jerry clark

Jerry Clark was the architect for ASU Havasu.

Jerry Clark, the architect responsible for building ASU Havasu, the renovation of the London Bridge Resort and much more, died at the age of 89 on Oct. 3 surrounded by his family and his dog, Macaroni.

Clark was born on March 16, 1932, in Phoenix, Arizona. According to Clark’s wife, Muggs Palmer, Clark served three years in the Coast Guard after which he used his GI Bill to study at Phoenix College and Arizona State University to be an architect. Palmer says Clark’s career choice was made in part with the help of a phone book.

“As the story goes he went into the Coast Guard and when he got out he didn’t know what he wanted to do,” Palmer said. “Him and his friend, Alan Paul, were in a pub in Tempe on a dirt road called Mill Avenue discussing over a beer what they should study. So Jerry said they went out to a phone booth and picked up the yellow pages and said ‘ah A, architect. Let’s be architects’.”

After receiving his degree, Clark participated in multiple projects in Phoenix including the 1974 17th AIA Regional / Urban Design Assistance Team (R/UDAT). The urban design think tank brought Clark and other specialists together to come up with plans that would shape downtown Phoenix into the place it is today.

Clark was quoted talking about the Phoenix R/UDAT in an obituary written by his friend and fellow architect, James Abel.

“All of the great things that would later come to fruition in downtown Phoenix; the Sun’s basketball arena, the Diamondback’s baseball stadium, the light rail transit system, and more, were glimpse-conceived in that 1974 R/UDAT,” Clark said.

It was in 1985 that Clark came to Havasu and to work with Thomas Flatley, the owner of the London Bridge Resort.

Flatley hired Clark to finish the design and construction of Lakeshore Village and afterwards hired him to renovate the London Bridge Resort from a 200 room hotel to a 122 all-suite resort.

Flatley, who would go on to hire Clark for the renovations of his resorts across the nation, says Clark was nothing less than a genius.

“His work ethic was incredible and he is incredibly talented,” Flatley said. “You could just turn him loose and he would deal with everything. A lot of architects can’t do construction, they can just draw things. Jerry would draw, construct, supervise, he would go from A to Z.”

During their many years working together, Clark and Flatley became close friends.

“We were like brothers,” Flatley said about his relationship with Clark.

Along with his work on the London Bridge Resort, Clark was also on the Havasu Foundation for Higher Education board and a key part in getting an ASU campus here in Lake Havasu City. Along with that Clark was the chief architect on converting Dayton Middle School into the ASU Havasu Campus.

Clark also worked on R/UDAT here in Havasu focused on the city’s downtown. The Havasu R/UDAT included ideas like Splash park in Pima Wash, renaming downtown as uptown and starting a main street biking program.

Friends said Clark was also known to be one of the kindest people you could meet.

“It was the very kind and benevolent demeanor he had,” Palmer said about what attracted her to Clark when they met. “He was kind to a fault but he always wanted the best for everybody.”

Clark also made a point to call those in his life on their birthdays, Lake Havasu City Mayor and London Bridge Resort General Manager Cal Sheehy said.

“Every year on your birthday it didn’t matter where you were in the country he would always call and sing happy birthday to everybody,” Sheehy said. “You would pick up the phone and it would be Jerry singing happy birthday.”

When Clark wasn’t designing his next project, Palmer says he would love to gardening or fiddle with his model trains.

A life remembrance for Clark will be held on Oct. 23 at the King Arthur Room in the London Bridge Resort. Palmer has requested that those who wish to make a donation send flowers to fill the room.

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