Biographical Dictionary of Cincinnati Architects, 1788-1940
Author: Walter E. Langsam
Contemporary photographs: Alice Weston
Editors: Susannah Sachdeva and Sue Ann Painter
Publisher: Architectural Foundation of
J.S. Adkins | Walter Ahlschlager | William Aiken | James Allan Jr. | The Allyn Company | American Institute of Architects | Edwin Anderson | George M. Anderson | Frank M. Andrews | The Art Joinery | Grosvenor Atterbury | BIBLIOGRAPHY
(St. Louis, Mo., 1872-1931)
Educated and trained in St. Louis; worked for George I. Barnett of St. Louis, and in the St. Louis branch offices of Shepley, Rutan & Coolidge, and Peabody & Stearns, both superior Boston firms (probably worked on buildings for the World's Columbian Exposition, Chicago, 1893). Moved to Cincinnati in 1893. Usually worked as a designer with partners, including Samuel Hannaford & Sons, George S. Werner (1900), Frank M. Andrews, H.E. Kennedy, the Weber Bros. of N. Ky. (Weber, Werner & Adkins), Matthew H. Burton, and Hugh M. Garriott (later Garriott & Becker; Becker, incidentally, was from St. Louis).
Adkins was a specialist in refined Beaux-Arts or Traditional design, based on a variety of historic styles, usually handled with authenticity, restraint, and craftsmanship of quietly high quality. The editors of the 1920 Memoirs of the Miami River Valley (Chicago, Ill.: Robert O. Law Co.) supply a sensitive portrait of the architect: "It does not need the name of the artist on a painting to determine who the artist was, and so it is with the really talented architect. His work bears the imprint of his genius and can everywhere be distinguished from that of others. So with the pretentious [sic] buildings planned by Mr. Adkins. He has an original manner of so designing a building that its location, material and design all blend into one complete and harmonious whole. In fact the genius he displays in creating buildings that harmonize with their surroundings, the material of which they are constructed and the purpose for which they are intended, prove that he is an architect and not merely a draughtsman or a drawer of tasteful designs.... In 1900, Mr. Adkins formed a partnership with George S. Werner, and engaged in business for himself. Mr. Adkins does the designing and planning of the buildings, while Mr. Werner supervises the building of them. Since the formation of the partnership, the firm has continued with unabated success, until at the present time they are known throughout the whole southeastern part of the United States."
Adkins' works, on his own or in partnership, include the Governor's Mansion, Frankfort, Ky.; Second National Bank Bldg, SEC Ninth and Main streets (1908; E.J. Schulte in his autobiography, “The Lord Was My Client” (ca. 1970), p. 5-8, provides an intimate glimpse into the life of the Werner & Adkins office at this period, and claims that an architect from a large firm in Chicago, named Putnam, was responsible for the professional completion of this uncharacteristically large commission for a small firm); Cincinnati Gymnasium & Athletic Club, Shillito-Rikes Alley; City Hall, Library, First National and Norwood National Banks, Norwood; Brighton German Bank, Colerain and Harrison avenues; Courthouse, Portsmouth, Oh.; Grace Episcopal Church, College Hill; First Baptist Church, Lexington, Ky.; Kanawha National Bank, Charleston, W.Va.; Audubon (Store, Arcade, and Office) Bldg, Canal and Burgundy streets, New Orleans, La. (1909). His obituary lists him as architect or consultant for the Scioto County Court House, Portsmouth, Oh.; the Court House and the Nurses' Home, Muncie, Ind.; the Court House and Hotel General Denver, Wilmington, Oh. Aside from many fine houses in the Cincinnati area, residences by Adkins and his associated firms include those on Rural Lane, Clifton, where Adkins himself lived in his later years, as well as houses in Muncie, Ind.; Dallas, Tex.; and New Orleans, La.
Withey (1956, 1970), 8-9;
Painter, AIC (2006), 211;
Langsam (1997), 91, 113;
Cincinnati Business Proclamation (ca.1900);
Fetter (1903), 159;
Goss (1912), IV, 331-32;
Memoirs of the Miami Valley (1920), III, 390-91;
Obituary, Cincinnati Enquirer (7/27/1931), 10:1.
Ahlschlager, Walter W.
Chicago architect; listed in New York City 1928-1936. Ahlschlager was the principal architect of John J. Emery’s Carew-Netherland complex in Cincinnati. Although there is a lack of sources on Ahlschlager’s firm and career, Wolner states “Walter W. Ahlschlager of Chicago had designed hotels, theaters, and mixed-use facilities in New York, Chicago, and other Midwestern cities. Ahlschlager’s firm designed and built numerous apartment hotels in Chicago. His skyscraper work included a never-built Chicago project of 1929, the Crane Tower, which was to have been both the tallest and the largest office building in the world” (p. 36). He also specialized in theaters. Wolner illustrates a cross-section of the firm’s famous Roxy Theater in New York of 1926-1927 in relation to the intricate interior spaces and circulation of the Carew-Netherland complex.
With some participation from William Delano of the N.Y. firm of Delano & Aldrich, Ahlschlager designed the Carew Tower Complex, including Netherland Plaza Hotel (1930); constructed by the Starrett Investing Co./Investment Corporation for the Emery family.
Wolner (1985), 35-47;
Painter, AIC (2006), 168;
Langsam (1997), 118;
NYCOPAR (1900-1940), 2.
W.W. Ahlschlager & Associates with Delano & Aldrich, Carew Tower and Netherland Plaza Hotel, 1929-1932, Fifth and Vine streets. For more than 75 years, the Carew Tower was the tallest building in Cincinnati and in southwest Ohio.
Aiken, William Martin
(Charleston, S.C., 1855-1908)
Trained at the University of the South and M.I.T. (1879); AIA (1886); FAIA (1889); worked for H.H. Richardson at Brookline, Mass.; Ware & Van Brunt and W.R. Emerson, Boston; for James W. McLaughlin, Cincinnati, in early 1880s, then on own ca. 1886; to N.Y. ca. 1886, although listed in Cincinnati directories until 1895 (Aiken & Ketcham) and apparently listed in N.Y. only in 1899 and 1908; Supervising Architect of the Treasury, 1895-1897 (one of the few appointments to this Federal post generally approved by the architectural profession); returned to N.Y.; noted for early "restoration" in old New York City Hall.
While in Cincinnati Aiken designed many residences, including a remarkably early and compatible addition to “Belmont,” the Federal-style Martin Baum-Nicholas Longworth mansion on Pike and Fourth streets in downtown Cincinnati (now the Taft Museum), for David Sinton in 1887; also buildings in Glendale and Dayton, Oh.; Chattanooga, Tenn.; and Mass.; Fla.; and Colo.
Centennial Review(1888), 71;
Withey (1956, 1970), 11-12;
Wodehouse (1976), 21;
NYCOPAR (1840-1900), 11;
NYCOPAR (1900-1940), 2;
Lee (2000), 191-97;
Langsam (1997), 19, 86;
Inland Architect (10/1887), 39.
Allan, James E., Jr.
Graduate of University of Cincinnati College of Engineering 1919; listed with (Rowland E.) Hunt & Allan 1926-1932; on own 1946-1969. Taught architecture in UC Evening College 1932-1963. Designed UC Field-House; original Alms Memorial Building, home of College of Design, Architecture & Art (now DAAP); also Millett Hall, Miami University, Oxford, Oh.; and field-houses at Ohio State University and Bowling Green State University.
Obituary, Cincinnati Enquirer (4/17/1969), 16:1;
Sullebarger, AIC (2006), 229-230.
James E. Allan, Alms Building, 1952; DAAP Building, 1958, University of Cincinnati.
Allyn Company, The
Little known but apparently prolific, large-scale architecture and engineering firm before World War I (ca. 1912-1914).
Brunk (1986), 115: “Harry Allyn, President. The Allyn Company, offices in the Second National Bank Building [SEC Main and Ninth streets], is one of the foremost firms of architecture, not only in Cincinnati but also in the United States. The Allyn Company has been a distinct leader in this line for a very long period and its business is nation-wide in character. Harry Allyn is President; Morris U. Bernheim, Vice-President; Bernheim, treasurer; J.K. Browning, Secretary.”
Painter (2006), 174: “The Allyn Company developed a plan for the Garfield Place that would have produced an enclave of towers wearing historicist Gothic Revival facades in the manner of the company’s lone prototype for the complex, the Doctor’s Building.”
Brunk (1986), 115;
Langsam (1997), 93-94, 116;
Painter, AIC (2006), 174.
American Institue of Architects (AIA), Cincinnati chapter
Painter, Architecture in Cincinnati, p. 69: "The 1860s and 1870s were good times for local architects, who united in 1870 to form the second American Institute of Architects (AIA) chapter in the nation. The local members were an exceptionally talented group. James Keys Wilson, the first president, was as accomplished as any of his counterparts in the East. James McLaughlin, Samuel Hannaford, and Charles Crapsey had already demonstrated great promise. This was the last generation to be trained through the apprentice system. Formal schooling was the way of the future.
The introduction of professional schools and societies created a distinction between academically trained architects and designer-builders who called themselves architects. Since the 1830s, the Ohio Mechanics Institute (OMI) had conducted intermittent classes in architecture. By the 1860s, OMI had acquired a permanent home in Greenwood Hall, classes had become more regular, and the school's prestige had increased. Cincinnati College opened the School of Design in 1869, which in its early years offered an occasional course in architectural drawing.
In 1866, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) became the first college to establish a school of architecture. By the 1880s, it was a favorite of young men from Cincinnati, most of whom had studied first at OMI."
Cincinnati chapter of the American Institute of Architects, 1870.
Standing: Samuel Hannaford, James W. McLaughlin, and Henry Bevis. Seated: Solomon W. Rogers, Albert C. Nash, James Keys Wilson (president), Edwin Anderson, and Arthur Bates. This photo, which documents the founding of the local chapter, was taken in McLaughlin’s office. Other charter members were Charles Crapsey and George W. Rapp. The chapter periodically sponsored exhibitions of architectural drawings and models, and in 1887 Cincinnati hosted the simultaneous conventions of the Chicago-based Western Association of Architects and the New York-based AIA. At that meeting, the two associations merged.
Anderson, Edwin (Long)
(Clermont Co., Oh., 1834-1916)
Educated in Cincinnati as a civil engineer; engaged in railroad construction in Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois; studied architecture with Hamilton & Rankin of Cincinnati; practiced in partnership with Samuel Hannaford, 1857-1871, as Anderson & Hannaford (works said to have aggregated over $80,000,000); practiced on own, 1871-1893. One of the founders in 1870 of the Cincinnati Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, of which he was made a Fellow in that year. Contributed architectural design(s) to the 1883 Cincinnati Exposition.
This fine architect’s career has been subsumed under that of his early partner, Samuel Hannaford, and also often confused with a later (unrelated) architect with the same last name, George Mendenhall Anderson (1869-1916), who was a partner of A.O. Elzner in the firm of Elzner & Anderson. Edwin Anderson’s work was published in national architectural periodicals. He was active in the architectural profession and trained a number of significant younger local architects.
Anderson & Hannaford works include the Cincinnati Workhouse (demolished 1990-1991); Cincinnati, Hamilton & Dayton Railroad Depot; St. John German Lutheran Church (vacant), NWC 12th and Elm streets; Mound St. Synagogue, 8th and Mound streets (also attributed to Hannaford and A.C. Nash).
Among Anderson’s most important works on his own were the Pappenheimer Hardware Co. Bldg (until 2008, Contemporary Galleries), at 221 W. Fourth St.; Farmers' National Bank, Ripley, Oh.; Bank of Maysville and A.J. Cox (Hord) House, Maysville, Ky.; Niles Tool Works, Hamilton, Oh.; Congregational Church, Ironton, Oh.; Claypool Bldg, Indianapolis; and the Kanawha Presbyterian Church, Charleston, W.Va.
Irish-trained architect William Tinsley worked with Anderson & Hannaford in 1857; the important architect Leroy S. Buffington in the mid-1860s, before he went on to a career based in Chicago and Minneapolis; S.S. Godley was trained by Anderson 1875-1878; H.E. Siter got his start in Cincinnati working for Anderson after arriving here from Boston in 1884; that same year the talented but short-lived James S. Trowbridge served as Anderson's delineator, before joining Buddemeyer, Plympton & Trowbridge.
BEO (1876), 61;
Painter, AIC (2006), 67, 69;
Langsam (1997), 34, 48, 52, 65;
AIA College (2000), 6;
Samuel Hannaford and Edwin Anderson, Cincinnati Workhouse, 1869, Colerain Avenue.
Anderson, George M. (Mendenhall)
Educated in Cincinnati, the Department of Architecture at Columbia University (graduated with honor, 1891), and the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris (in the atelier of Godefroy & Frenyet, 1894-1896)—the first Cincinnatian known to receive a diploma from the Ecole. Before sailing for Europe, he had decided to become an architect, and "with this end in view he studied under Louis [Comfort] Tiffany, the eminent decorator, in New York City."
Anderson is said to have worked with Hannaford & Sons on return to Cincinnati; but he then became the partner of A.O. Elzner as Elzner & Anderson from 1897 until his death 20 years later (the firm retained his name until its dissolution ca. 1940).
He was a son of Larz Anderson, Jr. (1845-1902) and the talented artist Emma Mendenhall, and connected to the Longworth family, and other prominent Cincinnati and Eastern families. George M. Anderson was perhaps responsible for the firm's relatively authentic Colonial Revival work at the turn of century, especially in East Walnut Hills and Hyde Park. Anderson's brother Robert (1874-1913) became a vice-president of the Ferro Concrete Construction Co. (since absorbed by the Turner Construction Co.), which built Elzner & Anderson's pioneering 1902 reinforced-concrete Ingalls Bldg (NEC Fourth and Vine streets), as well as numerous other important structures in Cincinnati and elsewhere. Another brother, Richard Clough Anderson (1872-1916), was associated with a Cincinnati plaster decorative relief manufacturer.
George Anderson served as president of the Cincinnati Chapter of the AIA, and was active in several important Cincinnati clubs and institutions, such as Spring Grove Cemetery (which has a rare photographic portrait of him) and the Cincinnati Country Club. Both awarded Elzner & Anderson several commissions. In 1904, he was a delegate to the International Convention of Architects in London.
Obituary, Cincinnati Enquirer (10/5/1916), 8:6;
Obituary, Cincinnati Times-Star (10/14/1916), 2:1;
Langsam (1997), 2, 4, 73, 89-90, 156;
Painter, AIC (2006), 147, 155, 156;
Representative Men of Ohio (1926), 119.
Elzner & Anderson, Procter & Collier Advertising Co. Building (Beau Brummell Ties), 1921, 440 East McMillan Street, Walnut Hills.
Andrews, Frank M. (Mills)
(Des Moines, Iowa, 1867-1948)
One of the most prolific early 20th-century architects and developers, especially of hotels, Andrews has not yet been studied extensively. He studied civil engineering at Iowa State College and Cornell University (B.S. 1888); was trained in the office of William Miller, Ithaca, N.Y.; worked for George B. Post, N.Y.; Jenney & Mundie, Chicago, 1891-1893, including work on the World's Columbian Exposition; to Dayton, Oh., 1894; worked for National Cash Register Co., Dayton, 1893-1907; with Charles I. Williams, then on own; office in Cincinnati, 1905-1908, partner of H.E. Kennedy (also associated with J.S. Adkins); in N.Y. 1910-1914 and 1924-1925; after 1914 had fascinating career in England, road-building throughout the world; resumed career in architecture 1929, aggregating about $22,000,000. Married the once-renowned actress Pauline Frederick.
Works in the area include the Hotel Sinton (1907) and renovation of the Gidding-Jenny Store (ca. 1910), at 18 W. Fourth St., both including Rookwood tiles; his firm also employed Rookwood Architectural Faience in the Seelbach Hotel, Louisville, Ky., Hotel McAlpin, N.Y., Hotel Taft, N. Haven, Conn.; Andrews was associated with Charles P. Taft of Cincinnati in these and other hotel developments. Other works include the Arcade Building, Dayton, Oh.; and the handsome Kentucky State Capitol, Frankfort (1905-1909).
See also H.E. Kennedy, H.H. Hiestand, and William F. Behrens.
Painter, AIC (2006), 123, 155;
Cincinnati Times-Star (9/20/1938);
Langsam (1997), 113;
Withey (1956, 1970), 20-21;
NYCOPAR (1900-1940), 3;
Macmillan Encyclopedia (1982), I, 80 (entry by Donald Martin Reynolds);
Obituaries, N.Y. Herald Tribune (9/3/1948), NYT (9/3/1948);
Schulte, (ca. 1970), 7-8, 10-1;
SGC, 9, Lot 472.
Art Joinery, The
Cincinnati Arts & Crafts firm. Exhibited at the second CAIA/CAM (1902), including a library interior for the residence of Charles P. Taft (Taft House now Taft Museum). Also exhibited 16 photos of woodwork and furniture by C. Dannenfelser at the third CAIA/CAM (1903).
Leading Manufacturers and Merchants of Cincinnati and Environs,115: "Art-Joinery, Dannenfelser, Timmich & Biemann, Hand-Made Furniture, No. 312 Main St. Messrs. Dannenfelser, Timmich & Biemann, all of whom are skilled wood-carvers and cabinet-makers of year' experience, united their energies and ability during the past year and founded one of the few art-joinery establishments in Cincinnati. The firm make to order all kinds of carved antique and modern furniture, and also carving for decorative purposes, make designs and execute them in the most artistic manner, and their genius and skill have been abundantly attested in every kind of work in their line. Their carving is all made by hand, and evidences the touch of the artist in accuracy, beauty of detail, and general excellence, and the encouragement the firm has received and the patronage they have enjoyed is a just tribute to their ability, energy, and business integrity. Messrs. Dannenfelser and Timmich are Germans by birth, and Mr. Biemann was born in Cincinnati."
Leading Manufacturers (1886), 115.
(Detroit, Mich., 1869-1956)
Educated at Yale (1891) and in Columbia University Architecture School; NYCAIA (1897); worked in the office of McKim, Mead & White, N.Y.; in 1895 at Atelier Blondel of the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris. In New York, he established a reputation as a restoration architect, particularly at the New York City Hall (1902-1920); he also designed the original American Wing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (1924). Among important country house estates by Atterbury were "Old Westbury," the John S. Phipps house and gardens (with Englishman George Crawley), Long Island, N.Y.; and the Arthur B. Claflin house at Shinnecock Hills in eastern Long Island (1896-1897), where Atterbury also designed the Parrish Art Museum in Southampton; and designed a house for himself (his father was a developer of the area).
Atterbury designed at least three mansions in Cincinnati, two for the daughters of Lawrence Maxwell and their husbands; the Mrs. William Horace Schmidlapp (Jean Maxwell) House, "Ca' Sole," off Grandin Rd., Hyde Park; and "Cobble Court," the Mrs. Joseph S. Graydon (Marjorie Maxwell) House, Indian Hill. His firm designed another house, with similar distinctive use of red brick trim against rough stonewalls, and picturesque accents of tile, ironwork, and carving. It was designed for Harry L. Linch (the house was later identified with his daughter, Dr. Adele Goldstein), in N. Avondale. An elevation study drawing for it by John Tompkins was published in 1929.
Related in concept and/or appearance to Forest Gardens may be the Atterbury Group, called Sheldon Close, in the much-admired planned community of Mariemont in eastern Hamilton County (1924-1926).
In 1903 Atterbury exhibited a view of a number of residences including his own at Shinnecock Hills, L.I., N.Y., and the H.O. Havemeyer houses (sic), Islip, N.Y., 1897, listed in Macmillan Encyclopedia, as well as the New Haven Country Club at the third CAIA/CAM (1903).
NYCOPAR (1840-1900), 12;
NYCOPAR (1900-1940), 4;
Macmillan Encyclopedia, (1982), I, 113-14 (entry by Donald Harris Dwyer);
Hewitt, (1990), 267-68, 285;
MacKay, (1997), 49-57;
Klaus, (2002), 49-50, pp. 179-80;
Langsam (1997), 77, 96, 125;
Painter, AIC (2006);