John A. Benson (1937-2006), Architect

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Lincoln, Nebraska, 1970-2004

John Benson was born on September 1, 1937 in Sterling, Illinois.[1] In 1960, at the age of 22, Benson earned his Bachelors Degree in Architecture from the University of Illinois, Urbana, and just a year later received his Masters degree from the same institution. Benson then became an instructor in Architecture at the University of Southwestern Louisiana for one year, moving to Lincoln in 1962 to be an Assistant Professor of Architecture at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln until 1967.

For three years after that, Benson worked as the associate in charge of design at the firm of Duain Claiborne & Associates in his hometown of Sterling, Illinois. In 1970, Benson became a Registered Porfessional Architect in Nebraska, and for the next 33 years taught at the University of Nebraska as an Associate Professor of Architecture. Benson also held other positions at the University, including Assistant Dean of the College of Architecture in 1974, and Director of Institutional Research & Planning from 1988-2003.

He belonged to the State AIA Committee on Office Procedures; the Mayor's Code Study Committee, Lincoln; the Gargoyle Fraternity; Sigma Tau; and SCARAB, a professional architecture fraternity.[4] Benson was married and had three three children.[1]

He died May 30, 2006.[7]

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.

Compiled Nebraska Directory Listings

Lincoln, Nebraska, 1970-2003

Educational & Professional Associations

1960: Bachelor's Degree, Architecture, University of Illinois, Urbana.[1]

1961: Master's Degree, Architecture, University of Illinois, Urbana.[1]

1961-1962: Instructor of Architecture, University of Southwestern Louisiana.[1]

1962-1967: Assistant Professor of Architecture, University of Nebraska, Lincoln.[1]

1967-1970: associate in charge of design, Duain Claiborne & Associates, Sterling, Illinois.[1]

1970: Registered Professional Architect, Nebraska, A-959; May 16, 1970.[2]

1970-2003: Associate Professor of Architecture, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.[1]

1974-____: Assistant Dean, College of Architecture, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.[4]

____-____: Assistant Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.[5]

____-1987: Associate Director of Institutional Research & Planning, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.[5]

1987-1988: Interim Director of Institutional Research & Planning, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.[5]

1988-2003: Director of Institutional Research & Planning, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.[3][5]

2004: Architect Emeritus, Lincoln, Nebraska.[7]

Buildings & Projects


“The Office of Institutional Research & Planning provides data and analysis to support academic management, evaluation and planning. It is also responsible for the campus physical master plan and campus space planning. The director reports to the chancellor and is part of UNL’s senior administrative team.”[5]


1. John Benson, “Thoughts on Architecture, Architectural Education and Reality,” N.P., n.d.

2. “Professional license results for John A. Benson,” Nebraska State Board of Engineers and Architects Website, accessed April 1, 2003, <>

3. "Centrex Directory", (University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 2002-2003).

4. “Benson named assistant dean,” Arch@UNL #1 (Fall 1974).

5. “UNL research-planning head retires,” Lincoln Journal-Star (July 5, 2003), 3B.

6. The Nebraska Professional (July 2006), 7.

7. The Nebraska Professional (June 2004), 6.

Page Citation

D. Murphy, “John A. Benson (1937-2006), Architect,” in David Murphy, Edward F. Zimmer, and Lynn Meyer, comps. Place Makers of Nebraska: The Architects. Lincoln: Nebraska State Historical Society, October 2, 2014. Accessed, August 10, 2022.

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