John Joseph Donovan (March 25, 1876 – March 18, 1949) was an architect and contemporary of C.W. Dickey. He designed many local schools, and was co-designer of the Temescal, Golden Gate, and Miller Avenue libraries. He also supervised the building of Oakland City Hall.
"Donovan migrated to Oakland, CA, in 1911 where he came to supervise the erection of Palmer and Hornbostel's $2 million Oakland City Hall. He remained in Oakland for his entire life until dying of a stroke at age 72." Spouse: May Ella Coogan. https://digital.lib.washington.edu/architect/architects/3415/
May Coogan was a singer, and a member of the Steindorff trio. (src)
Apparently the city was satisfied with Donovan's work: he was then made city architect and planned and built 20 school buildings. In 1912, Donovan opened an office in the recently completed Security Bank and Trust building 3, better known today as the Key System Building, to oversee the work of the 9 architects who hired to design the various school buildings. These buildings were particularly noted by contemporaries for their "sanitation and hygiene:" "they are convertible into open air schools. They are equipped with showers, gymnasiums, assembly halls, lunchrooms, and have carefully planned playgrounds, while the rooms are constructed so as to obtain the greatest quality of sunshine." 1
Carl Warnecke worked for Donovan's firm from c.1914-1917.
In 1928, Donovan had his office in the Tapscott Building.
Donovan also helped design the Oakland Auditorium.
partial list of works:
see American Architect and Architecture, Volume 107
- Claremont Middle School - JJD and W.D. Reed
- Cleveland Elementary School - JJD and Edwin Shafer
- Dewey High School - JJD and Washington J. Miller
- Durant Elementary School - JJD and Louis Christian Mullgardt
- Emerson Elementary School - JJD and John Galen Howard
- Fremont High School Addition - JJD
- Jefferson Elementary School - JJD and Washington J. Miller
- Lakeview Elementary
- Lockwood School (I think this is Community United Elementary School now)- JJD and Lewis P. Hobart
- Santa Fe Elementary School - JJD
- Technical High School - JJD and Henry Hornbostel (city hall and Oakland auditorium)
- Washington School (now Sankofa Academy) - JJD and Lewis P. Hobart
Links and References
- "Great Men and Great Men's Achievements Are the Background for California's Progress." San Francisco Chronicle: Jan 16, 1915.
- Easterner To Be City Architect San Francisco Call January 6, 1912
- Nine Architects to Draw Plans San Francisco Call March 31, 1912