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Kocher, A. Lawrence (24 July 1885–06 June 1969), architect, editor, and scholar of American colonial architecture, was born Alfred Lawrence Kocher in San Jose, California, the son of Rudolph Kocher, a Swiss-born jeweler and watchmaker, and Anna (maiden name unknown). He received his B.A. from Stanford University in 1909 and his M.A. from Pennsylvania State University in 1916. He studied architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 1909 to 1912. In 1910 he married Amy Agnes Morder. She died of cancer prior to 1932, the year of his marriage to Margaret Taylor. He had two children....

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Longfellow, William Pitt Preble (25 October 1836–03 August 1913), architect and author, was born in Portland, Maine, the son of Stephen Longfellow V, a lawyer, and Marianne Preble. His parents’ marriage was not a happy one, and at the age of three William went to live with his maternal grandmother Nancy Gale Tucker Preble. The Longfellows divorced in 1850, and William’s mother eventually remarried. Graduating from Harvard College with a B.A. in 1855 and from Harvard’s Lawrence Scientific School, where he was also an instructor in engineering, with an S.B. in 1859, Longfellow received his architectural training through study abroad and while employed in the offices of Edward Clarke Cabot. Both Cabot and Longfellow were among the founders of the Boston Society of Architects, of which Cabot served as president and Longfellow as secretary in 1868–1869. From 1870 to 1872 he worked in Washington, D.C., at the Office of the Supervising Architect of the Treasury Department under ...

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Thornton, William (20 May 1759–28 March 1828), architect, civil servant, and essayist, was born on the island of Tortola in the West Indies, the son of William Thornton, a planter, and Dorcas Zeagers. The senior Thornton died when his son was five years old, and the boy went to live with relatives in Lancashire, England. He served a medical apprenticeship in Lancashire, studied at the University of Edinburgh, and received a medical degree from the University of Aberdeen in 1784. After his graduation he traveled in France and the British Isles before returning to Tortola in 1786. Enamored of the republican ideals of the American Revolution, he emigrated to Philadelphia in 1786 and became a citizen of the United States in 1788. He established a medical practice in Philadelphia but soon abandoned it, finding the practice boring and the fees unsatisfactory. Thornton enjoyed a creditable income from his West Indies plantation, which allowed him to pursue his intellectual and artistic interests. His education and European background won him admittance to intellectual circles in Philadelphia, including election to the American Philosophical Society. Thornton married Anna Marie Brodeau, a well-educated and cultured girl of fifteen, in 1790. They spent two years on Thornton’s plantation on Tortola, returned to Philadelphia, and in 1794 made their home in the new city of Washington, where they resided for the remainder of their lives. They had no children....