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Architecture firm celebrates 77-year alliance in state

Oklahoman Published: September 2, 1982

Bozalis and Roloff, the state's oldest continuous practice of architecture, is celebrating its 77th anniversary.

But for a septuagenarian, the firm unlike most 77-year-old humans is not suffering from age.

Bozalis and Roloff designed the $60 million Leadership Square office complex, the latest in two decades of projects, including the Myriad Convention Center, that have helped transform the face of downtown.

The firm was founded by Leonard H. Bailey in 1905. A graduate of the London Polytechnic Institute, Bailey emigrated to the United States and headed west to Indian Territory, settling in Oklahoma City in 1903.

Bailey became a junior partner to a fellow Englishman, William Mathews, who was designing the historic Overholser Mansion.

In 1907, Bailey opened his own office. Many of his designs became landmarks: the Masonic Lodge Building, now the Journal-Record Building, N Robinson and NW 6, 1925; the 10-story Kinkade and Lawrence Hotels, on Sheridan Avenue, south of where the Mid-America Tower now stands, from their completion in 1911 until they were demolished by the Urban Renewal Authority in 1969; Wesley Methodist Church, NW 25 and Classen, 1929; and the Army Chapel at Fort Sill, 1933.

In 1934 Bailey organized an association of several Oklahoma City architects to master plan the entire downtown area.

In World War II, Bailey supervised the design and development of the Naval Technical Training Base and the Naval Air Stations (north and south bases) in Norman, as well as the Army Air Base in Clinton.

John Bozalis joined Leonard Bailey in the spring of 1946, and the firm became known as Bailey and Bozalis.

Their projects included five Naval Reserve Training Centers throughout the state, the Petroleum Engineering Building at the University of Oklahoma and the Naval Ammunition Depot at McAlester.

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