Mentored by a Master, Continuing The Tradition
Before Douglas Allison Jones (Al) was even aware of what an architect really was, he knew he wanted to be one. His love affair with architecture started in fifth grade in Laurel, Mississippi and he never looked back.
Al began his career in the profession at Miss. State University before he transferred to the L.S.U School of Architecture. After three years there, Al left to seek an apprenticeship at the foot of one of the South’s great masters of architecture and design – Mr. A. Hays Town.
Al Jones Heritage
Al & A. Hays Town Pose For Christmas Photo (1969)
Al Jones pondering his next great design
Al with Mrs. Tilly at A. Hays Town Office
Mr. Town's Legacy
Though it was nearly 40 years ago, Al can recall exactly what the reception room at A. Hays Town’s office looked like. It was the domain of one Mrs. Tilly – Mr. Town’s receptionist and the “real” boss of the office. He was at her mercy, and for some reason she allowed him to sit and wait for Mr. Town.
Al credits his “southern wisdom” in getting in Mrs. Tilly’s good graces, but it’s probably more likely that Mrs. Tilly was simply a very patient and understanding woman. Either way, she allowed him to sit and wait for more than two days until Mr. Town finally acknowledged Al’s presence.
“Are you gonna sit here until I talk to you?” he asked. Al nodded, somewhat apprehensively. “Well,” he said,”come on then.”
Mr. Town never said he liked ANYTHING. He would only say “that’s not too bad” if he liked what you were working on or “keep workin’ on it” if he didn’t. And I loved every minute of it.
– Al Jones
The renowned architect mentored Al and ultimately led him to open his own practice in 1973. Mr. Town’s sense of scale, proportion, materials and attention to detail and design is ever-present in Al’s work to this very day. In fact, many often confuse Al’s designs for a A. Hays Town home. It’s an error Al is more than willing to overlook.
Today, Al Jones is a 40-year veteran of architecture. His designs can be seen all over the country and most prominently in the south. He is joined at his firm today by his two sons, John and Ben as well as his son-in-law Tim Landry. Al has been married to his wife Mary Gayden for 43 years. The two have four children and nine grandchildren.