LaVern James Nelsen (1909-1980), Architect
A native of Hastings, Nebraska, LaVern James Nelsen was born in 1909. He was an architect in Hastings prior to WWII, then after the war he removed to Detroit where he specialized in church and hospital architecture. He retired in 1973. He was a member of the American Institute of Architects from 1844-1949, and from 1954-1980. Nelsen died November 6, 1980 in Drayton Plains, Michigan at the age of 71. He was survived in death by his wife, Blanche, a son, James, and a daughter, Mary Ann, as well as a brother and two grandchildren.
Compiled Nebraska Directory Listings
Educational & Professional Associations
1937-1939: designer, Central Public Power and Irrigation District, Hastings, Nebraska.[a]
1941: LaVern J. Nelson, Architect, Hastings, Nebraska.[b]
1954-1973: architect, Detroit, Michigan.
Buildings & Projects
a. First appearance in available Hastings directories as an individual, 1937.
b. Last listing in available Hastings city directories; note the spelling, which also matches the death notice in the Hastings newspaper, though he appears consistently in AIA records as “Nelsen.”
1. AIA Historical Directory of American Architects: A Resource Guide to Finding Information About Past Architects, accessed June 1, 2010, http://communities.aia.org/sites/hdoaa/wiki/Wiki%20Pages/ahd1032265.aspx
2. “Deaths: LaVern James Nelson,” Hastings Tribune (November 21, 1980), 3:4.
3. American Institute of Architects, comp., American Architects Directory First Ed. (New York: R. R. Bowker Co., 1956), 401, accessed May 30, 2012, http://communities.aia.org/sites/hdoaa/wiki/American%20Architects%20Directories/1956%20American%20Architects%20Directory/Bowker_1956_N.pdf
4. American Institute of Architects, comp., American Architects Directory Second Ed. (New York: R. R. Bowker Co., 1962), 510, accessed May 31, 2012, http://communities.aia.org/sites/hdoaa/wiki/American%20Architects%20Directories/1962%20American%20Architects%20Directory/Bowker_1962_N.pdf
5. American Institute of Architects, comp., American Architects Directory Third Ed. (New York: R. R. Bowker Co., 1970), 659, accessed May 31, 2012, http://communities.aia.org/sites/hdoaa/wiki/American%20Architects%20Directories/1970%20American%20Architects%20Directory/Bowker_1970_N.pdf
Return to Top of Page
D. Murphy, “LaVern James Nelsen (1909-1980), Architect,” in David Murphy, Edward F. Zimmer, and Lynn Meyer, comps. Place Makers of Nebraska: The Architects. Lincoln: Nebraska State Historical Society, February 26, 2015. http://www.e-nebraskahistory.org/index.php?title=Place_Makers_of_Nebraska:_The_Architects Accessed, October 29, 2020.
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