Ernest Kump has flown under the radar as a famed Bakersfield architect, largely because he was not primarily based here for much of his career. However, he was one half of a duo that designed the Sill Office Building, which is well-known as an excellent example of Streamlined Moderne as well as the Maguire Residence.
Kump was one of Clarence Cullimore’s students at Bakersfield High School and went on to Berkeley and Harvard for college. His father had hailed from the Bay Area and had started his career in Bakersfield in the early 1910s, working for Bemus and Clark (http://www.historicfresno.org/bio/kumpsr.htm). Kump Senior abandoned his family in Bakersfield and moved to Fresno in 1914, where his practice was largely based, and designed many residences in Fresno, Visalia, Tulare, and Porterville (http://www.historicfresno.org/bio/kumpjr.htm). After his schooling, Kump Junior began his career in Fresno attempting to work for his father, who fired him for his ideas, which Senior called “chicken coop architecture” (http://www.historicfresno.org/bio/kumpsr.htm) In 1937, Kump partnered with Charles H. Franklin, who hired him as a draftsman, forming the firm of Franklin and Kump (http://www.historicfresno.org/bio/kumpjr.htm). After WWII, Kump was nationally recognized for being at the forward of school architecture and college campus planning, especially for Foothill College in Los Altos in 1962.
A short list of his works and partnered works includes the Fresno School Administrative Building in Fresno (1936), Sill Residence in Bakersfield (1937), Fresno City Hall (1940), United Airlines Airport Terminal in Merced (late 1940s), among many others.