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Edward Fairfax Neild Sr. (December 3, 1884 – July 6, 1955), was an American architect originally from Shreveport, Louisiana, who designed the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum in Independence, Missouri. He was selected for the task by U.S. President Harry Truman.

Edward Fairfax Neild Sr.
Architect Edward F. Neild of LA.jpg
Neild circa 1950-1960
Born(1884-12-03)December 3, 1884
DiedJuly 6, 1955(1955-07-06) (aged 70)
Resting placeForest Park East Cemetery in Shreveport
ResidenceShreveport, Louisiana
Alma materTulane University
OccupationArchitect of Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum and many public buildings in Louisiana
Spouse(s)Ethel Land Neild (married 1907-1955, his death)
ChildrenEdward F. Neild Jr.
Elizabeth "Betty" Neild Van Hook
Parent(s)George Frederick and Elizabeth Moss Neild
Neild also designed private homes, such as the Pine Wold house located at Fairfield Avenue at Kirby Street in Shreveport. A circus once wintered on the grounds of the home.


The son of George Frederick Neild (1855-1933) and the former Elizabeth Moss, Neild graduated in 1906 from the School of Engineering at Tulane University in New Orleans. He then traveled in Europe to study architecture and applied arts. He worked alone from 1908 to 1934.[1] He was in partnerships Neild, Somdal and Neild, Somdal, Neild, with Dewey A. Somdal (1898-1973) and with his son, Edward Fairfax Nield Jr.[2] (October 7, 1908 – November 8, 1958). Somdal Associates, Shreveport, is the descendant of the Neild firm.[3]

Neild served as president of the Shreveport chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) in 1926 and from 1937 to 1939; Dewey Somdal was the president from 1940 to 1943; Edward F. Nield Jr., in 1951.[4] In 1948, Neild was among twenty distinguished architects made fellows of the American Institute of Architects.[1]

During World War II, Neild designed for the United States Army Corps of Engineers the Japanese relocation centers in southeastern Arkansas at Rohwer and Jerome in Desha and Drew counties, respectively.[1]

Other Neild-designed buildings in Shreveport include:[5] the Louisiana State Exhibit Building at the Louisiana State Fairgrounds, Schumpert Hospital, Barret Elementary School, C. E. Byrd High School, the Scottish Rite Cathedral, the Calanthean Temple, Cathedral of St. John Berchmans (Shreveport, Louisiana), and the Overton Brooks Veterans Administration Medical Center. When Truman toured Louisiana, he was so impressed with Neild's design of the Caddo Parish Courthouse that he contacted him to design the courthouse for his own Jackson County, Missouri. Neild was a consulting architect for the rehabilitation of the White House during the Truman years as well as the lead architect of the Truman Presidential Library. He also designed many campus buildings for Louisiana Tech University in Ruston.[1][6]

A number of Neild's works have been listed on the National Register of Historic Places as significant buildings for their architecture.[7] Nield's son, Edward F. Neild Jr. (1908 - 1958), was also an architect who designed the Hirsch Memorial Coliseum in Shreveport. From 1937 to 1938, the two men worked together on the Louisiana State Exhibit Museum in Shreveport, which opened in 1939.

In addition to their son, Neild and his wife, the former Ethel Land (1887-1970), who married on December 17, 1907, had a daughter,[1] Elizabeth "Betty" Neild Van Hook (1915-2010), the wife of the late James A. Van Hook.

Neild died in Kansas City, Missouri, at the age of seventy. The Neilds are interred at Forest Park Cemetery East in Shreveport.[8]


Other Neild works include (with attribution):

Keeny Hall, the administrative headquarters at Louisiana Tech University in Ruston is one of Neild's numerous campus buildings.
A.C. Steere School, expanded in 1938, is named for developer Albert Coldwell Steere, the founder of the Broadmoor neighborhood of Shreveport. Steere School is another of the designs of Edward F. Neild.


  1. ^ a b c d e "Neild, Edward F." Archived from the original on May 12, 2015. Retrieved April 18, 2015.
  2. ^ DEWEY SOMDAL (1898-1973) COLLECTION, 1780-1972.
  3. ^ Mooringsport School Building
  4. ^ Past Presidents, AIA Shreveport
  5. ^ "Edward Fairfax Neild biography".
  6. ^ The Louisiana Historical Association used the Kansas City Star, July 6, 1955, and The New York Times and New Orleans Times-Picayune, both July 7, 1955, in its biographical sketch of Edward F. Neild.
  7. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
  8. ^ "Betty Neild Van Hook". Retrieved April 18, 2015.