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E. John Knapp, AIA

Founder, Knapp Schmidt Architects LLC

E. John was born on a farm and spent his youth in Belding, Michigan, a small town in central Michigan. Belding was a combination of a mill town and an agriculture center for the county. John’s dad operated a barn- and house-paint factory. John liked working here with his father. He remembers making hundreds of gallons of paint and sending it by railroad to many places in the USA.

John was active in the military, having spent nearly three years in the UK during WWII. He was a 1st Lt Navigator in the 8th Air Corps 100th Bomb Group. He flew 35 missions in a B-17 heavy bomber against the Nazi war machine. John holds a DFC, an Air Metal with 4 clusters, a Victory ETA metal and a Unit Citation.

John attended Lawrence Tech University, in Southfield, MI. He holds degrees in Architecture and Engineering.

John and his family lived in East Grand Rapids, MI, where he was a principal in the architectural firm of O’Brian & Knapp Associates. The firm designed many schools and churches.


John and his family moved to Madison, WI in 1966 to establish a branch office for the firm of Daverman Associates, specialists in college campus planning. Five University of Wisconsin master plans were completed by this office.

In 1970 John established the firm of “E. John Knapp, AIA, Architect-Analyst” in Madison, WI. He made a decision to be a specialist in Animal Facility Planning and Design.

John introduced a Demographic Market Study method for veterinary and pet boarding businesses.

This study helps to advise veterinarians on site selection, competition, potential income clients, financial analysis, and practice value. This firm designed over 500 animal care facilities in 36 states and 4 overseas countries.

John with one of his many sculptures, which he designs as a hobby.

John wrote “The Floor Plan Book,” which contains 100 floor plans of animal facilities for Veterinarian Hospitals and Boarding Kennels. This book is published by Veterinary Economics Magazine, and is available for purchase. John invented the Demographic Market Study method, to advise veterinarians on site selection, competition, potential income clients, financial analysis, and Practice value. The Floor Plan Book is available through Advanstar Communications at: http://www.vmpgstore.com/floorplanboo.html

John turned over the architectural firm to new owners in 1995. John briefly considered retirement, but instead has become a consultant. He moved to St. Paul, MN and has been active being an architect, artist, poet and wood sculptor. He has exhibited his work in many art galleries in MI, WI, & MN. His primary interest is still animal care facilities design.