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Architect Levi Johnson Dean (January 9, 1878-September 22, 1951) was born in Frametown, Braxton County. He studied architecture by correspondence course and commenced his practice in Charleston. He relocated to Huntington and by 1910 was practicing for himself. In 1921, he was the 19th architect licensed under the new West Virginia licensing law. By 1947, Dean had a list of 139 commissions, including 47 schools, 20 churches, 22 residences, and 16 apartment buildings. His sons, S. Brooks and E. Keith Dean, joined the firm and continued after his death.

Many of Dean’s buildings are located in Huntington, eastern Kentucky, and southern West Virginia. He concentrated on public buildings, including schools, city halls, and churches. His public buildings include the Jackson County Courthouse; Gassaway City Building; the B’nai Israel Synagogue, Second Presbyterian Church, and United Woolen Mills in Huntington; Nicholas County Courthouse addition in Summersville; the Richwood City Hall; and Matewan Missionary Baptist Church. Residential commissions include houses in Huntington, Williamson, and elsewhere. His largest residential commission is the 1925 Ricketts house in Huntington.

Dean was expert at many architectural styles popular at the time. His use of styles was appropriate to each of the commissions. These included Gothic Revival, Art Deco, Commercial Style, and Renaissance Revival, as well as more fanciful revivals. The Ricketts house has Tudor and Prairie School influences, and Dean’s office in downtown Huntington (1927) contains Moorish Revival elements.

This Article was written by Michael Gioulis

Last Revised on October 15, 2012

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Cite This Article

Gioulis, Michael "Levi Johnson Dean." e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia. 15 October 2012. Web. 13 December 2018.

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