1887 - 1978

William Bell Marquis

Born in Rock Island, Illinois, Marquis expressed an interest in botany, forestry, and horticulture from an early age. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Lake Forest College in 1909 and earned an M.L.A. from Harvard University in 1912. Upon graduating, Marquis joined the P.J. Berckmans Company in Augusta, Georgia, where he served as an office manager and design supervisor. In this position, he engaged in planning and design projects, including the city plan for of North Charleston, South Carolina. During World War I, he joined the Camp Planning Section of the Construction Division of the U.S. Army, alongside Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr., where he developed hospitals and encampments across the United States. Upon leaving the army in 1919, Marquis joined the Olmsted Brothers firm in Brookline, Massachusetts, as an associate. During his time there, he worked on a large range of projects that spanned across the country. In 1926 he designed the Crescent, the first automobile suburb for the City of Charleston, South Carolina, and he also designed Yeaman's Hall, the city’s first country club community. In the 1930s he partnered with golf course architects Alexander Mackenzie and Bobby Jones to create the Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia. These projects were notable for Marquis’ placements of ponds in poorly drained areas, emphasizing a design philosophy that balanced utility with aesthetic values. He became a partner at Olmsted Brothers in 1937, continuing to work with the firm until 1961. The following year, shortly before his retirement, Marquis and the firm’s remaining partners, Edward Whiting, Artemas Richardson, and Joseph Hudak, renamed the firm Olmsted Associates, Landscape Architects. Outside his practice, Marquis taught design courses at Boston-area institutions, including the Cambridge School of Architecture and the Lowthorpe School of Landscape Architecture. He was named a Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects in 1936. Marquis died in Newton, Massachusetts, at the age of 91.