Biographies of Architects, Designers, and Builders

Edward T. Foulkes (1874-1967)

Edward T. Foulkes was born in Monmouth, Oregon, on August 14, 1874. He began his architectural education at Stanford University in 1893, then transferred to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. After graduating from M.I.T. in 1898, he apprenticed under Clarence Blackall in Boston. In 1901 Foulkes moved to New York to work for Cass Gilbert and later for the prestigious classicists Carrere and Hastings.

In 1903 Foulkes won the coveted Rotch Scholarship to study abroad. After attending the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, Foulkes traveled to England, Wales, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Egypt, Turkey, India, China, and Japan. He returned to the United States in 1906 and opened an office in San Francisco.

In 1910 Foulkes opened a branch office in Fresno after winning a private competition to design the Hotel Fresno. His plan adapted the caravansary model of the Palace Hotel in San Francisco. He also captured commissions for a number of large Fresno residences between 1910 and 1912, including mansions for H. H. Brix, Louis Gundelfinger, Louis Einstein, and W. A. Sutherland. In late 1914 Foulkes abandoned his Fresno office to devote his energies to large commissions connected with the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition at San Francisco.

In partnership with Chester Hogue of Portland, Oregon, Foulkes designed the Oregon State Building at the San Francisco exposition. Known as the "Rustic Parthenon," this huge log building was a somber and distinctive temple-like structure that won Foulkes and Hogue a diploma and a medal as the "most artistic building of its kind in the fair." Foulkes also designed the Inside Inn, a 3,000-guest hotel on the exposition grounds.

For most of his lengthy career, Foulkes resided in Oakland. His monumental Oakland Tribune Tower (1922) has been that city's symbolic landmark for almost seven decades. Edward T. Foulkes died in Oakland on December 10, 1967.

©1996 John Edward Powell. All rights reserved.