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