Our History

Schooley Caldwell is an award-winning, full-service architecture firm. Founded in 1944 as a multidisciplined partnership, the firm began with public sector work and later expanded to projects for private clients. Schooley Caldwell has maintained a focus on quality design for over 70 years.

The Early Years

Founded in 1944 by John Schooley, a former State Architect of Ohio, Ray Sims, a successful architect and structural engineer, and Bert Cornelius, a mechanical engineer, civic and public projects were the focus of Sims, Cornelius & Schooley. Having stayed true to our roots, today Schooley Caldwell continues as a multidisciplined firm with the added expertise of interior designers and planners.

During our first decade, a passion for historic preservation and renovation was cultivated and we began to build a strong repeat client base. Our first historic project was a sympathetic addition to the Mason Grand Lodge in Worthington, Ohio. In the mid 50s, we were awarded our first project for the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department (CRPD), the Whetstone Recreation Center, and have continued to do projects for CRPD, with the most recent being the new 22,000 sq. ft. Griggs Reservoir Boathouse and the renovation to the former damkeeper’s house along the Scioto River, now known as the Gregory S. Lashutka Event Center.

In 1954, John P. Schooley, Jr. joined his father at our firm and helped shape our culture for the next four decades – his passion for design excellence is his legacy.

The Second Generation
The 60s and 70s brought some big changes to our firm. John, Jr., was made a principal in 1962 and after the passing of Ray Sims, the firm’s name was changed to Schooley Cornelius Schooley. With the passing of John Sr. in 1969, the firm changed names again to Schooley Cornelius Associates. “Associates” was added to mark the importance of all employees.

Our public and education markets continued to grow. At The Ohio State University we designed a pair of prominent and popular residence halls, Lincoln and Morrill Towers. Other OSU projects included Hitchcock Hall for the College of Engineering. We designed the Upper Arlington Municipal Center that today remains a tribute to timeless and contemporary design.

Bob Caldwell joined us in 1962 and started a 37-year career that brought a penchant for quality control and a proactive marketing effort that continues to influence our firm. Don Hoover joined the firm and became a principal and chief financial officer, guiding the firm’s business plan until his retirement in 2005. Although retired, he still serves as Chairman of the Board. Also, it was during this period that several of today’s leaders – Bob Loversidge, Tom Matheny, and Terry Sullivan – joined the firm.

In the 70s, we purchased our first computer which used 9” floppy disks–technology has long been a part of our ability to deliver outstanding client service!

The Firm Today

Our passion for historic preservation expanded with the completion of a master plan for the Ohio Statehouse that led to the restoration and preservation of this National Historic Landmark. While our preservation and renovation portfolio grew with this project, we have also designed many new buildings, including community libraries close to home and the U.S. Chancery in Rangoon, Burma.

In 1998, with John Jr. preparing for retirement, Bob Loversidge was named president and CEO, and he continues leading the firm as chief design principal. Our firm is structured to allow each of our principals to pursue their goals as design professionals, while also having specific management responsibilities.

Today our work continues at the Ohio Statehouse as Architect of the Capitol, and has led us to serve as design architect and engineer for the restoration and renovation of the Kansas Statehouse, the Utah State Capitol, and the Minnesota Capitol. Our restoration and adaptive use of a former 1930s state office building to become the home of the Supreme Court of Ohio has received over 10 awards and was published in Architectural Record. We’re proud to be involved in the restoration of four of our nation’s most important public structures, as well as countless other legacy projects.

In addition to our well-known focus on public work, throughout our 70-plus years we’ve developed a significant portfolio of work for private clients.

The Future
Just as the founding structure of our firm was based upon a multidisciplined practice with a focus on design excellence and long-term client relationships, we continue that tradition and look forward to Schooley Caldwell’s continued evolution and success.