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I.R. Timlin, AIA

September 30, 2009

Our building was built as the Riverside Central Office Exchange for Bell Telephone in 1914. The architect was Irvin Ray Timlin, commonly listed as I.R. Timlin. He was born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1880, work for a time in Kansas City, but spent the majority of his career and life in St. Louis, Missouri. Timlin worked for Bell Telephone in St. Louis for about 30 years and designed many of the region’s telephone company buildings. The building at 822 Wilmington is one of his earliest projects.

Below are some of his other works:

  • Webster Groves, Missouri, 5 W. Lockwood, 1916. This building has quite a few similarities to ours. It is also still owned by the phone company.

Webster Groves, Missouri, 1916

  • Kansas City, Missouri, 1922- From Architecture Record, December 1922, in association with Hoit, Price & Barnes, the building was doubled in height in 1929.

Kansas City, Missouri, 1922

  • Tulsa, Oklahoma, 1924

Tulsa, Oklahoma, 1924

  • Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, 1927, with Hicks, Layton & Forsyth, shown with the Pioneer Building of 1907 on the left.
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, 1927 on the left

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, 1927

  • St. Louis, Missouri, 1926, in association with Mauran, Russell & Crowell.

St. Louis, Missouri, 1926

  • IR Timlin Self-designed Residence, 6814 Pershing, Ames Place, University City, Missouri, 1927.

6814 Pershing, University City, Missouri

  • Houston, Texas, 1928. This one is so different from the others it makes me wonder how much it has been altered since it was first constructed.

Houston, Texas, 1928

  • San Antonio, Texas, 1931, from Architecture in Texas, 1895-1945 by Jay C. Henry.

San Antonio, Texas, 1931

  • Fort Worth, Texas, Chestnut Street, from the Bell Telephone Quarterly, Volume XV, 1936.

Fort Worth, Texas, 1936

  • Corpus Christy, Texas, from the Bell Telephone Quarterly Volume XIX, 1940.

Corpus Christy, Texas, 1940

  • Kansas City, Kansas, Drexel-Fairfax, from the Bell Telephone Quarterly Volume XIX, 1940.

Kansas City, Kansas, 1940

On the personal side, we learned about Timlin from historical documents available on-line, including the AIA  Historical 1956 American Architects Directory which offers the following information:


Office & Home: 6814 Pershing Ave, University City 5, Mo.

b. Cleveland, Ohio, over 65. M. 12. Educ: Grad. Kans. City HS; Wash. Univ, St. Louis, Mo, 2 y r s ; 6-8 Correspondence Courses in Archt, Struct, Mech, & Elect. Eng. w. Van Brunt & Howe, & W. R. Chesney of Kans. City. Prev. Firm: W. R. Chesney, K.C, Mo. Firm: ret. Present Occup: Music, Golf, Photog. Reg: Ark, Mo; NCARB Cert. Prin. Wks: Bell Tel. Bldgs, St. Louis, Mo, Archt. Assocd, Mauran-Russell; Dallas, Tex; San Antonio, Tex; Oklahoma City, Okla, Archt. Assocd, Hicks, Layton & Forsyth; & Kans, City, Mo, Archt. Assocd, Hoit, Price, & Barnes. Con. Archt: Mail Bldg, St. Louis. Gen. Types: 1,2,6,7. Hon: Bronze Medal, K. C. Art League, 29, Kans. City Tel. Bldg. Mem: Masonic; St, Louis Elec. Bd. of Trade; Algonquin Golf Club, St. Louis. AIA Mem: St. Louis Chapter. Treas, 7 years, V.P, 2 years.”

Irvin and Ruby lived at 6146 Waterman in 1920.

1920 Census Record

Ruby Lowere Timlin passed away in 1953 at the age of 66.

Ruby Timlin's Death Certificate, 1953

Irvin Ray Timlin died in 1955 at the age of 74.

I.R. Timlin's Death Certificate, 1955

8 Comments leave one →
  1. Eric permalink
    March 31, 2011 9:42 pm

    I’ve created the Wikipedia page for I.R. Timlin ( based mostly on these materials. Take a look and flesh it out a bit if you’d like.


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