The Architect: 

Solomon Layton

Architect Solomon Layton is known for his architectural work throughout Oklahoma, including the University of Oklahoma Bizzell Memorial Library, the Skirvin Hotel, and the Oklahoma State Capitol building. Throughout his career, Layton designed more than 100 Oklahoma buildings, 22 of which are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Portrait of Solomon Layton. Courtesy Oklahoma Historical Society.

Layton grew up in a family of carpenters and builders who taught him their crafts as a boy. His career in architecture began in Denver in 1887 and, soon after in 1902, he moved to El Reno, Oklahoma, and eventually Oklahoma City where he established himself as an up-and-coming architect. 

Layton became so well established that he and his partners received the contract to construct the Oklahoma State Capitol building. His architectural technique incorporated Neoclassical and Gothic styles which shaped the character of iconic Oklahoma buildings. 

Layton and his partners designed county courthouses, 46 Oklahoma City public schools, various corporate headquarters, and private higher educational facilities. A number of his designs, including the Skirvin Hotel, survive today. The elaborate designs and ornate fixtures all showcase oil wealth of the time. 

Layton passed away on February 6, 1943, and was laid to rest in Rose Hill Cemetery in Oklahoma City. 

Architectural Work

The Skirvin Hotel

The Skirvin Hotel, printed by E.C Kropp Co.

Restored exterior of the Skirvin Hotel.

Restored exterior of the Skirvin Hotel

Oklahoma State Capitol Building

Architectural sketch by Solomon Layton for the proposed Oklahoma State Capitol, 1910. 

The Oklahoma State Capitol, November 2, 1927. 

The Oklahoma State Capitol looking from the inter-urban tracks, by Haskel Pruett. 

Bizzell Memorial Library 

The Bizzell Memorial Library at the University of Oklahoma.

Interior of the Bizzell Memorial Library, by the Oklahoma Publishing Company, December 8, 1932. 

Images Courtesy Oklahoma Historical Society.