Famous Arkansan: Edward Durrel Stone

Several well-known
people have roots in Arkansas. The list runs the gamut from Johnny Cash to
Jermain Taylor. Check here every Monday as we highlight a new Famous Arkansan
each week
. Today, Meet: Edward Durrel Stone

Zoie Clift
“There is too much conformity in contemporary
architecture. I like to think of architecture as an individual creative
expression; I get more pleasure out of my work if I carry through my own
convictions rather than pursue a dogma outlined by some other architect…An
architect should try to find his own expression. In this age of
standardization, Americans need more than ever to cultivate the open mind.
Those who assert their individuality should find greater tolerance from their
fellow; if our flights of fancy found receptive audiences and each of us were
encouraged to be an individual, our lives would be enriched.”

– Edward Durell Stone, from Paul Heyer’s

Architects on Architecture: New Directions in America

I am a huge fan of
architecture so it’s always a pleasure to learn about famous
Arkansans such as this. Born in 1902 in Fayetteville, architect Edward Durell
Stone’s most notable designs include Radio City Music Hall in New York, the
Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, and the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi. His local
work includes the Pine Bluff Convention Center. 
Stone studied at the University of Arkansas then apprenticed at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He then received a Rotch Traveling Scholarship to Europe from 1927 to
1929. While in Europe, Stone was offered a job in New York and his career as an
architect began. He established his own firm there, Edward Durell Stone &
Associates in 1936.Highlights included making the cover of TIME magazine in
According to the
International Dictionary of Architects and Architecture, he is one the earliest
American exponents of the International Style and had a major impact on
architectural education in the U.S. during the 1950s. Stone helped transform
the International Style modernism of the 1950s into the postmodernism of the
1960s and 1970s by substituting formalism for functionalism. (The above black and white photograph of Stone was taken by Dmitri Kessel for Getty Images) 
He retired as an architect in 1974 presented
a large body of his papers to the University of Arkansas Libraries in 1975,
three years before his death.  In 1979 his widow, Violet Stone, donated
more of his papers to the libraries. The collection offers a peek into his work
and contains many of his plans, conceptual drawings, blueprints, photos, and
other correspondences. Overall, around 400 of the architect’s projects are
documented via the two donations.   

Join the Conversation