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Adams, Thomas (10 September 1871–24 March 1940), city and regional planner, was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, the son of James Adams and Margaret Johnston, dairy farmers. Educated in Edinburgh, he married Caroline Weierter in 1897; they had five children, two of whom, James Adams and Frederick Adams, also became distinguished planners. Farming, local Liberal politics, and writing were followed by the secretary-managership (1903–1906) of Letchworth, the first garden city, a new town intended to combine the advantages of town and country without the disadvantages. After a spell as Britain’s first planning consultant, Adams became its first planning inspector (1910–1914) and founded the Town Planning Institute (inaugural president, 1913–1914). “Justly looked up to as the head of the profession in Britain,” he served as town planning adviser (1914–1921) to the Canadian Commission of Conservation, promoting the British mode of controlling future urban development by provincial legislation, publicity, planning education, research, model communities, and the Town Planning Institute of Canada (founder-president, 1919–1921). After 1919 the collapse of Canadian progressivism compelled him to seek fresh opportunities in Britain and the United States via a transatlantic planning practice. He made numerous regional plans in the United Kingdom, introduced the American profession of landscape architecture, virtually founding the Institute of Landscape Architecture (president, 1937–1939), and remained the foremost advocate of planning in Britain....

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Adler, Dankmar (03 July 1844–16 April 1900), architect and engineer, was born in Stadt Lengsfeld, Germany, the son of Rabbi Liebman Adler and Sara Eliel, who died after childbirth. Economic and political pressures drove the Adler family to emigrate to the United States, where Liebman and his second wife, Zerlina Picard, settled in Detroit in 1854. Rabbi Adler occupied the pulpit of Congregation Beth El. Young Dankmar studied drawing with Julius Melchers (the father of artist ...

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Adler, David (03 January 1882–27 September 1949), architect, was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the son of Isaac David Adler, a wholesale maker of men’s clothing, and Therese Hyman. Adler attended the Lawrenceville School and then Princeton University, receiving his B.A. in 1904. From 1904 to 1911 Adler toured Europe while attending the Polytechnic in Munich and the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. During his travels he collected 500 postcards and developed an extensive library which became the foundation for his eclectic approach to design....

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Ain, Gregory (28 March 1908–10 January 1988), architect and educator, was born Gregory Samuel Ain in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the son of Baer Ain, who ran a small business, and Chiah Ain (maiden name unknown); the couple had recently fled Russian Tsarist rule together. In 1911 the family settled in Los Angeles. Ain was raised in Boyle Heights, a dense mixed neighborhood of Eastern European immigrants. His father, a shopkeeper, openly despised capitalism and participated in socialist political groups. In fact, his father's socialist convictions ran so deep that in 1916 he moved the family to Llano del Rio, an experimental collective farming colony in the Antelope Valley of California. The Ains were among the colony's earliest members. Although the family returned to East Los Angeles a year and a half later, the experience contributed decisively to Ain's developing political beliefs and his social conscience. Cooperative housing projects became a consistent area of exploration later, in his architectural practice....

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Albers, Josef (19 March 1888–25 March 1976), painter, designer, and educator, was born in Bottrop, Germany, the son of Lorenz Albers, a house painter and craftsman, and Magdalena Schumacher. He graduated in 1908 from the teachers’ college in Büren and went on to teach in public schools in Bottrop and neighboring Westphalian towns. In the summer of 1908 he traveled to Munich to view modern art in the galleries and the historical collections of the Pinakothek. Albers’s earliest known drawing, ...

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Aldrich, Chester Holmes (04 June 1871–26 December 1940), architect, was born in Providence, Rhode Island, the son of Elisha Smith Aldrich, a merchant, and Anna Elizabeth Gladding. Aldrich attended Columbia University, graduating from the recently formed (1881) department of architecture with a bachelor of philosophy in 1893. He then went to work at the New York office of ...

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See Howe, Lois Lilley

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Ariss, John (fl. 1750–1775), architectural designer and builder, was active in colonial Virginia. The circumstances of his birth and education are uncertain. Ariss (the name is also recorded as “Ayres”) has some renown today because Thomas Tileston Waterman in his landmark publication Mansions of Virginia, 1706–1776...

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Armstrong, John (13 October 1717–09 March 1795), soldier, surveyor, and member of the Continental Congress, was born in County Fermanagh, Ulster, Ireland. The identities of his Scotch-Irish parents and circumstances of his youth are unclear, but his father may have been named James. A trained surveyor, John Armstrong evidently received some education fairly early in life. Sometime in the mid-1740s Armstrong immigrated to America, settling initially in Delaware and then in Pennsylvania, where he worked as a surveyor. It was probably at some point after his arrival in America that he married Rebeckah Armstrong. The couple had two sons (the younger, ...

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Ingrid A. Steffensen-Bruce

Atwood, Charles Bowler (18 May 1849–19 December 1895), architect, was born in Charlestown, Massachusetts, the son of David Atwood, a banker, and Lucy Bowler. Atwood took an early interest in the architectural profession, applying for instruction in drawing to the office of Worcester architect Elbridge Boyden, where his talent was quickly identified and his tuition remitted. The youth assisted Boyden in his competition entry for the state capitol at Albany, New York, one of five premiated designs. He continued his formal education at the Lawrence Scientific School of Harvard University in 1868–1870, and his practical education with the Boston firm of Ware & Van Brunt, architects of Harvard’s High Victorian Gothic Memorial Hall and among the most highly regarded professionals of the era. Atwood remained with the firm until 1872, when he established his own office in Boston, executing works primarily in Worcester....

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Austin, Henry (04 December 1804–17 December 1891), architect, was born in the Mount Carmel section of Hamden, Connecticut, the son of Daniel Austin and Adah Dorman. At an early age he was apprenticed to a carpenter and advanced in this occupation to become a builder, working for the renowned architect ...

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Christopher A. Thomas

Bacon, Henry, Jr. (28 November 1866–16 February 1924), architect, was born in Watseka, Illinois, the son of Henry Bacon, a civil engineer, and Elizabeth Kelton. After repeated moves, in 1876 the family settled in southeastern North Carolina, where Bacon’s father had charge of port and channel improvements on the Cape Fear River. They lived at Smithville (now Southport) and later Wilmington, where Bacon attended school....

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Banner, Peter (fl. 1794–1828), builder-architect, was born in England. Very little is known about Banner’s childhood or family life. He had at least one son, Peter Jr., who lived for a time in Worcester, Massachusetts, where his own son, George H., was born in 1834. G. N. Gage wrote in his ...

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Barber, Donn (19 October 1871–29 May 1925), architect, was born in Washington, D.C., the son of Charles Gibbs Barber and Georgiana Williams. He grew up in New York City; attended Holbrook Military Academy in Briarcliff, New York; and went on to the Sheffield Scientific School at Yale, graduating in 1893. Afterward Barber returned to New York to work for Carrère & Hastings and to attend architectural courses at Columbia University. A protégé of ...

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Bassett, Edward Murray (07 February 1863–27 October 1948), city planner and lawyer, was born in Brooklyn, New York, the son of Charles Ralph Bassett, a traveling peddler, and Elvira Rogers, a former school teacher. In 1871 the family moved to Watertown, New York, where Bassett attended local schools while his father sold dry goods in nearby villages. Bassett proved an excellent student and, despite his father’s disapproval, he entered Hamilton College on scholarship, hoping to become a teacher of Greek and Latin. Halfway through his second year, he transferred to Amherst College, graduating with an A.B. degree and several prizes in 1884. He then taught school in New York City while attending Columbia Law School at night. After receiving his LL.B. degree in 1886, Bassett moved to Buffalo, where he and his brother established Bassett Bros., a firm that built and ran waterworks for nearby towns. In 1890 he married Annie Rebecca Preston; they would have five children. His company closed in 1892, having earned a modest profit....

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Bauer, Catherine Krouse (11 May 1905–22 November 1964), housing advocate and urban-planning educator, was born in Elizabeth, New Jersey, the daughter of Jacob Louis Bauer, a highway engineer, and Alberta Louise Krouse, a suffragist. Bauer graduated from Vassar College in 1926, having spent her junior year at Cornell University studying architecture. Following graduation she lived in Paris and wrote about contemporary architecture, including the work of the modernist Le Corbusier. In New York from 1927 to 1930, she held a variety of jobs and began a friendship with the architectural and social critic ...

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Baum, Dwight James (24 June 1886–13 December 1939), architect, was born in Little Falls, New York, the son of Fayette Baum and Alina Elizabeth Ackerman. His family was of Dutch descent and had come to New York in colonial times. Baum graduated from Syracuse University in 1909 and married Katharine Crouse of Syracuse in 1912, before moving to New York City....

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Bayer, Herbert (05 April 1900–30 September 1985), artist, industrial designer, and architect, was born in Haag (near Salzburg), Austria, the son of Maximilian Bayer, a rural government bureaucrat, and Rosa Simmer. Bayer traced his lifetime interests in nature and art to early alpine treks with his father and to watercolor landscape painting encouraged by his mother....

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Benjamin, Asher (1773–26 July 1845), architect and author, was born in Hartland, in rural northwest Hartford County, Connecticut, the son of Asher Benjamin, a carpenter, and Elizabeth (maiden name unknown). Benjamin may have apprenticed with a local carpenter, Eliphalet King or Thomas Hayden, who added a wing to the Suffield house of land speculator Oliver Phelps. This house featured details derived from William Pain’s ...

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Bennett, Edward Herbert (12 May 1874–14 October 1954), architect and city planner, was born in Cheltenham, England, the son of Edwin Charles Bennett, a master mariner, and Margaret Julia Callas. Bennett emigrated to San Francisco, California, in 1890, where he apprenticed with several architects, including Robert White. In 1895, through the influence of architect ...