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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Bruce Alonzo Goff
Personal information
Name Bruce Alonzo Goff
Nationality American
Birth date June 8, 1904(1904-06-08)
Birth place Alton, Kansas, U.S.
Date of death September 4, 1982 (aged 78)
Place of death Tyler, Texas, U.S.
Buildings Bavinger House

Ruth VanSickle Ford House
Ledbetter House
Pavilion for Japanese Art
Joe D. Price House and Studio

Bruce Alonzo Goff (June 8, 1904 – August 4, 1982) was an American architect.


Early years

Born in Alton, Kansas, Goff was a child prodigy who apprenticed at the age of twelve to Rush, Endacott and Rush of Tulsa, Oklahoma. Goff became a partner with the firm in 1930. He is credited, along with his high-school art teacher Adah Robinson, with the design of Boston Avenue Methodist Church in Tulsa, one of the finest examples of Art Deco architecture in the United States.


After stints in Chicago and Berkeley, Goff accepted a teaching position with the School of Architecture at the University of Oklahoma in 1942. By 1943, despite a lack of credentials, he was chairman of the school. This was his most productive period. In his private practice, Goff built an impressive number of residences in the American Midwest, developing his singular style of organic architecture that was client- and site-specific.


Bavinger House

Goff's accumulated design portfolio of 500 projects (about one quarter of them built) demonstrates a restless, sped-up evolution through conventional styles and forms at a young age, through the Prairie style of his heroes and correspondents Frank Lloyd Wright and Louis Sullivan, then into original design. Finding inspiration in sources as varied as Antoni Gaudi, Balinese music, Claude Debussy, Japanese ukiyo-e prints, and seashells, Goff's mature work had no precedent and he has few heirs other than his former assistant, New Mexico architect Bart Prince and Herb M. Greene. His contemporaries primarily followed tight functionalistic floorplans with flat roofs and no ornament. Goff's idiosyncratic floorplans, attention to spatial effect, and use of recycled and/or unconventional materials such as gilded zebrawood, cellophane strips, cake pans, glass cullet, Quonset Hut ribs, ashtrays, and white turkey feathers, challenge conventional distinctions between order and disorder.

Ledbetter House

Chronological Building List


Today, Goff's contributions to the history of 20th-century architecture are widely praised. His extant archive—including architectural drawings, paintings, musical compositions, photographs, project files, and personal and professional papers—is held by the Ryerson & Burnham Libraries at the Art Institute of Chicago.

The University of Oklahoma now sponsors the Bruce Goff Professorship of Creative Architecture in his honor.

Bruce Goff's headstone designed by Goff student Grant Gustafson


Goff died in Tyler, Smith County, TX on August 4, 1982 (TX Death Records). His cremated remains are interred in Graceland Cemetery, Chicago, Illinois, with a marker designed by Grant Gustafson (one of Goff's students) that incorporates a glass cullet fragment salvaged from the ruins of the Joe D. Price House and Studio.

External links

the PBS InFocus Show aired in 2008-2009 - archived as downloadable 29 minute showing of the Bruce Goff Duncan Dwelling serving as Bed and Breakfast experience.

  • [2]The Bavinger House is a non-profit corporation founded with the purpose of restoring the house built by master artist Eugene Bavinger and master architect, Bruce Goff. This will allow the house to be open to the public and colleges for education and the enjoyment of all. Eugene and Nancy Bavinger’s last wishes were for the house to be shown. They built a house that would satisfy their desire of nontraditional spaces encompassing nature in form and function.

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