Oscar M. Hokanson was born in St. Paul, MN, and graduated from high school there. After spending some time as an apprentice to architect A. F. Gauger of St. Paul (three years) and to John H. Coxhead of Buffalo, NY, and Washington, DC, he moved to Philadelphia and enrolled at the University of Pennsylvania, receiving his Certificate of Proficiency in Architecture in 1895. Following graduation, he was employed for two years by Frank Miles Day and another year by Cope & Stewardson. In 1899 he and classmate J. Linden Heacock established Heacock & Hokanson, with offices at 931 Chestnut Street in Philadelphia. In later years the partners were joined by Charles Scheuringer; and following Heacock's retirement, Hokanson and Scheuringer continued the work of the firm until Hokanson's retirement in January 1950.
Over the course of his career Hokanson received several honors, including the silver medal in the Robert Clark Competition held in Chicago in 1896, second honors in the first Stewardson Scholarship of 1896 and an honorable mention in that competition in 1898 (when the design project was "A City Church for a Protestant Episcopal Congregation"), and fifth prize (as Heacock & Hokanson) in the competition for the Fulton Memorial of 1909. As an undergraduate he served as treasurer and founder of the Architectural Alumni Society.
Hokanson joined the T-Square Club in 1897 and the AIA in 1911. He was also a member of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and the Baptist Social Union.
Sandra L. Tatman.
Clubs and Membership Organizations
- Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts
- American Institute of Architects (AIA)
- T-Square Club
- Baptist Social Union
- University of Pennsylvania
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