Urbanovsky, Elo John (1907–1988)

By: William M. Pearce

Type: Biography

Published: July 1, 1995

Updated: February 25, 2021

Elo John Urbanovsky, university professor and landscape architect, was born on December 20, 1907, at West, Texas, the son of Joseph Franklin and Hattie (Haidek) Urbanovsky. He attended parochial and public schools in West and graduated from West High School. He received a bachelor's degree with a major in architectural design from Texas A&M in 1931 and was an instructor in landscape architecture at that institution from 1931 to 1934. He married Olga Olson on September 4, 1936, in Dallas County. Urbanovsky taught landscaping in the San Antonio public schools from 1940 to 1944, when he joined the Navy. He served with the Seabees until the end of World War II, joined the faculty at Texas Tech University in 1949, and served as professor of park administration and landscape architecture until his retirement in 1975. Among the honors and awards he received were a Horn Professorship at Texas Tech University, a Distinguished Fellowship in the American Institute of Park Executives, the Cornelius Amory Pugsley Bronze Medal, and the papal Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice award. Urbanovsky was president of the Texas Turfgrass Association, director of the Southwest Park and Recreation Training Institute, a governor of the National Recreation and Park Association, and president and board member of the American Institute of Park Executives. He was a landscape architect for the United States Department of Agricultural regional office in Dallas and for Veterans Administration hospitals in Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi. He served as a consultant to several universities and state agencies and belonged to the American Society of Landscape Architects, the Texas Highway Beautification Committee, and Rotary International. Urbanovsky worked closely with Lady Bird Johnson on a number of beautification projects including those at the Lyndon B. Johnson Ranch. He died at Lubbock on July 13, 1988, and was buried at West.

Ruth Horn Andrews, The First Thirty Years: A History of Texas Technological College, 1925–1955 (Lubbock: Texas Tech Press, 1956). Jane Gilmore Rushing and Kline A. Knall, Evolution of a University: Texas Tech's First Fifty Years (Austin: Madrona, 1975).

  • Architecture
  • Architects
  • Education
  • Activism and Social Reform
  • Advocates
Time Periods:
  • Great Depression
  • World War II
  • Texas Post World War II
  • Central Texas

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

William M. Pearce, “Urbanovsky, Elo John,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed June 27, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/urbanovsky-elo-john.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

July 1, 1995
February 25, 2021