Robert William McLaughlin, Jr. (1900-1989), Architect

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New York, New York

Robert William McLaughlin, Jr. was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan on June 24, 1900. Before studying architecture, McLaughlin served as a Seaman for the U.S. Navy during World War I. He then attended the prestigious Princeton University, receiving his Bachelor’s of Art in 1921 and his Master’s degree in 1926. After graduating with his Master’s degree, McLaughlin began work as a draftsman for architect H. Van Buren Magonigle, until 1927, then worked as Magonigle's associate on their commission to design First-Plymouth Congregational Church in Lincoln, Nebraska. He married Katherine Thurber in 1933. They had a son and a daugher. In 1953, McLaughlin began his own architectural firm, Robert W. McLaughlin & Associates, during this time he was also the Director of the School of Architecture at his alma mater, Princeton. McLaughlin died November 30, 1989.[1][2][3]

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.

First Plymouth Congregational Church (1928-31), Lincoln (D. Murphy)

Educational & Professional Associations

1926-1927: draftsman, H. Van Buren Magonigle.[2][3]

1928-1930: associated architect with H. Van Buren Magonigle.

1932: founder, American Houses Inc.[5]

____: Charles Over Cornelius & Robert W. McLaughlin, Jr.[2][3]

1930-1952: architect, partner, Holden, McLaughlin & Associates, New York City.[2][3][5]

1952-1965: Director School of Architecture, Princeton University.[2][3]

1953: Robert W. McLaughlin & Associates.[2][3]

Architectural Study Travel

Europe and Latin America.[2]

Buildings & Projects

First Plymouth Congregational Church (1928-1931), Lincoln, Nebraska. SEE Harold Van Buren Magonigle (1867-1935), Architect (LC13:D07-045)

Prefabricated Houses (1932- and during WWII), various locations.[2][3][5]

Ferris Thompson Houses (1949), Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey.[2][3]

Armstrong Court (1951).[2][3]

Own Residence (1952).[2][3]

Wilbur Peck Houses (1953), Greenwich, Conneticut.[2][3]



1. AIA Historical Directory of American Architects: A Resource Guide to Finding Information About Past Architects, accessed June 1, 2010,

2. American Institute of Architects, comp., American Architects Directory First Ed. (New York: R. R. Bowker Co., 1956), 357, accessed March 3, 2010,

3. American Institute of Architects, comp., American Architects Directory Second Ed. (New York: R. R. Bowker Co., 1962), 452, accessed April 4, 2010,

4. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 [database on-line], s.v. "Robert W. McLaughlin." Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2014; and U.S., Department of Veterans Affairs BIRLS Death File, 1850-2010 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2011.

5. "R. W. McLaughlin, 89, Architecture Professor," New York Times (December 2, 1989). Accessed January 9, 2019 on-line at

Page Citation

D. Murphy & E. F. Zimmer, “Robert William McLaughlin, Jr. (1900-1989), Architect,” in David Murphy, Edward F. Zimmer, and Lynn Meyer, comps. Place Makers of Nebraska: The Architects. Lincoln: Nebraska State Historical Society, December 31, 2018. Accessed, September 25, 2022.

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