Thomas Wilson Williamson

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Thomas Wilson Williamson (August 4, 1887 Hiawatha, Kansas [1] – November 16, 1974) was a Kansas architect who specialized in designing school buildings in Kansas, Iowa, and Missouri.

Hiawatha, Kansas City and County seat in Kansas, United States

Hiawatha is the largest city and county seat of Brown County, Kansas, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 3,172.

Kansas State of the United States of America

Kansas is a U.S. state in the Midwestern United States. Its capital is Topeka and its largest city is Wichita, with its most populated county being Johnson County. Kansas is bordered by Nebraska on the north; Missouri on the east; Oklahoma on the south; and Colorado on the west. Kansas is named after the Kansa Native American tribe, which inhabited the area. The tribe's name is often said to mean "people of the (south) wind" although this was probably not the term's original meaning. For thousands of years, what is now Kansas was home to numerous and diverse Native American tribes. Tribes in the eastern part of the state generally lived in villages along the river valleys. Tribes in the western part of the state were semi-nomadic and hunted large herds of bison.

Architect person trained to plan and design buildings, and oversee their construction

An architect is a person who plans, designs and reviews the construction of buildings. To practice architecture means to provide services in connection with the design of buildings and the space within the site surrounding the buildings that have human occupancy or use as their principal purpose. Etymologically, architect derives from the Latin architectus, which derives from the Greek, i.e., chief builder.


Williamson grew up in Topeka, Kansas [1] and is best known for designing Topeka High School, a magnificent Perpendicular Gothic public high school, completed in 1931. Assisting Williamson was his chief designer Ted Greist, and Linus Burr Smith from Kansas State College (now Kansas State University) to oversee the plans.

Topeka, Kansas State capital city in Kansas, United States

Topeka is the capital city of the U.S. state of Kansas and the seat of Shawnee County. It is situated along the Kansas River in the central part of Shawnee County, in northeast Kansas, in the Central United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 127,473. The Topeka Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes Shawnee, Jackson, Jefferson, Osage, and Wabaunsee counties, had a population of 233,870 in the 2010 census.

Topeka High School

Topeka High School (THS) is a fully accredited high school, serving students in grades 9–12, located in Topeka, Kansas. It is one of four high schools within Topeka Public Schools. In the 2010-2011 school year, there were 1,840 students enrolled.

Kansas State University public university in the state of Kansas

Kansas State University (KSU), commonly shortened to Kansas State or K-State, is a public research university with its main campus in Manhattan, Kansas, United States. Kansas State was opened as the state's land-grant college in 1863 and was the first public institution of higher learning in the state of Kansas. It had a record high enrollment of 24,766 students for the Fall 2014 semester.

Williamson and Griest also designed Clay Elementary School (now Cair Paravel-Latin School), which was completed in 1926.

Cair Paravel-Latin School

Cair Paravel Latin School is a private, coeducational, non-profit, non-denominational Christian school located in Topeka, Kansas. The school was founded in 1980. With over 300 students, Cair Paravel is the largest school in Kansas offering a Classical Christian education. Cair Paravel is a member of the Association of Classical Christian Schools.

Thomas W. Williamson (1887-1974), whose full name was Thomas Wilson Williamson, was an American architect. He practiced architecture for more than 50 years, designing schools and courthouses in Kansas and neighboring U.S. states. A number of his works were listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places for their architecture. [2] Firm names including him operated as Thomas W. Williamson and Company, as Thomas W. Williamson, Victor H. Loebsack & Associates, and later as Williamson-Loebsack and Associates. The firm grew to a size of 46 architects, draftsmen, engineers and other specialists. [3]

National Register of Historic Places federal list of historic sites in the United States

The National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) is the United States federal government's official list of districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects deemed worthy of preservation for their historical significance. A property listed in the National Register, or located within a National Register Historic District, may qualify for tax incentives derived from the total value of expenses incurred preserving the property.

Early life

He was born in 1886 [4] or 1887 [3] in Hiawatha, Kansas. [4] He graduated from Topeka High School in 1907. He then attended the University of Pennsylvania and graduated with an A.B. degree from its school of architecture and returned to Kansas in 1911. [3] He worked briefly for the Kansas state architect's office and for one year for architect John F. Stanton (whose El Dorado Carnegie Library is NRHP-listed). He then opened his own practice in 1912. [5] [3] :33

University of Pennsylvania Private Ivy League research university in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The University of Pennsylvania is a private Ivy League research university located in the University City neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Chartered in 1755, Penn is the sixth-oldest institution of higher education in the United States. It is one of the nine colonial colleges founded prior to the Declaration of Independence. Benjamin Franklin, Penn's founder and first president, advocated an educational program that trained leaders in commerce, government, and public service, similar to a modern liberal arts curriculum. The university's coat of arms features a dolphin on its red chief, adopted from Benjamin Franklin's own coat of arms.

El Dorado Carnegie Library

The El Dorado Carnegie Library is a former public library, constructed in 1912, in El Dorado, Kansas. It was designed by architect John F. Stanton. In 1959, a new library was built in El Dorado; the original was eventually purchased privately and in the 1980s it was renovated and converted into private offices. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1987.


He designed schools. [4]

He designed courthouses. [3]

He designed the Jayhawk Theater and linked hotel in Topeka in 1926. [6]


Works include (with attribution to self or firm):

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