No. 209 . 15 September 2004 
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Remembering Fay Jones

by Michael Cockram

The architecture community mourns the loss of E. Fay Jones, who died on August 30, 2004 at the age of 83. While many notable architects strain for the limelight, Fay Jones was content to work quietly and tirelessly in the tranquility of his small office in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Staying at home among the Ozark's oak forests, he formed and refined an inventive vein of distinctively American architecture. Always deferential toward his mentor, Frank Lloyd Wright, Fay Jones took aspects of Wright's work and reshaped it and, as Wright himself acknowledged, made it his own.

When I reported for work in his office as a young intern in the winter of 1990, Fay was away. He was in Washington DC receiving the AIA Gold Medal from the Prince of Wales and the President of the United States. In his office, there was no secretary, no computer, no copying machine, and all of the work was done in pencil on paper.

Each of the five employees sat next to a flat file full of projects. My recollection of the experience is an image of being immersed in a sea of drawings — 50 years of thoughtful, directed work and learning the order of things and the refinement of a distinct way of thinking about building.   >>>

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