Linus Burr Smith (1899-1982), Architect
Linus Burr Smith was born March 8, 1899 in Minneapolis, Kansas. His higher education consisted of a Bachelor of Architecture from Kansas State University and a Master of Architecture from Harvard University. Smith received the Eugene Dodd Medal from Harvard University, as well as the Fontainebleau scholarship. He traveled in Europe, North Africa, and the Near East. While in Kansas, Smith worked for some local firms while also being employed as an assistant lecturer at his alma mater.
Smith then moved to Lincoln, where he worked for a couple firms before teaching exclusively. He spent nearly forty years being a professor at the University of Nebraska, including thirty years as Chairman of the School of Architecture. During his time at the University of Nebraska, the size of the Department of Architecture grew immensely from only a few students to over 250. In the year of his stepping down as Chairman, the University's 1964 Annual E Week was dedicated to him. University students and Nebraskan architects thanked Smith for his work at the University of Nebraska, where he was a researcher and planning consultant as well as a teacher and administrator, with plaques honoring the qualities of leadership and creativity in architecture. Governor Morrison called Smith “one of the great professors in the country and was as educator in the fullest sense of the word.”
Smith also boasted an impressive level of civic engagement and professional work outside of his career. He was an active member of the American Institute of Architects, serving from 1940-1942 as the president of the Nebraskan chapter. In 1942, he was Nebraska's delegate to the national meeting of the American Institute of Architects. He also participated in several AIA Commissions, including the AIA Commission of the National Capital (1935-1936), the AIA Commission on Arts & Crafts (1942), and the AIA Commission on Rural Practice (1944). Additionally, Smith served as director of the Nebraska Art Association for five years, he was a consultant for the Nebraska National Commission on Civilian Protections, and he was the president of the National Association for the Advancement of Architectural Education. On top of all this, he was a member of the Notary Club, the Commission on Humanities in American Institutions, the Nebraskan Architects Association, and the Nebraska State Capital Environs Commitee. One year, Smith presented an illustrated lecture on architecture styles during George Washington's life at the annual George Washington birthday banquet at the Lincoln YMCA. Clearly The Daily Nebraskan had ample reason for naming him an "outstanding Nebraskan". Linus Burr Smith died on July 23, 1982.
Compiled Nebraska Directory Listings
Lincoln, Nebraska, 1938-1939, 1940-1949, 1950-1959, 1960-1969, 1970-1976
Educational & Professional Associations
____: Bachelor of Architecture, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas.
____: Master of Architecture, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
1922: Hulse & Company, Hutchinson, Kansas.
1924-1934: Assistant Professor, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas.
1928: Thos. W. Williamson, Topeka, Kansas.
1934-1970: Professor of Architecture, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Nebraska.
1934-1964: Chairman of the Department of Architecture, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Nebraska.
1946-1947: Member, State Capital Environs Committee, Lincoln, Nebraska.
Architectural Study Travel
Europe, North Africa, and the Near East.
Buildings & Projects
Meat Laboratory - Loeffel Hall (1953-1954), University of Nebraska, East Campus, Lincoln, Nebraska.
Smith, Linus Burr, “Space,” TS. ([ca. 1967]) copy in Murphy Collection.
Smith, Linus Burr, “The ‘ISMS’,” TS. ([ca. 1967]) copy in Murphy Collection.
Smith, Linus Burr, “The Research into Space: Cubism,” TS. ([ca. 1967]) copy in Murphy Collection.
Honors & Awards
Eugene Dodd Medal, Harvard University.
Outstanding Nebraskan, The Daily Nebraskan.
1. “The Year ’67,” Prelim (student publication of the School of Architecture, University of Nebraska) 2:2 (Fall 1967), 12.
2. The AIA Historical Directory of American Architects, s.v. “Linus Burr Smith," (ahd1041876), accessed March 3, 2010. http://content.aia.org/sites/default/files/2018-09/Bowker_1956_S.pdf
3. Kay Logan-Peters, "Agronomy Building (Keim)," in An Architectural Tour of Historic UNL (Lincoln: University of Nebraska-Lincoln, UNL Libraries, 2005). Accessed May 8, 2017. http://historicbuildings.unl.edu/building.php?b=80
4. Kay Logan-Peters, "Administration Building (Canfield)," in An Architectural Tour of Historic UNL (Lincoln: University of Nebraska-Lincoln, UNL Libraries, 2005). Accessed May 8, 2017. http://historicbuildings.unl.edu/building.php?b=97
5. “Prof. Smith to attend architectural meetings,” Lincoln Journal Star (June 21, 1942), 3:1.
6. “Prof. Smith Speaks On Early Colonial Architecture Types,” Lincoln Star (February 26, 1936).
7. “Architect Smith Honored,” Lincoln Evening Journal (June 1, 1964), 12:8.
8. “Architects, Students Honor Linus Burr Smith,” Lincoln Journal Star (May 24, 1964), 3B:4.
9. “Architects Cite Smith,” Lincoln Evening Journal (May 2, 1964), 3:6.
10. “Prof. Smith Honored By Architecture Students,” Lincoln Star (May 2, 1964), 3:2.
11. Kay Logan-Peters, "Meat Laboratory (Loeffel)," in An Architectural Tour of Historic UNL (Lincoln: University of Nebraska-Lincoln, UNL Libraries, 2005). Accessed May 8, 2017. http://historicbuildings.unl.edu/building.php?b=102
12. "Linus Burr Smith," archclass68.wordpress University of Nebraska College Architecture Class of 1968. https://archclass68.wordpress.com/faculty/linus-burr-smith/
D. Murphy, “Linus Burr Smith (1899-1982), Architect,” in David Murphy, Edward F. Zimmer, and Lynn Meyer, comps. Place Makers of Nebraska: The Architects. Lincoln: Nebraska State Historical Society, April 25, 2019. http://www.e-nebraskahistory.org/index.php?title=Place_Makers_of_Nebraska:_The_Architects Accessed, May 30, 2020.
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