Solomon Andrew Layton

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Solomon Andrew Layton
Born (1864-07-22)July 22, 1864
Lucas County, Iowa
Died February 6, 1943(1943-02-06) (aged 78)
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Nationality American
Occupation Architect
Buildings Oklahoma State Capitol
Skirvin Hilton Hotel
Oklahoma County Courthouse
Projects University of Oklahoma

Solomon Andrew Layton (July 22, 1864 - February 6, 1943) was an American architect who designed over 100 public buildings in the Oklahoma City, Oklahoma area and was part of the Layton & Forsyth firm. Layton headed partnerships in Oklahoma from 1902 to 1943; his works included the Canadian County Jail in El Reno, Oklahoma State Capitol, sixteen Oklahoma courthouses, and several buildings on the University of Oklahoma campus. Layton had a considerable influence on Oklahoma City architecture, and he became known as the "dean of Oklahoma City architecture"[1]


Layton was born on July 22, 1864, in Lucas County, Iowa, to Andrew and Jennette Miller Layton. Most of his family was employed in carpentry or building, giving Layton early experience in building. In 1885, Layton married Alice Wood; the couple later had two daughters. Layton began practicing architecture in Denver in 1887; in 1902, he moved to El Reno, Oklahoma and began to design buildings in El Reno - Oklahoma City area, the most notable being the Canadian County Courthouse,[a] and the Canadian County Jail.[2] He moved to Oklahoma City in 1907. By 1911, Layton had become a recognized architect in Oklahoma City, and he bid successfully to build the Oklahoma State Capitol. He originally intended the Capitol to have a dome, but due to budgetary constraints, his vision was not realized until a dome was added to the Capitol in 2002. After the Capitol, Layton began designing skyscrapers in downtown Oklahoma City such as the Baum Building, the Medical Arts Building, and the Skirvin Hotel. During this time, Layton also designed buildings at the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma City University. Layton died on February 6, 1943; he is buried in Rose Hill Cemetery.[3]

Architectural work[edit]

Layton designed over one hundred public buildings in Oklahoma during his career. Twenty-two of his buildings are listed on the National Register of Historic Places, an Oklahoma state record.[3] He designed the neoclassical Oklahoma State Capitol in 1914 and created the original plans to add a dome to the building, a feature which was not installed until 2002. His works also include sixteen courthouses, including Oklahoma City's Oklahoma County Courthouse, and forty-six public schools, including the first five high schools in Oklahoma City. Layton's major projects include the campuses of the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma City University. He designed some of the most prominent buildings on the University of Oklahoma campus, including the administration building, Bizzell Memorial Library, and Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Several of Layton's skyscrapers still remain in Oklahoma City, including the Skirvin Hilton Hotel and the Medical Arts Building, now known as the 100 Park Avenue Building. Layton also designed the since-demolished Halliburton department store, the Patterson and Mercantile Buildings, and the Baum Building, a replica of the Doge's Palace in Venice. Eleven of Layton's buildings, including seven on the National Register of Historic Places, survived the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.[3]


National Register of Historic Places Buildings[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The Canadian County Courthouse was found to be structurally unsound during 1962 - 1964, and was demolished.[2]