: The Architects. See the format and contents page for more information on the compilation and page organization.

Educational & Professional Associations

1900: George and Arthur are listed in the Chicago city directory individually as George R. Dean, Architect, and Arthur R. Dean, Architect, Chicago, Illinois.[c]

1903-1919: George and Arthur are partners in the firm Dean & Dean, Architects, Chicago, Illinois.[4:6][7]

1920-ca.1940: Following George’s death, Arthur continues the firm of Dean & Dean, Architects Chicago, Illinois.[4:6][7]

Nebraska Buildings & Projects

Doane Frees D&D 116 1w.jpg
Frees Hall (1930-1931), Doane College (Doane College Archives)
DoaneCollege FiskeLodge D&D 113 1w.jpg
Fiske Lodge (1909-1910), Doane College (Doane College Archives)
Image:Doane Mens D&D 115 1w.jpg
Men's Hall – Smith Hall (1929), Doane College (Doane College Archives)

Whitcomb Conservatory & Lee Memorial Chapel (1906-1907), Doane College, Crete, Nebraska.[26] (SA01-008)

Elkhead Lodge (1907), 4616 Elk Head Road, Bland, Missouri.[27]

Fiske Lodge (1909-1910), Doane College, Crete, Nebraska. (SA01-057)

From George’s death in 1919 onward, Arthur Dean ran the Dean & Dean firm on his own.

Senior Class Pillars (1919-1920), West vehicular entrance to campus, Doane College, Crete, Nebraska.[16]

Doane College Master Plan (1927-1928), Doane College, Crete, Nebraska.[17]

Men's Hall – Smith Hall (1929), Doane College, Crete, Nebraska.[4][18][21 ][26] (SA01-011)

Brandt Memorial Bridge (1930), Miller Pond, Doane College, Crete, Nebraska.[25]

Frees Hall (1930-1931), Doane College, Crete, Nebraska.[4][25]

Dean Memorial Pergola (1930-1931), Doane College, Crete, Nebraska.[9][10][19][b]

Porter-Brande Memorial Bridge (1931), Doane Lake, Doane College, Crete, Nebraska.[10][11]


a. In 1879, George was enrolled at Doane College as a preparatory student along with siblings, Carrie, a senior, and preps Walter and Frank.[8:121]

b. Dean Memorial Pergola was built in 1930 with funds from 1880 alumna Carrie Dean in honor of her parents.

c. Neither of the Deans were listed in 1880, 1885, or 1892 Chicago directories.[13]


1. Harold Allen Brooks, The Prairie School (Norton, 1996), 27-44, 56-63, 336-352.

2. James Herbert Kelley, ed. The Alumni Record of the University of Illinois. (Urbana-Champaign: University of Illinois, 1913): 696. Accessed February 20, 2019 through Google Books,

3. Abbot M. Dean, “Summary of Dean Family History” TS. Copy in Doane College Archives.

4. Dean, Arthur Randall, “Life of Arthur Randall Dean,” TS. (July 1933): 7pp. Copy in Doane College Archives.

5. “Doane College Notes: George R. Dean obituary,” The Vidette-Herald (December 18, 1919): 5:1-2. Copy in Doane College Archives.

6. “George Robinson Dean” My Jacob Family. Accessed October 10, 2019 via

7. Henry F. Withey & Elsie Rathburn Withey, “Dean, George S.” Biographical dictionary of American Architects (deceased) (Los Angeles, New Age Pub. Co.: c. 1956).

8. “Dean Family [RG4194.AM]” History Nebraska. Accessed October 15, 2019 via

9. “Old Grad Speaks Up,” The Crete News (July 30, 1931) Copy in Doane College Archives.

10. “Wholesome Advertising for Crete,” The Crete News (July 2, 1931): 1. Copy in Doane College Archives.

11. “Doane College News,” The Crete News (April 30, 1931). Copy in Doane College Archives.

12. “George Robinson Dean” Accessed October 15, 2019 via

13. “Streets & Directories” Accessed October 17, 2019 via

14., “Arthur Randall Dean” Obituary Index, 1800s-current [database on-line]. (Lehi, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2019.) Accessed October 24, 2019.

15. Janet Jeffries, “Dean Family Tree” (Lehi, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2019.) Accessed October 24, 2019 via

16. ”Doane College News,” The Crete Vidette (July 17, 1919): 8.

17. "Map of Doane College Campus, Crete, Nebraska." (June 30, 1927; Revised January 20, 1928). Copy in Doane College Archives.

18. Janet Jeffries, “Smith Hall, Doane College: Historical Overview,” Broadsheet, September 2011.

19. Janet Jeffries, “Dean Memorial Pergola,” TS. (April, 2007)

20. Cha. Meyer, "George & Arthur Dean" Gary: America's Magic Industrial City Accessed December 19, 2019 via

21. "University Archives - Historic Buildings" Accessed December 19, 2019 via

22. “Obituary (George R. Dean),” American Architect 116:2 (1919): 821.

23. Dean, Frank W. “Pioneering in Nebraska, 1872-79: A Reminiscence,” Nebraska History 36:2 (June, 1956): 105-121.

24. Perry, Thomas Doane, ed. History of Doane College, 1872-1912. (1957: Doane College, Crete, Nebraska): 20-89.

25. “Doane University: Greatness on the Great Plains” Doane University website. Accessed November 19, 2019 via

26. "Historic Buildings" Doane University Website Accessed January 14, 2020 via

27. Stacie Parrish to D. Murphy, Email communication, April 15, 2021, including accompanying real estate websites with information about the house... and; both accessed April 26, 2021.

Other Sources

1. “A Novel College Chapter-House” The Architectural Record Vol. 18 (September 1905), 211-216.

2. Russell Sturgis, “The Whittemore Building” The Architectural Record Vol. 17 (June 1905), 516-517.

3. The Architectural Record Vol. 46 (December 1919), 542-543.

4. George R. Dean, “Progress before Precedent,” The Brickbuilder 9:4 (April 1900), 91-97. Accessed January 19, 2019 via


We gratefully acknowledge Janet Jeffries, cultural historian of past archivist at Doane College, for sharing her extensive research on the Dean family for the Dean pages.

Page Citation

D. Murphy and Lydia Allen, “Dean & Dean, Architects,” in David Murphy, Edward F. Zimmer, and Lynn Meyer, comps. Place Makers of Nebraska: The Architects. Lincoln: Nebraska State Historical Society, February 11, 2022. Accessed, September 29, 2023.

Contact the Nebraska State Historic Preservation Office with questions or comments concerning this page, including any problems you may have with broken links (see, however, the Disclaimers link at the bottom of this page). Please provide the URL to this page with your inquiry.