Male, US, born 1903-06-01, died 1980-06-30

Associated with the firms network

Bailey, Van Evera, Architect; Brookman, Herman S., Architect; Purcell and Bailey

Professional History


Laborer, Portland, OR, 1920. His obituary in the Oregonian Newspaper (07/03/1980, p. 50), said: "Although he lacked a formal education in the field of architecture, he worked as a draftsman and learned architecture in the office of Portland architect Otis J. Fitch." Draftsman, Herman Brookman, Architect, Portland, OR, c. 1930. Architect, US Navy Base, Pearl Harbor, Honolulu, HI, c. 1930. Two city directories of 1930 listed Bailey as working in Portland and Honolulu during 1930. (See R.L. Polk and Company's Portland City Directory, 1930, p, 192 and the City and County of Honolulu Directory, 1930-31, p. 97.) Principal, Van Evera Bailey, Architect, Palm Springs, CA, c. 1931-1936; Principal, James Van Evera Bailey, Architect, Portland, OR, 1936- c. 1970.

Professional Awards

An award was initiated by the Architecture Foundation of Oregon to memorialize the accomplishments of Van Evera Bailey, called the "Van Evera Bailey Fellowship." It was begun in 2001. The Architecture Foundation of Oregon web site described the award: "Since 2001, the Architecture Foundation of Oregon has been privileged to work with The Van Evera and Janet M. Bailey Fund of The Oregon Community Foundation in awarding the now $25,000 annual Van Evera Bailey Fellowship to advance the professional development of mid-career architects and related professionals, encouraging greater contributions to their profession and their community." (See Architecture Foundation of Oregon, "Van Evera Bailey Fellowship," accessed 11/03/2015.)


High School

Bailey graduated from high school but did not attend college.



James Van Evera Bailey was a Portland, OR-native, schooled in local primary and secondary schools. The 1910 US Census recorded that his family lived at 1025 Francis Street. He and his divorced mother, Althea (born c. 1878 in WI-d. 1961 in OR). lived with his maternal grandparents, James D. Bailey (born c. 1856 in NY) and Eva E. (born c. 1858 in WI), his sister, Faye F. (born c. 1898 in WI), and brother, Lawrence D. Bailey, (born c. 1900 in WI). The household also included his uncle, Case G.M. Van Evera (born c. 1880 in WI), and his wife, Laura A. Van Evera (born c. 1881 in MN), and their son Gerald (born c. 1901 in MN). To raise extra money, three boarders also lived with the Baileys and Van Everas. (See, Source Citation Year: 1910; Census Place: Portland Ward 7, Multnomah, Oregon; Roll: T624_1288; Page: 19B; Enumeration District: 0179; FHL microfilm: 1375301,accessed 11/04/2015.)

At age 17, he worked as a laborer in Portland, and lived at the YMCA. (See Polk's Portland City Directory, 1920, p. 141.) He had traveled a great deal by age 28. The Oregon Encylopedia wrote of his peripatetic experience: "After traveling the world and taking odd architecture jobs, including designing miniature golf courses in New Zealand, Bailey settled in southern California in 1931. He designed residences there in a modern, streamlined style." (See The Oregon Encylopedia, "Van Evera Bailey [1903-1980]," accessed 11/04/2015.) In 1930, he appears to have lived in OR and HI; he was listed in R.L. Polk and Company's Portland's City Directory (p.192), residing at 7433 Georgian Court and the City and County of Honolulu Directory, 1930-31, p. 97, as living at Pearl Harbor. On 04/09/1930, Bailey rented a room at Jay C. Jensen's residence, 2714 Anunue Street in Honolulu's Mānoa neighborhood.

Bailey stayed in the Los Angeles area for the Depression's five worst years between 1931 and 1936. Southern CA weathered the economic shutdown better than most other regions, buoyed by its diverse economy and led by the prosperous movie industry. The 1940 US Census reported that Bailey lived in Palm Springs, CA, in 1935. (See, Source Citation Year: 1940; Census Place: Portland, Multnomah, Oregon; Roll: T627_3386; Page: 2B; Enumeration District: 37-67A accessed 11/04/2015.)

He came back to OR to design his sister's Lake Oswego house, and remained in Portland for most of his working life. In 1940, he and his wife, Rachel, occupied a dwelling at 711 SW Columbia Street.

He retired to a seaside town, Gleneden Beach, located on the middle of OR's coastline, about 18 miles north of Newport.


His father was Berton Lawrence Bailey. His mother, Althea Bailey had had four children, three of whom survived in 1910 according to the US Census of that year. The son not living in 1910 was Clefton Munson Bailey (1903-1906).


In 1940, he was married to Rachel Bailey (born c. 1893 in NY). He later married Janet McHendrie Bailey (1904-1983).

Associated Locations

PCAD id: 1843