Henry C. Hibbs, designer of academic and medical architecture, influenced the institutional landscape of Tennessee in the twentieth century. Born in Camden, New Jersey, in 1882, Hibbs received his education at the University of Pennsylvania. He worked in Philadelphia and New York before moving to Nashville in 1914 as the local head of the New York firm of Ludlow and Peabody. Hibbs supervised the construction of the new George Peabody College for Teachers, whose campus Ludlow and Peabody had designed to resemble “the Lawn” at the University of Virginia.
After completing his work on the Peabody campus, Hibbs went on to design a number of other Nashville landmarks including the Obstetrics and Pediatric Building at Meharry Medical College, the Fisk University Library, the Nashville City Market Building, the Education Building to the Downtown Presbyterian Church, and the American Trust Building. He won the American Institute of Architects gold medal for the planning and design of Scarritt College in 1929. He designed buildings for Vanderbilt University, Ward-Belmont College, and Middle Tennessee State University.
Hibbs's work was not confined to projects in Nashville or Tennessee. He also designed schools in the neo-Gothic style for Rhodes College at Memphis; Davidson College in North Carolina; Mary Baldwin College, Staunton, Virginia; Hendrix College, Conway, Arkansas; Galloway College, Searcy, Arkansas; and the University of Tulsa in Oklahoma. In West Tennessee, his buildings include the West Tennessee Insane Asylum and Kennedy General Hospital in Memphis.