Robert E. “Bob” Jones was born in Lawton, Oklahoma in 1930. Following his graduation from high school in Los Angeles, he graduated from USC's School of Architecture in 1955. Prior to graduation, Robert won first place in the Illuminating Engineers Design Competition. Jones' first architecture license was granted in 1959.
In part, working as an associate for Deems-Martin, Associates early on established a foundation for his design work throughout San Diego. Joining the cadre of progressive architects in San Diego, Jones would become quickly recognized for his Case Study House inspired buildings around San Diego. According to one family member, he may have been involved in some capacity with Ed Killingsworth’s La Jolla Case Study Triad.
Between several partnerships, and a stint in Ward Deems' office (circa 1960-61), Bob Jones would, on his own, design a number of residential and commercial projects including his own office and three homes for his family. During the early 1960s, Jones partnered with Henry Hester on a number of distinguished projects including their Horizon Home design and Bob’s first home for his family on Balboa Avenue in Del Mar.
Of Jones Residence #1, one of his children recently remarked, “The house was pretty miraculous [as] it was built on a bad lot… [and] he didn't remove any of the trees because most were…old Torrey Pines, so he designed the house around them. John Lloyd Wright went down to the Building Review meeting [with Bob] to defend the design.” Jones hired local building contractor Herb Turner to build the cantilevered structure overlooking Bill Lewis’ (of Deems-Lewis) residence. Joe Yamada, San Diego’s top landscape architect of the era, designed the house’s surroundings as he did for other Jones projects.
Following his work with Hester, Jones and Associates (1962-64), Jones would launch Robert E. Jones, Architect (1964-67). In 1967 he would form the firm of Robert E. Jones & Edwin K. Hom. The partnership was dissolved in the mid-70's along with Jones’ first marriage. In the 1980s Jones worked with Frank Hope’s firm as well as Tucson landscape architect Guy Greene.
Following Jones & Hom, according to daughter Brigette Jones, Robert joined in partnership with Iwao Koizumi (Koizumi-Jones) just north of San Diego. Among many projects, some of the highlights were built in Japan. Towards the end of his career, he also enjoyed short stints with Frank L. Hope (working on a project in Saudi Arabia) and Guy Greene a landscape architect from Tucson. Following the dissolution of these partnerships, Bob ran his own practice Robert E. Jones, Architect until he passed away.
According to son, Brent Jones, "...he was probably best known for his innovative urban planning ideas in the 60's. He introduced 0-lot line housing which maximized land use and encouraged outdoor living space."
Following James Britton's death, Del Mar resident Peter Kaye hired Jones as the San Diego Union's architecture critic - a short, yet fruitful assignment.
At the time of his passing Robert E. Jones was survived by his second wife Elizabeth, daughter Brigette and son Brent.
Partial List of Projects
Patio Homes (1972)
Bardoccos Residence (1974)
Club Circle (1965)
Bruck, Clarence Residence (1965)
Busch, Max L. Residence (1963)
Calabasas Park Lakeview Homes (1968)
Casitas Capistrano (circa 1970s)
Church of Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints (circa 1970s)
Colony Park Homes (1967)
Ciudad Capistrano (1967)
Condominiums (ca. 1970s)
Dormitories (circa 1980s)
Harbor, Hunt Residence (1967)
Horizon Home Contest Winner (1963)
Huntington Beach (1967)
Johnson Residence (circa early 1960s)
Jones, Robert E. Residence #1 (1962)
Jones Residence #2 (1973)
Library (circa 1960s)
San Carlos Fire Station (1963-64)
Stroll, Avrum & Mary Residence (1969)
Sunnyvale Mercantile Built House (1969)