Orange Coast College, Costa Mesa, CA
Robert Evans Alexander
1907 - 1992

Robert Alexander

Born in Bayonne, New Jersey, Alexander earned a B.A in architecture from Cornell University in 1930. Following graduation, he pursued additional studies at the Académie Beaux Arts in Paris, as well as in Italy and Spain. Between 1936 and 1942, Alexander found employment with several different architectural firms before joining Lockheed Aircraft Corporation in Los Angeles during the war. From 1946 to 1949, he operated as an independent architect, during which time he collaborated with architects Reginald Johnson and Clarence Stein, and landscape architect Fred Barlow Jr., in planning and designing the affordable-housing community Baldwin Hills Village (now Village Green) in Los Angeles. In 1949 he partnered with architect Richard Neutra to form the firm Neutra and Alexander. The firm completed projects in cities around the globe, including Los Angeles, Anchorage, Mexico City and Karachi, Pakistan. Their designs include the Petrified Forest Community in Arizona, and the visitors center and Cyclorama at Gettysburg National Park (demolished in 2013). During the 1950s, Alexander, assisted by Neutra and landscape architect Garrett Eckbo, oversaw the planning and development of Orange Coast College, in Costa Mesa, California. In 1959 Alexander ended his partnership with Neutra to establish Alexander & Associates, his own firm. It was under this banner that Alexander designed the first master plan for the University of California, San Diego, in 1963, as well as the plaza for the institute’s Revelle College. In addition to his design work, Alexander served as a visiting critic for Cornell University and was the president of the Los Angeles Planning Committee from 1945 to 1951. He died of cancer in Berkeley, California, at the age of 84.