Charles A. Smith

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Charles Ashley Smith was born in Ohio in March 1866 but moved with his family to Iowa in 1874. Smith began his architectural career as a draftsman in the firm Bell & Hackney in 1882. When Hackney moved to Kansas City and began working for the Kansas City Board of Education, Smith moved with him, gaining experience designing school buildings. Smith was appointed Hackney's replacement as architect for the Board of Education in 1899. Smith retired from this appointment in 1936, having designed over 60 new school buildings and additions. His designs elementary, middle, and high school buildings featured a wide variety of exterior cladding materials, floor plans, and popular architectural styles. Smith often employed Classical Revival or classically-inspired styles, especially for larger buildings such as junior high and high schools. His final design was Lincoln High School.

During his tenure as architect for the Board of Education, Smith was also a principal in the prominent local firm Smith, Rea & Lovitt from 1910 to 1921. In addition to numerous commercial buildings and private residences, this firm designed the YMCA Building at 1822-28 Paseo. Throughout his career, Charles A Smith designed many notable civic, commercial, religious, and residential buildings in Kansas City. Smith died in 1948.


Attucks School (Jackson County, Missouri)
Howard Neighborhood Historic District (Jackson County, Missouri)
IOOF Liberty Lodge No. 49 (Clay County, Missouri)
Lincoln High School (Jackson County, Missouri)
Norman School (Jackson County, Missouri)
Osceola Public School Building (St. Clair County, Missouri)
Professional Building (Jackson County, Missouri)
Smith-Cannon House (Florence County, South Carolina)
Tower of Memories (Jefferson County, Colorado)