William Kirby Lockard was born in Cobden, Illinois on July 24, 1929. He attended Kemper Military Institute and served in the U.S. Army for two years. He was awarded a Bachelor of Science in Architecture in 1952 from the University of Illinois before moving to Tucson where he worked for the architectural firm of Scholler and Sakellar. The highly influential firm was noted for the use of progressive Modern architecture. He worked on significant projects for the company including the Wilmot Medical Building. The two million dollar medical office building at 601 North Wilmot Road was built on the northwest corner of 5th Street and Wilmot. The building, reported at the time to be the largest structure in the southwest employing this structural principle, utilized a massive system of hyperbolic paraboloids. (demolished). In February 1956 Lockard married Dorothy J. Darcey.
In 1961 Lockard was commissioned to design the Catalina Terrace Association Swimming Pool and Recreation Area featuring five racing lanes and bordered by tennis courts, a bathhouse and a ramada. Whitaker Pools was retained to build the project.
Lockard left the firm to continue his education. He completed a Masters in Architecture from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1962. After graduating he returned to Tucson and was hired by the University of Arizona to teach in the College of Architecture. In addition to his educational work, Lockard maintained a private architectural practice and authored numerous books on architectural rendering.
In 1964 the Arizona Daily Star reported that Lockard was hired to design a renovation plan for the Pima Savings and Loan Association located at 151 North Stone Avenue in downtown Tucson. The building was originally designed by the Tucson architectural firm of Blanton and Cole for $400K on the southwest corner of North Stone Avenue and Alameda Street in 1956. Lockard’s update to the design included concrete decorative panels and an infilling of open space. M.M. Sundt Construction Co was the general contractor on the Lockard renovation project. The building was purchased by the City of Tucson in the 2000s and a rehabilitation removed most of the Lockard alterations.
In 1965 Lockard was selected to design the Dove of Peace Lutheran Church. This major commission gave him the opportunity to explore architectural expression. The project was extensively published and resulted in Lockard receiving an award of merit from the Western Regional chapter of the AIA.
The same year he designed the John J. Priest Residence located at 6301 South Gila Avenue in west southwest Tucson. The house built into the topography of the landscape was raised up on structural supports atop the crest of a hill. The east-facing elevation features a cantilevered veranda with sweeping views of the Tucson basin.
In 1967 Lockard and Ellery C. Green collaborated on the design for the east Tucson YMCA branch building near the Pantano Wash and Prudence Road. included in the plan was a gymnasium, outdoor pool, mile-long cross country track, two outdoor basketball courts, four tennis courts, an auditorium, library and nursery.
In 1968 Lockard joined the leadership of the Southern Arizona Chapter of the AIA and designed his own home located at 2240 East Lind Road, designated a local City of Tucson Historic Landmark in 2020. The house has a similar material characteristic to the Dove Of Peace Lutheran Church and was developed as a two-story, concrete block rectilinear building. The house is characterized by a symmetrical design punctuated by rectilinear fenestration. The living room extends the length of the house and fills the two-story spatial volume. The north wall features a massive fireplace flanked by sliding doors leading to a walled patio. Lockard used a similar approach to geometry in his other buildings during this period.
In 1969 Lockard was commissioned to design the new sanctuary of Christ Presbyterian Church at 6565 East Broadway Boulevard. Like the plan developed for the Dove of Peace Lutheran Church, Lockard utilized a seating plan in the round. The congregation surrounds the communion table in the center of the church with pews and aisles radiating upwards and out in an octagonal plan. Above the communion table Lockard again utilized a skylight “lantern” creating a sculptural quality both on the inside and outside of the church and allowing diffused light to enter the sanctuary. M.M. Sundt construction was the project contractor. The first service was held in the building on April 11, 1970.
In 1971 Lockard returned to Illinois and collaborated with architect Lee E. Gatewood to design the Mattoon Bank at 333 Broadway Avenue East. The building was brutalist in character utilizing cast concrete. The same year he designed the Taiz Residence at 3930 North Cactus in Tucson, Arizona and in April, Lockard was appointed to the Tucson Planning and Zoning Commission by the Mayor and Council, in 1972 was elected president of the commission.
He continued to receive professional recognition for his work in education and design. In 1976, he was awarded the University of Arizona Creative Teaching Award and “Acknowledged as one of the top teachers of architectural graphic in the United States.” In 1976 he was recognized at the national urban housing competition in Miami Florida. He was invested as a Fellow in the American Institute of Architects in 1977. In 1989, he received the Western Mountain Region AIA’s highest award: the Silver Medal. He was awarded the inaugural Educator Award from the AIA in 1995.
Lockard guest lectured at over twenty-five universities in the United States, Canada, Mexico and Great Britain and held numerous national and international workshops for teachers, students and architectural professionals and was a founder of the national Design Communication Association.
Lockard retired as a professor emeritus from the University of Arizona in 1999. His published books included: Drawing as a Means to Architecture, Design Drawing, Design Drawing Experiences, Architectural Delineation, Freehand Perspective for Designers, and Drawing Techniques for Designers. Lockard was a pioneer in multimedia education and created twenty volumes on architecture drawing, known as the Design Drawing Videotapes. Lockard died in 2007.