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Bosworth, Welles (08 May 1869–03 June 1966), architect, was born William Welles Bosworth in Marietta, Ohio, the son of Daniel Perkins Bosworth, Jr., a merchant, and Clara Van Zandt. After graduating from the Marietta Academy in 1885, Bosworth enrolled at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology that fall. During his student years Bosworth worked part time in the architectural offices of ...

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Eames, Charles (17 June 1907–21 August 1978), architect, furniture designer, and filmmaker, was born in St. Louis, Missouri, the son of Charles Ormond Eames, a Pinkerton security officer, and Marie Celine Adele Pauline Lambert. In 1921 Eames’s discovery of photographic equipment belonging to his father, who had died that year, initiated his lifelong interest in photography. He began his formal architectural education at Washington University in St. Louis on a scholarship in 1925. Prior to his enrollment, Eames had worked as a laborer with the LaClede Steel Company and as a designer of electrical lighting fixtures with the Edwin F. Guth Fixture Company, and while attending the university he worked summers as a draftsman in a St. Louis architectural office, Trueblood and Graf. He left school in 1928, his sophomore year. Despite his lack of a formal degree in architecture, other jobs and contacts in St. Louis substantially contributed to his education and to the development of his interests and skills in all aspects of design....

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Eckbo, Garrett (28 November 1910–14 May 2000), landscape architect, was born in Cooperstown, New York, the son of Axel Eckbo, a businessman, and Theodora Munn Eckbo. In 1912 the Eckbos moved to Chicago. Eckbo's parents divorced, and Garrett and his mother settled in Alameda, California, where the small family struggled financially. After completing high school in 1928, Eckbo spent six months living in Norway with a wealthy uncle, Eivind Eckbo, whose sumptuous lifestyle inspired the young man to return to the United States and seek a paying job. Eckbo worked half a year as a bank messenger for the American Trust Company in San Francisco, diligently saving his money for college. In 1932, after a year in Marin Junior College in Kentfield, California, he enrolled at the University of California, Berkeley. He thumbed through the course catalog and decided to pursue its landscape design curriculum mostly because he had always liked drawing and playing with plants in his home garden....

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Ellicott, Andrew (24 January 1754–20 August 1820), mathematician, astronomer, and surveyor, was born in Buckingham, Bucks County, Pennsylvania, the son of Joseph Ellicott, a millwright and clockmaker, and Judith Bleaker. The family belonged to the Society of Friends. After attending a Quaker elementary school in Solesbury, Ellicott was enrolled at the age of fifteen in ...

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Exner, Judith Cambell (11 January 1934–24 September 1999), confidante, was born Judith Eileen Katherine Immoor in New York City to Frederick Immoor, an architect who had emigrated from Germany, and Katherine Shea. When Judith was a year old the family moved to Pacific Palisades, California, where she attended Catholic schools and grew up in comfortable circumstances. The Immoors were friends with many Hollywood celebrities, including ...

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Gilbert, Cass (24 November 1859–17 May 1934), architect, was born in Zanesville, Ohio, the son of Samuel Augustus Gilbert, a coast guard officer, and Elizabeth Fulton Wheeler. His father died shortly after the family moved to St. Paul, Minnesota, in 1868. At sixteen Gilbert began his architectural training as an apprentice in the St. Paul office of Abraham Radcliffe. In 1878–1879 he studied at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) under William Robert Ware and Eugène Létang, who instilled in him the historicist discipline emanating from the École des Beaux Arts in Paris. After a year of travel to examine and sketch European architectural monuments, he joined the New York firm of McKim, Mead & White as an assistant to ...

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Gropius, Walter (18 May 1883–05 July 1969), architect and educator, was born Walter Adolf Georg Gropius in Berlin, Germany, the son of Walter Gropius, an architect, and Manon Scharnweber. His family was long involved in architecture and government service. His father was an adviser for the construction of Berlin’s police headquarters and his great uncle was Martin Gropius, a successful Berlin architect and student of the architectural giant Karl Friedrich Schinkel. Young Gropius apprenticed with Berlin architects Hermann Solf and Franz Wichards in 1903 while they were beginning the Imperial Patent Office Building; he then attended architectural classes in the Technical Universities of Munich and Berlin-Charlottenburg in 1903 and 1905–1907, respectively, with a stint between as a cadet in the Fifteenth Regiment of Hussars....

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Hayden, Sophia Gregoria (17 October 1868–03 February 1953), architect, was born in Santiago, Chile, the daughter of George Henry Hayden, a dentist; her mother (full name unknown) was of Spanish descent. In 1874 Sophia Hayden went to live with her grandparents in Jamaica Plain, a suburb of Boston. After graduating from West Roxbury High School in 1886, she immediately entered the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and became the first woman to enroll in the architecture program directed by Eugène Létang, who had been trained at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. This program concentrated on the planning and rendering of monumental buildings but also offered courses in architectural history and structural engineering. Hayden’s thesis project, which employed a neoclassical style, was titled “A Design for a Museum of Fine Arts.” She received the bachelor of architecture degree with honors in 1890, becoming the first woman to complete Létang’s four-year architecture course. After graduation, she taught mechanical drawing at the Elliot School in Jamaica Plain but declared her intention to practice architecture....

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Hunt, Richard Morris (31 October 1827–31 July 1895), architect, was born in Brattleboro, Vermont, the son of Jonathan Hunt, U.S. congressman, and Jane Maria Leavitt. Following Jonathan Hunt’s sudden death from cholera, in Washington, D.C., in 1832, his widow brought her five children back to New England. She eventually settled in Boston so that her eldest son, ...

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Latrobe, Benjamin Henry (01 May 1764–03 September 1820), architect and civil engineer, was born in Fulneck, Yorkshire, England, the son of Benjamin Latrobe, an English Moravian clergyman, and Anna Margaretta Antes, an American born in Pennsylvania. From 1776 until 1783 Latrobe attended Moravian schools in Germany, initially the Paedagogium at Niesky and later the seminary at Barby in Saxony, where he received a broad liberal education in the arts and sciences. Latrobe seems to have traveled extensively in eastern Germany, perhaps visiting Vienna, during his school years. Architectural drawings signed by Latrobe for buildings erected in 1784 and 1785 for a Moravian community near Manchester, England, complement his student architectural drawings of existing Moravian communities. Latrobe held a position in the Stamp Office in London from 1785 to 1794; he received an additional appointment as surveyor of the London police offices in 1792....

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LeFrak, Samuel J. (12 February 1918–16 April 2003), urban planner, builder, and architect, was born Samuel Jayson LeFrak in New York City, the son of Harry, a builder, and Sarah Schwartz LeFrak, a homemaker. LeFrak graduated from Erasmus Hall High School in Flatbush, Brooklyn, in 1936, and from the University of Maryland, College Park, in 1940. As a college student, he worked for his father, supervising the completion of his first building, a sixty‐family, sixteen‐story building in Brooklyn. Following his graduation from the university LeFrak married Ethel Stone; they had four children. LeFrak also took classes at Columbia University and Harvard Business School and during his lifetime received numerous honorary degrees....

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McKim, Charles Follen (24 August 1847–14 September 1909), architect, was born in Isabella Furnace, Chester County, Pennsylvania, the son of James Miller McKim, an abolitionist, and Sarah Allibone Speakman, a Quaker. The radical politics of his parents appear to have had little impact on McKim, who grew up to become the senior member of the prestigious McKim, Mead & White partnership and was known for his promotion of classicism as the basis for American architecture. However, McKim’s devotion to the civic nature of architecture and to developing an art suitable for the United States, combined with his tenacious willpower, undoubtedly owed a debt to his upbringing....

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Mies van der Rohe, Ludwig (27 March 1886–17 August 1969), architect, was born Ludwig Mies in Aachen, Germany, the son of Michael Mies, a stonemason, and Amalie Rohe. His professional name was created by inserting the artificial “van der” between the surnames of his father and mother. Mies received no formal schooling in architecture. Coming from a long line of sober, middle-class Rhenish craftsmen, he attended trade school in Aachen until the age of fifteen and then worked briefly as a bricklayer’s apprentice and later as a draftsman in a stucco factory. A natural gift for drawing attracted the attention of several professionals, who encouraged him to consider a career in architecture. In 1905 Mies left his native city for Berlin, where a job as a studio assistant to the municipal architecture office of suburban Rixdorf (known today as Neukölln) awaited him....

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Moore, Charles (20 October 1855–25 September 1942), city planner, journalist, and historian, was born in Ypsilanti, Michigan, the son of Charles Moore, a merchant, and Adeline MacAllaster. His parents died when he was fourteen years of age, and his brother-in-law became his guardian. Moore’s parents left an inheritance that permitted him to attend Harvard College (now University), where he studied humanities and eventually became the editor of the student newspaper, ...

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Moses, Robert (18 December 1888–29 July 1981), public official, was born in New Haven, Connecticut, the son of Emanuel Moses, a department store owner, and Bella Silverman. His family moved to Manhattan when he was nine. He attended various private schools, including the Ethical Culture School and the Dwight School, supplemented by private tutoring. At fifteen he was sent to the Mohegan Lake Academy, a boarding school near Poughkeepsie, before he returned to New Haven to attend Yale in 1905. Moses graduated in 1909, one of only five Jews in his class. An avid reader and reportedly a brilliant student, he continued his education first at Oxford and then later at Columbia University, where he was awarded a Ph.D. in political science in 1914. His doctoral dissertation, which he had started at Oxford, was titled ...

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Olmsted, Frederick Law (26 April 1822–23 August 1903), landscape architect and travel writer, was born in Hartford, Connecticut, the son of John Olmsted, a dry goods merchant, and Charlotte Hull. Olmsted’s mother died when he was three, and between the ages of seven and fifteen he received most of his schooling from ministers and private academies outside Hartford. In 1837, when he was about to enter Yale College, severe sumac poisoning weakened his eyes, leading to a decade of desultory education at the hands of a civil engineer and several farmers, interspersed with seven months with a dry goods firm in New York City, a year-long voyage to China, and a semester at Yale. In 1848 his father bought him a farm on Staten Island, where he lived for the next eight years, practicing scientific agriculture with special interest in tile drainage of soils. He read widely in these years, being especially influenced by ...

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Pope, John Russell (24 April 1874–27 August 1937), architect, was born in New York City, the son of John Pope, a portrait painter, and Mary Avery Loomis, a landscape painter and piano teacher. After the death of his father when Pope was six, he was influenced by a relative, Dr. Alfred Loomis, to study medicine. Pope spent three years at the City College of New York before turning to architecture, which was an early love of his, and entering the Department of Architecture in the School of Mines at Columbia University. At Columbia, Pope studied with William Robert Ware, an early proponent of professional training for architects. In 1895, the year after graduating from Columbia, Pope won both a McKim traveling fellowship and the Schermerhorn scholarship to the American School of Architecture in Rome (later the American Academy in Rome). After spending eighteen months studying in Rome, Pope traveled to Paris, where he studied the principles of classical architecture at the École des Beaux Arts....

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Post, George Browne (15 December 1837–28 November 1913), architect and Union militia officer, was born in New York City, the son of Joel Browne Post and Abby Mauran Church. Of distinguished New England ancestry, Post was educated at Churchill School, Ossining, New York, and graduated with a B.S. in civil engineering from New York University in 1858. His notably successful career as a technically progressive though stylistically eclectic architect began shortly thereafter when he opened a practice with ...

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Travis, Walter John (10 January 1862–31 July 1927), golfer, golf course architect, and golfing magazine editor, was born in Malden, Victoria, Australia, the oldest child of John Travis and Susan Eyelet. He was educated in Melbourne, Australia, attending a public school and Trinity College. Depending on what source one reads, he came to New York City as a boy or around 1886 as a representative of an Australian importing firm. In 1890 he married Anne Bent, and the couple would have two children....

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Urban, Joseph (26 May 1872–10 July 1933), architect, scenic designer, and illustrator, was born Josef Karl Maria Georg Urban in Vienna, Austria, the son of Josef Urban, an official in the Viennese school system, and Helen Weber. Although his family hoped he would become a lawyer, in 1890 Urban enrolled at the Polytechnicum in Vienna for courses in architectural engineering and at the Imperial and Royal Academy, where he studied architectural design and aesthetics under the architect Karl von Hasenauer....