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I.R. Timlin, joins the AIA

December 6, 2010

We pause the construction blog, for a bit of history. We attended the St. Louis AIA chapter holiday party on Friday night. It was held at the chapter office this year. We were chatting with B.A.B. fan and AIA Executive Director, Michelle Swatek, while we were fixated on some old local history books that were out for display. Several were from the years when our building was being built or expanded. As usual, we were looking for connections to our project. I yammered on about our project, water leaks, framing, salvaging, etc. She paused and asked about the name of the B.A.B. architect. I said, in my best Hermione Granger voice “I.R. Timlin, Irvin Ray Timlin.” She takes me back into the storage room, pulls out a file draw and extracts a file folder, Mr. Timlin’s membership records in the St. Louis Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, from almost 100 years ago.

I.R. Timlin AIA Application

It includes his original handwritten application and other correspondence. We’ve written about Mr. Timlin before, but this was a much more detailed and personal connection. It means a lot to be able to hold an important piece of paper that was part of the life of the architect of, now, our building.

The folder includes a few key pieces of information besides the membership application. It shows that, years ago, a prospective member needed 2 current members to sign the application and vouch for the character of the applicant. Here’s a timeline we pieced together from the documents.

  • I.R. Timlin moved to St. Louis in the summer of 1912 and applied for a transfer from Kansas City AIA Chapter membership to the St. Louis Chapter membership but it doesn’t have 2 St. Louis Chapter member signatures. It includes a letter of introduction from KC AIA chapter.
  • December 2, 1916, applies again this time with one signature, file indicates the endorsement of the chapter via correspondence with Mr. Trueblood over December 1916 thru January 1917.
  • February 28th, 1917, Board of Directors of the Institute elected him to membership.


I.R. Timlin AIA Accepted

So, it took Mr. Timlin 5 years to be accepted for membership in our chapter. Note at the bottom of the letter that others were also accepted but they had not yet paid their dues.

Other letters include one dated December 31, 1949, giving Member Emeritus status with several supporting documents. By that time, there were no shortage of people willing to write letters on his behalf.

On October 19, 1955, I.R. Timlin’s obituary appeared in a newspaper. Some time this Spring, we plan on visiting his and his wife’s final resting place, Oak Grove Cemetary, and paying our respects.

I.R. Timlin's Obituary

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Maurine permalink
    December 10, 2010 2:08 pm

    It seems Mr. Timlin and you have an uncanny affinity. He lived in University City–you lived in University City. He designed the St. Louis Telephone building–you are redesigning the St. Louis Telephone building. What do you suppose he would think if he were around today? I bet he would love it. Love, Mom


  1. Happy Birthday I.R. Timlin | B. A. B.
  2. Getting to know Irvin « B. A. B.

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