Biographies of Architects, Designers, and Builders

Ira Wilson Hoover (1871-1941)

Ira Wilson Hoover was born in Oberlin, Ohio, on November 20, 1871. He completed his early schooling in Toledo, where he also gained experience in furniture design and drafting. While a student at the University of Pennsylvania's School of Architecture, Hoover distinguished himself as a fine draughtsman and won many student design competitions. One of his student works, Musee de Cluny, was exhibited in the Eighteenth Annual Exhibition of the Architectural League of New York in 1903. He graduated from Penn in 1900. The following year he was awarded the John Sewardson Memorial Traveling Scholarship in Architecture, which he used to study at the American Academy in Rome.

Upon returning to New York, he took positions with Lord, Hewlett and Hull; John Russell Pope; and Cass Gilbert. He then moved to Chicago to work for the firm of Frost and Granger. In 1903 he accepted an invitation to become a junior partner in the office of John Galen Howard of Berkeley, California, where he worked on numerous buildings for the University of California campus. From 1904 to 1910 Hoover was a junior partner in the San Francisco office of Julia Morgan. Restless for change, he returned east, first settling in Pittsburgh, then associating again with architect Charles S. Frost in Chicago. According to his lifelong friend, William C. Hays, Hoover's five-year partnership in Chicago was "the most productive and richest period of his career." This partnership ended during World War I when Hoover returned to Europe. After the war Hoover settled in Planada, California, where he completed various residential projects and a hospital in nearby Merced. In 1924 he moved to Los Angeles, where he practiced until his death on August 23, 1941.

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