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Folger Johnson


Folger Johnson, Architect [1882-1970]

Folger Johnson [†] was born in Columbus, Georgia. After graduating from the Technological Institute of Georgia, he went to Columbia University, where he received a Bachelor of Architecture. In 1908 he enrolled in the Ecole des Beaux Arts and remained there until 1910. He then returned to the U. S. and went to work for an architect in New York City. He came to Portland in 1911 and soon joined forces with architect MacDonald F. Mayer. From 1912 to 1916 the two are listed as partners in City Directories.

From 1917 to c. 1920, when Jamieson Parker joined him as an associate, Johnson apparently practiced alone. From 1912 to 1929 Johnson, Parker and Carl H. Wallwork worked out of the same office, though Johnson and Parker (and, perhaps, also Wallwork) each took work as individuals. From 1930 to 1936 the firm was listed as Johnson & Wallwork and from 1936 to 1945 as Johnson, Wallwork and Dukehart.

In 1940 Johnson became state director of the Federal Housing Administration, a post that had previously been filled by Jamieson Parker. A newspaper article announcing Johnson's appointment to the position stated that he had for some years been on the staff of the Federal Works Agency in Oregon. He remained as director until he retired in 1950.

Johnson was married twice, first to Edith Waldo, daughter of Judge John B. Waldo of Salem, and second to Shelby Payne. He was a member of the Portland Planning Commission, Portland Art Council, University Club and Portland Golf Club. He died at age 88.

Two buildings in Portland designed by Folger Johnson have been listed in the National Register: Albertina Kerr Nursery, 1921, by Johnson, Parker and Wallwork, and the Town Club, 1930, by Johnson, Wallwork and Hollis Johnston. Several public buildings and one residence by Johnson were identified in the City of Portland Historic Resource Inventory.

† Virginia Guest Ferriday, Architect, AIA, Dr. A. E. and Phila Jane Rockey House (Rockholm), Multnomah County, Oregon, nomination document, 1985, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.


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