Joseph Orme Evans (December 22, 1923-March 5, 2007) was a native of Bloomington, Illinois. He received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Chicago in 1947, and trained as an architect at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. In 1953 Evans returned to Bloomington to take a position with the venerable architecture firm Schaeffer, Hooton & Wilson, which dated back to 1895 when it was known as Pillsbury & Evans. Orme Evans was named a partner on January 1, 1957. At that time, the firm became known as Schaeffer, Wilson and Evans. Evans continued as managing partner in a new partnership of Schaeffer, Wilson and Evans, created in April 1963 after the January 1963 death of Archie N. Schaeffer. The firm became known as Evans Associates in 1966. On July 1, 1974, the firm changed its name to Evans, Mills, Gardner.
During the period between the late 1950s and 1970s, Evans and the firm were very active in construction of university facilities as Illinois met the demand to educate the young people flocking to those public institutions of higher education. In the early 1970s the firm was the lead architect for the new Governors State University constructed at the edge of Chicago’s southern suburbs. During the years Evans was active in the firm, it designed many commercial, medical and religious facilities in Bloomington-Normal, as well as some residences.
The documents, correspondence and newspaper clippings which constitute the Joseph Orme Evans Collection cover the years from 1952 through 1979. The collection is almost entirely devoted to his architecture business affairs.