Robert Rodgers and Alfred Poor both started their architectural education at Harvard University. Rodgers graduated from Harvard in 1917 and served as an ensign during World War I in an Atlantic transport unit. He then went to Paris and earned a degree from the École des Beaux-Arts in 1920. After his return to New York he worked as a draftsman in Goodhue’s New York office. In the late 1920s, he and Poor worked together on an office building and studio apartment houses designed in the neo-classicistic style. In 1930, the partners were awarded the commission for the Wright Brothers National Memorial to be erected at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, where the Wright brothers made their first powered flights in 1903. The design of this memorial was submitted for the 1932 art competition. In 1931, they designed the Cape Cinema in Dennis, Massachusetts, a building which is still in operation with a New England style exterior contrasting with a wonderful Art Deco Interior.
Rodgers died at an early age and was buried alongside his parents at Arlington National Cemetery. His father was Rear Admiral John Augustus Rodgers and his brother, John, became the Navy’s second aviator in 1911.