Stephen Paul Jacobs, Emeritus Professor 1941-2014

David Armentor

Jan 14, 2014

Stephen Paul Jacobs, Professor Emeritus at the Tulane School of Architecture, died on January 5, 2014 at the age of 72, after a struggle with cancer. Steve was born in New York City, and received his Bachelor of Architecture from M.I.T., where he was awarded the Grunsfeld European Traveling Fellowship, and his Masters of Architecture degree from the University of Pennsylvania, where he studied with Louis I. Kahn. He taught design as a Peace Corps volunteer in Cochabamba. Bolivia. He was a Fulbright Lecturer in Bogata, Columbia, and taught in Argentina and Mexico. In addition to his teaching, he practiced architecture in New York City and New Orleans.

Steve moved to New Orleans in 1971 and had a long and respected career at the School of Architecture as teacher, administrator and author. At Tulane, he directed exchange programs with the Facultad de Arquitectura of the Universidad de Yucatan. He helped organize two international conferences on the Latin Roots of New Orleans Architecture, jointly sponsored by the School of Architecture and the Stone Center for Latin American Studies at Tulane. Steve had a deep love for Latin America, particularly Bolivia. Following his retirement from the School of Architecture, Steve was pursuing his Ph.D. at the Stone Center, conducting original research on the guilds and artisan communities in colonial Sucre, Bolivia. Steve was part of the original team that presented the first conference of the Bolivian Studies Association. Most recently, Steve was a Visiting Professor at the Facultad de Technologia of the Universidad de San Francisco Xavier de Chuquisaca in Sucre.

Steve's interests were encyclopedic, ranging from computers to music (particularly opera, gospel and jazz); he loved literature and food and gadgets of all kinds. He was a gracious and enthusiastic person and touched many lives as family member, teacher, mentor and friend. 

He is survived by his brother Gary and Gary’s wife Robin, niece Melissa and her husband Dan, their children Zach and Tallie, nephew Matthew and his wife Bethany, all of California, and his beloved cats. He had friends around the world who will all miss him greatly.

Steve designed a distinctive home and studio for himself, which will be donated to the School of Architecture to serve as a residence for visiting faculty members and as a venue for school functions. A remembrance of Steve, in conjunction with the dedication of the Steve Jacobs House, will be announced later this year by his family and the School of Architecture.

To view and sign the guest book please go to

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