(From Robert Vahlberg’s obituary):
Born in Oklahoma City in 1913, Bob was one of the state’s most recognized contemporary architects during the 1950s and 1960s. After his graduation from MIT in 1937, Bob first worked for his uncle Walter Vahlberg’s architectural firm, which designed many buildings familiar to Oklahomans, including the Student Union at the University of Oklahoma. Later, he and his brother Julian C. Vahlberg practiced together. From 1957 until his retirement in 1988, he operated a solo practice and concentrated on Oklahoma’s smaller cities and towns, designing banks, hospitals, and schools. With an architectural style heavily influenced by Frank Lloyd Wright, he also designed many residences throughout Oklahoma including his own home in Forest Park where he lived for more than 50 years. This home was featured on the cover of American Home Magazine and was noted in Time Magazine in 1947. Bob was an avid sports car rally enthusiast, amassing more trophies than his shelves could easily manage. As an instrument rated private pilot, he logged more than 6,000 hours flying to job sites, vacationing or just for fun. His rugged old Mooney, ‘74779’, was a fixture at Expressway Airpark in Oklahoma City. After his retirement, he was a prolific painter, producing several hundred watercolors featuring architectural forms and cityscapes from around the world. Bob graduated from Central High School in Oklahoma City and earned a B.S. in Architectural Engineering from the University of Oklahoma and a Masters in Architecture from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1937. At OU, he was a member of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity. He was an army artillery officer during World War II, serving with the occupation forces in Japan at the end of the war. He retired as a Colonel from the Army Reserve after thirty years of service. On May 7, 1953, he married Mary Elizabeth Cashion who survives him along with their children and stepchildren.
Vahlberg died in 2003.
Projects in OK:
Vahlberg House, Edgemere Park, OKC
Vahlberg House, Forest Park, OKC
Norman Fire Station #1, Norman
Warr Acres Municipal Complex, Warr Acres
Mod Blog Features:
Mod Squad Tour: The Vahlberg House
Beautiful Fare for Everybody: The Vahlberg House in American Home Magazine