Thomas Knipper was an architect who designed many local buildings in Minnesota, the upper Midwest and Canada, He was born on December 30, 1925 in Winnipeg and died of cancer at North Memorial Residential Hospice, Minneapolis on December 8, 2005. Thomas was a longtime resident of Edina until 1991 when he moved to Oceanside, CA. Thomas continued to spend the summers in Minneapolis enjoying quality time with his family and friends.
Following his tenure in the Royal Canadian Navy, Thomas graduated from the University of Manitoba with a Bachelor of Architecture. In the early 1950s, he worked for the young firm of Waisman Ross Architect. In 1957, Thomas and his young family moved to Edina where he started an architectural practice as principal at the firm of Plumpton-Nipper. Over the years, his professional career advanced and he assumed a number of important positions. He was Vice President at Walter Butler Companies, in St. Paul, and Associate Director of Marketing with Ellerbe Architects. Yearning to return to the drawing board to pursue more design and drafting – skills at which he excelled -- Thomas returned to private practice with Sicora-Nipper in Minneapolis.
Thomas' notable works of architecture include the A.V.C. Building at the University of Minnesota, Federal Courthouse in St. Paul, Dakota County Courthouse in Hastings, Polk County Courthouse, St. Peter's Church in Northfield, Lake Region Lutheran Home in Devil's Lake, N.D., as well as many other schools, churches, hospitals and government buildings. At age 75, Thomas was briefly lured out of retirement to assist with the design and development of a commercial fisheries plant near Danbury, WI.