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Adler, Dankmar (1844-1900), architect and engineer  

Rochelle Berger Elstein

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 ...


Adler, David (1882-1949), architect  

Laurence O. Booth

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....


Ain, Gregory (1908-1988), architect and educator  

Anthony Denzer

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....


Albers, Josef (1888-1976), painter, designer, and educator  

Brenda Danilowitz

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, ...


Aldrich, Chester Holmes (1871-1940), architect  

Mark Alan Hewitt

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 ...


Almy, Mary  

See Howe, Lois Lilley


Ariss, John (fl. 1750–1775), architectural designer and builder  

William M. S. Rasmussen

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...


Atwood, Charles Bowler (1849-1895), architect  

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....


Austin, Henry (1804-1891), architect  

John B. Kirby

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 ...


Bacon, Edmund Norwood (2 May 1910–14 Oct. 2005), architect and urban planner  

Timothy Potero

Bacon, Edmund Norwood (2 May 1910–14 Oct. 2005), architect and urban planner, was born to Ellis Bacon and Helen Comly Bacon in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where the family lived modestly as observant members of the Society of Friends, also known as Quakers. Bacon’s father acted as the director of the medical department for the publishing house of J.B. Lippincott, while his mother served as a volunteer with the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. Bacon’s parents sent him to Quaker schools for his primary and secondary education, but he graduated in ...


Bacon, Henry, Jr. (1866-1924), architect  

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....


Banner, Peter (fl. 1794–1828), builder-architect  

Clifton C. Ellis

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 ...


Barber, Donn (1871-1925), architect  

Mark Alan Hewitt

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 ...


Baum, Dwight James (1886-1939), architect  

Mark Alan Hewitt

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....


Bayer, Herbert (1900-1985), artist, industrial designer, and architect  

Leslie Humm Cormier

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....


Belluschi, Pietro (18 Aug. 1899–14 Feb. 1994), architect  

Meredith Clausen

Belluschi, Pietro (18 Aug. 1899–14 Feb. 1994), architect, was born in Ancona, Italy. The only son and male heir of a devoutly Catholic, aspiring middle-class family, in 1905 he moved to Rome where his father, originally working in land assessment and acquisition in the railway industry, embarked on a successful career in construction and development. Believing he would be drafted, in ...


Benjamin, Asher (1773–26 July 1845), architect and author  

Kenneth Hafertepe

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 ...


Bennett, Edward Herbert (1874-1954), architect and city planner  

Joan E. Draper

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 ...


Bethune, Louise Blanchard (1856-1913), architect  

Lisa B. Reitzes

Bethune, Louise Blanchard (21 July 1856–18 December 1913), architect, was born in Waterloo, New York, the daughter of Dalson Wallace Blanchard, a schoolteacher and principal, and Emma Melona Williams, also a schoolteacher. Called Jennie by family and friends, Louise Blanchard was educated at home and then attended Buffalo High School, where she showed “great aptitude in planning houses and various other structures.” After graduating in 1874, she spent two years in preparation for entering the newly established architecture program at Cornell University but eventually decided instead to become a draftsman for Buffalo architect Richard A. Waite. During her apprenticeship, she learned technical drawing and architectural design, visited construction sites, and studied a wide range of works in the office library. Eventually she became Waite’s assistant. In 1881, recognizing Buffalo’s prosperity and the need for practicing architects, Louise Blanchard decided to open her own office, an event that was announced at the Ninth Congress of the Association for the Advancement of Women and that made her the “first professional woman architect” in the United States. In December 1881 she married and formed a professional partnership with Robert Armour Bethune, a Canadian-born draftsman who had worked in Waite’s office. The firm became Bethune, Bethune & Fuchs in 1883, the year she gave birth to her only child....


Billings, Charles Howland Hammatt (1818-1874), artist and architect  

James F. O’Gorman

Billings, Charles Howland Hammatt (15 June 1818–14 November 1874), artist and architect, was born in Milton, Massachusetts, the son of Ebenezer Billings, Jr., a tavern keeper and clerk, and Mary Demale Janes. Billings attended Boston’s English High School in the early 1830s but did not graduate. He had begun instruction in drawing at the age of ten with an itinerant German master, Franz (or Francis) Graeter, and in the 1830s he apprenticed himself to Abel Bowen, a wood engraver, and to the architect ...