Jean Francis Dunbar (1925-2006), Architect

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Omaha, Nebraska, 1953-1999

Also DBA:

Jepson & Dunbar, Architects, Omaha, Nebraska, 1955-1957.

Dunbar & Dunn, Architects, Omaha, Nebraska, 1962-1979.

Dunbar Architects, Omaha, Nebraska, 1980-1983

Dunbar Associates, Architects, Omaha, Nebraska, 1984-1985

Jean F. Dunbar was born in Nebraska City on August 26, 1925, and was an architect in Omaha for forty years. He studied at Columbia University then received his Architecture Degree from the University of Nebraska in 1948. He was president of the firm Dunbar & Dunn, and built many of the homes and small office buildings along Dodge Street. He was a great promoter of Omaha, and was active in “all the historical organizations in the city.” Dunn was named honorary historian of Omaha in 1995 by Mayor Hal Daub. He was very involved with the centennial celebration of the Trans-Mississippi and International Exposition in 1998. Daub called him a thinker and an innovator.

Dunn practiced alone off and on through much of career, and worked for Dana Larson Roubal Associates, Architects for a time in later years. He was a partner with Howard E. Jepsen in the 1950s, and formed his major partnership with George W. Dunn as Dunbar & Dunn from 1962 until Dunn’s retirement in 1979.

Dunn was director of the Omaha Zoological Society for nine years, and of United Community Service for eight years. He was a member of the Ak-Sar-Ben civic service group, and the American Institute of Architects, serving as director of that organization’s interstate joint use project. He died of heart failure in Omaha on April 24, 2006. He was survived by his sister, Ruth Dunbar McClery; his children, Mark of San Diego, Brian of San Francisco, Mary of New York City, and Andy of Tokyo; and his three grandchildren.[1][2]

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

Educational & Professional Associations

1944-1945: student, Redlands University,[2]

1945: student, Columbia University, New York.[2]

1948: architecture degree, University of Nebraska, Lincoln.[2]

1948: draftsman, Union Pacific Railroad, Omaha, Nebraska.

1949: designer, 1123 First National Bank Building, Omaha, Nebraska.

1952: no occupation listed, Omaha, Nebraska.

1953-1955: architect, 432 Aquila Court Building, Omaha, Nebraska.

1955: Registered Professional Architect, Nebraska, A-362; December 31, 1955.[4]

1955-1957: architect and partner, Jepsen & Dunbar, Architects, Omaha, Nebraska.[2]

1958-1962: principal, Jean F. Dunbar, Architect, Omaha, Nebraska.[2]

1962-1979: president, Dunbar & Dunn, Architects, Omaha, Nebraska.[2]

1980-1983: president, Dunbar Architects, Omaha, Nebraska.

1984-1985: president, Dunbar Associates, Architects.

1986-1989: architect, Dana Larson Roubal Associates, Architects, Omaha, Nebraska.

1990-1996: architect, Omaha, Nebraska.

1997-1998: architect and City of Omaha Historian, Omaha, Nebraska.

1998: License expired, December 31, 1998.[4]

1999: retired, Omaha, Nebraska.

Other Associations

1981: employed Michael L. Goertzen, draftsman.

Buildings & Projects

Doctors Hospital (1966), Omaha, Nebraska.[2]

Omaha Steaks International Beef Processing Facility (1967), Omaha, Nebraska.[2]

Richman Gordman Store (1968), Omaha, Nebraska.[2]

Richman Gordman Store (1969), Lincoln, Nebraska.[2]

Motel, Theatre & Restaurant Complex (1969), Lincoln, Nebraska.[2]

“Portal to the West,” proposal for an Interstate 80 Archway (1972), near Greenwood, Nebraska.[1][3]

Project proposal for a Platte River Dam (1999), near Ashland, Nebraska.[1]



1. Qianna Bradley, “Part of Nebraska’s history ends with death of state chronicler: jean Dunbar, native of Nebraska City and ardent fan of Omaha, dies of heart failure at 80,” Omaha World-Herald (April 26, 2006).

2. American Institute of Architects, comp., American Architects Directory, Third Ed. (New York: R. R. Bowker Co., 1970), 240, accessed April 4, 2010,

3. “Monument proposal draws fire,” Daily Nebraskan (November 30, 1972).

4. “Professional license results for Jean Francis Dunbar,” State of Nebraska Board of Engineers and Architects website, accessed October 22, 2013,

Page Citation

D. Murphy, “Jean Francis Dunbar (1925-2006), Architect,” in David Murphy, Edward F. Zimmer, and Lynn Meyer, comps. Place Makers of Nebraska: The Architects. Lincoln: Nebraska State Historical Society, April 26, 2012. Accessed, May 26, 2020.

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