Harvard Jolly Architecture was founded in 1938 by William B. Harvard, Sr. Today, his one-man practice has evolved into a regional enterprise with offices spanning the state of Florida in St. Petersburg, Tampa, Orlando, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Fort Myers and Sarasota.
William B. Harvard, Sr. moves to St. Petersburg, Florida - both he and his newly adopted hometown begin to recognize the promise of things to come. Harvard goes against the tide of Mediterranean Revival architecture with a design concept he called "modern tropical." Harvard’s climate-conscious use of warm woods, balconies and cross-ventilation quickly stimulated a thriving residential design practice.
One of Harvard's first commercial assignments was the expansion of St. Joseph's Hospital, which was then located near downtown Tampa. This began a 60-year client relationship with St. Joseph’s Hospital, and set the foundation for a healthcare design practice that would prove vital to the firm's growth.
Williams Park Band Shell and Pavilion completed with the design regarded as revolutionary prompting one local journalist to write that Harvard "broke the crust of tradition downtown for all local designers." Thirty years later it won a coveted Test of Time Award from the American Institute of Architects.
Harvard + Jolly is created after Blanchard E. Jolly joins the firm as a junior draftsman and promptly earns a promotion to associate status and then partner. The dramatic "folded roof" design of the Pasadena Community Church is constructed and acclaimed as "one of America's most striking examples of contemporary religious architecture"
The iconic Municipal Pier in 1973 is completed. The structure’s revolutionary inverted pyramid design altered the downtown St. Petersburg skyline. Harvard + Jolly evolved further in the ‘70s when three architects brought their unique expertise to the practice: Enrique M. Marcet, R. John Clees and Harvard's son, William B. Harvard, Jr.
The firm took on a massive development project for the Bay Pines Veterans’ Administration Medical Center. In addition, their education practice flourished when they started to design educational prototypes, which have consistently proven their adaptability and economy to this day. The firm also embarked on fine arts projects, including the Salvador Dali Museum and the classic Museum of Fine Arts second floor addition.
The firm designed the four-building Caples Fine Arts Center complex in Sarasota and the extensively renovated Marina Civic Center in Panama City. The St. Petersburg Historical and Flight One Museum was also expanded to showcase a full-scale replica of the world's first scheduled commercial airliner.
The award-winning South Regional Broward College Library is completed and remains an iconic design in the South Florida region. As the industry grew, so did the newly named Harvard Jolly, Inc. with offices opened in Fort Lauderdale and Jacksonville.
With a vision for the future the firm further expanded with a new office in Sarasota and the merger of the Fort Lauderdale office with Tercilla Courtemanche. This expanded the firms presence across the state and further strengthened the healthcare and K-12 portfolios.
Today the firm is the largest educational design firm practicing only in Florida according to Building Design & Construction’s annual ranking and the oldest and largest firm in the Tampa Bay area (Hernando, Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk and Sarasota counties). As the firm enters its eighth decade, Harvard Jolly remains true to William B. Harvard’s tenets:
“Be completely devoted to the client. Give him what he’s supposed to get: attention, unique design and quality of construction.”
- William B. Harvard, Sr.