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
Major Bert Baldwin | Clement Barhorn | Adam and John Bast | Arthur Bates | Dwight Baum | John Becker | William Behrens | Louis Belmont | Solon Beman | Amos Bennett | Henry Bevis | Edward and Ernest Birch | John Boll | John Bollenbacher | Myrl Bottomley | Gustave Bouscaren | India Boyer | W.W. Boyington | Claude Bragdon | G. & A. Brink | William Brown | Herbert Browne | Edwin Buddemeyer | Leroy Buffington | Milo Burke | D.H. Burnham | William Burr | Guy Burrows | M.H. Burton | BIBLIOGRAPHY
Baldwin, Bert L. (Lecompt), Major
Architect, architectural and mechanical engineer, educated in Cincinnati public schools and the Chickering Institute; associated with the engineering department of the important firm of Lane & Bodley 1876-1888; practiced on own 1888-1898, specializing in street-railway construction, including incline planes; ca. 1900-1930, designed and built factories and other industrial structures, "more than 100 public and private plants in and near Cincinnati," according to his obituary; among them were the first streetcar cable lines, the Union Terminal, and the high-pressure fire-fighting system "now in use in the basin of the city." A Republican in the Cox period, he served two years as superintendent of the Cincinnati Water Works. Served in the U.S. Army as an engineer 1917-1919.
Cuvier (1914), 131;
Menefee (1926), 31;
Leonard (1927), IV, 574-76;
Obituary, Cincinnati Enquirer (5/30/1942), 1:6; and (6/1/1942);
Obituary, Cincinnati Times-Star (5/30/1942);
Articles by Charles Ludwig (4/25/1940);
Cincinnati Post (10/26/1931);
Cincinnati Times-Star (9/30/1937).
Barnhorn, Clement J. (John)
Important turn-of-the-century Cincinnati sculptor, especially known as a colleague of Frank Duveneck and as the sculptor of figures that play a significant role in the success of several major Cincinnati-area buildings, including six life-size soldiers on the upper facade of Memorial Hall, NWC Elm and Grant streets, Over-the-Rhine; and Madonnas and other statues at the Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption, Covington, Ky.; and St. Monica Roman Catholic Church, W. McMillan St. and Fairview Ave., Clifton Heights.
Barnhorn exhibited a model for a Soldiers' Monument by Elzner & Anderson at the 2nd CAIA/CAM (1902), and whole series of photographs of sculpture at various local buildings at the 3rd CAIA/CAM (1903). A number of architecture-associated commissions were also displayed at the exhibition devoted to Barnhorn at the CAN (1914).
Haverstock (2000), 49-50;
Langsam (1997), 91-92, 112;
Painter, AIC (2006), 123, 135, 185.
Bast, Adam J. and John (Johann)
Adam Bast, native of Cincinnati; in practice after 1870 (to 1886) as architect and superintendent of construction. John (C.) Bast (listed on own 1870-1873) designed the Germania Building for Henry A. Rattermann, the prominent German-American publisher and insurance executive, SWC Walnut and 12th streets, Over-the-Rhine, a splendid emblematic Teutonic Italianate insurance and community headquarters; and several Roman Catholic churches for the Cincinnati German-Americans, including the former St. Boniface, Northside; also the Ursuline Convent Chapel, Louisville, Ky.
Firm of Bast & (Emil F.) Baude, 1885-1911.
Painter, AIC (2006), 106.
John (Johann) Bast Germania (later Columbia) building, 1877 Walnut and 12th streets, Over-the-Rhine. This delightful building with freestanding sculpture would not create much of a stir in European capitals, but it stands out in Cincinnati.
Charter Member of the Cincinnati Chapter of the American Institute of Architects in 1870 (shown in photograph below, Bates is leaning away from the rest with his arm on a table); disappeared from the local scene a few years later, according to a mention by George W. Rapp to the AIA Cincinnati Chapter in the 1880s. Bates was made a national AIA Fellow in 1870.
According to The Cincinnati Enquirer (12/2/1923), he was listed in 1870 as a partner of A.C. Nash, living in Ludlow, Ky. The only building attributed to Bates alone or with his partner was alterations to the 1870 Roderick D. Barney House (originally by James W. McLaughlin), a handsome Italianate villa in Wyoming, Oh., of which Barney was the first mayor.
Painter, AIC (2006), 69, 117;
AIA College (2000), 64.
Baum, Dwight J.
(Little Falls, N.Y., 1886-1939)
Baum specialized in large country houses and estates. He graduated from Syracuse University in 1909 and opened a New York City office in 1915. One of his best-known and most original works is the Ca' d' Zan, Sarasota, Fla. (1922-1926), for John Ringling, who had Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky connections. Baum's firm designed the Powel Crosley, Jr. House, College Hill, for the Cincinnati radio-broadcasting pioneer, whose commercial buildings were usually designed by the local firm of Samuel Hannaford & Sons.
Baum designed a home in Dayton, Oh. for Allyn. He also provided a design for a "Dutch Colonial" house and described the style for a Philip Carey (Asbestos Shingles) Co., Lockland, Oh. advertisement ca. 1930.
Macmillan Encyclopedia, 155, called Baum “A highly respected practitioner of the eclectic residential styles popular in the U.S. during the 1920s and 1930s.” C. Matlack Price, in his 1927 monograph, The Work of Dwight James Baum, cited in LICH, wrote, "With houses of moderate size the architect is constantly called upon to achieve the greatest possible effect with the greatest economy of means."
Withey (1956, 1970), 43-44;
NYCOPAR (1900-1940), 6;
Macmillan Encyclopedia, I (1982), 155 (entry by Anthony W. Robins).
Becker, John W. (William)
(St. Louis, Mo., 1902-1974)
Received degrees from Harvard and Washington (St. Louis) Universities. With Garriott & (Hubert M.) Becker 1931-1941 and 1949-1963; Garriott, Becker & (Henry A.) Bettman 1942-1948. Becker is best known as the husband of cookbook author Marion Rombauer Becker (her mother, Irma Rombauer, who first produced The Joy of Cooking, was from St. Louis), with whom he collaborated after retiring ca. 1964. Locally, however, he was noted for his subtle early Modern residential designs, as well as his interest in progressive education and other concerns. Many of the firm's drawings, including some by earlier architects, are preserved at the Cincinnati Historical Society Library.
Becker was for 25 years on the board of the Cincinnati Art Museum, which his firm altered after World War II; most of his firms’ Modernist interventions have since been undone.
Obituary, Cincinnati Enquirer (10/25/1974), 27:3;
Obituary, Cincinnati Post (10/24/1974), 20:1;
SGC, 117, Lot 32.
Behrens, William F. (Frederick)
(St. Catherine, Canada, 1860-1920)
Behrens' parents were from Hanover, Germany; he was educated in Buffalo, N.Y., but joined his father, an interior decorator, before completing high school. At the age of 21 he moved to New York City, where for a decade he was associated with Tiffany and other firms in their decorative and "art-glass" departments. "During this period, because of his artistic skill and his original treatment of decorative schemes, Mr. Behrens had gained a splendid reputation as an interior decorator, and in 1890 The Decorative Art Co., of New York, sent him to Cincinnati as their representative." He represented them until about 1905, when he set up The W.F. Behrens Co., of which he was president until his death.
In spite of the size and geographic distribution of his firm’s commissions, Behrens himself is said to have been involved with every detail as well as the overall conception of their work. "Mr. Behrens had entire charge of the interior decorations of the new [sic] Court House in Cleveland, the Claypool Hotel in Indianapolis, the Seelback [sic] Hotel in Louisville, the Battle House in Mobile, Ala., and the Music Hall and the Hotel Sinton in Cincinnati." The Seelbach and Sinton hotels were designed by the firm of Frank M. Andrews of Dayton, Oh., Cincinnati, and New York City; the Seelbach was restored and renovated in the 1970s, but the Sinton was razed, although it was well-documented visually and some superb Rookwood Pottery panels by John D. Wareham from the Sinton Dining Room have been preserved at the Cincinnati Art Museum.
Presumably Behrens was involved in the mid-1890s Neo-Classical renovation of the Cincinnati Music Hall by Samuel Hannaford & Sons (Hannaford himself had been a partner in the original design in the late 1870s). It was apparently Behrens who commissioned New York mural-painter (Conrad) Arthur Thomas (1858-1932) to paint the large circular shallow dome above the huge central chandelier in Music Hall with an elaborate Neo-Baroque allegorical scene (see The Enquirer, Cincinnati, 10/15/1941, when the ceiling was first cleaned).
Behrens played an active role in organizing the exhibits of the Cincinnati Chapter of the American Institute of Architects at the Cincinnati Art Museum in 1901, 1902, 1903, and 1908.
At the 1st CAIA/CAM Behrens exhibited projects in Chicago, Indianapolis, and Louisville, Ky.; at the 2nd, interiors and designs for textile fabrics, the Phoenix Club Kneipe, and a Moorish Room; at the 3rd CAIA/CAM, the Claypool Hotel, Indianapolis, including four panels by Wilberg; and at the 4th, several buildings in Indianapolis, Chicago, and Louisville.
Behrens must have been one of the earliest and most influential interior designers in Cincinnati. He resided in Lucian F. Plympton's home for his mother, Mrs. Cordelia A. Plimpton [sic], at the south end of Upland Place in East Walnut Hills.
According to research by Nancy Kollin (2006), the Behrens’ daughter and only child Ellen Behrens (1901-1971) succeeded her father as a leading East Side interior decorator. In 1931-1932 she was listed at 2233 Francis Lane, East Walnut Hills, as a partner in Behrens-Swafford Galleries with her mother, Mrs. Ina Behrens, and Mrs. Elizabeth Swafford, widow of John Herbert Swafford.
Langsam (1997), 86.
Representative Men of Ohio (1926), 185-86.
Belmont, Louis G.
(Burgundy, France, ca. 1853-1935)
Said to have been a descendant of author Victor Hugo; came to the U.S. when 17, and eloped in Cincinnati to his first wife, Blanche Rouget de Lisle in 1878. Attended Ohio Mechanics' Institute in the architectural department, winning several prizes. Listed 1915-1932 as "Architect and Superintendent of Buildings"; but he was probably primarily a draftsman and builder, and perhaps decorator. His obituaries called him "designer and builder" of the Grand Opera House; "Laurel Court," the Peter G. Thomson House, College Hill [designed officially by James Gamble Rogers of Chicago and N.Y.], "duplicating in it the Petit Trianon of his native France"; "the home of the late Dr. Ravogli" [Clifton; attributed to Desjardins & Hayward]; mausoleum of Robert O'Brien; many branch libraries, including that on Walnut Hills [by McLaughlin & Gilmore]; and a number of elegant houses. He also designed and constructed the grotto and gardens of Good Samaritan Hospital [Clifton; the original building by G.W. Drach]." Obviously Belmont worked on many important buildings with major architects, but his design responsibility is unclear.
Langsam (1997), 111.
Obituary, Cincinnati Times-Star (10/15/1928), 2:3;
Obituary, Cincinnati Times-Star (4/19/1935);
Obituary, Cincinnati Enquirer (4/20/1935), 22:4.
Beman, Solon S. (Spencer)
(Brooklyn, N.Y., 1853-1914)
Prominent Chicago architect, trained in the office of Richard Upjohn of N.Y., 1870-1877; practiced in Chicago after 1879; AIA (1882); FAIA (1885). His best-known work was the comprehensive plan and design of Pullman, Ill., near Chicago, "the most celebrated—indeed notorious—of company towns" (Macmillan Encyclopedia, 175-176). Shortly afterward, Beman's large firm designed Procter & Gamble's Ivorydale Plant in the Mill Creek Valley north of Clifton (St. Bernard), 1884-1889, inspired by Pullman, but different from in many respects—especially the lack of self-contained residential community. Beman also designed the Richardsonian Romanesque R.J. Barney House, Dayton, Oh. (see also Edward Colonna).
Beman's firm specialized in the design of buildings for the Christian Science Church, including the main complex in Boston; all were done in a restrained Neo-Classical style, as is the First Christian Science Church of Cincinnati, 1888. Beman exhibited an unidentified Church of Christ Scientist, as well as St. Paul Episcopal Cathedral at the 3rd CAIA/CAM (1903).
Wodehouse (1976), I, 25-26;
Macmillan Encyclopedia, I (1982), 175-176 (entry by Carl W. Condit);
Painter, AIC (2006), 110;
NYCOPAR (1840-1900), 15.
Solon S. Beman
Procter & Gamble Co. Plant, 1884-85
5209 Spring Grove Ave.
Ivorydale continues to look cool and pristine with its polychromatic, roughly textured wall surfaces and windows hooded in striped green-and-white awnings. The central clock tower building dates from 1913.
Mid-19th-century Lebanon and Warren County, Oh. builder and perhaps pattern-book architect, responsible for “Glendower” and several other houses in Lebanon identified by Hazel Spencer Phillips; all known examples are Greek Revival but it is likely Bennett was involved with buildings in other styles. The Roosa-Hayner House, originally in Warren County and now in the Heritage Village Museum (part of Historic Southwest Ohio, Inc.), Sharon Woods Park, Sharonville, Hamilton Co., Oh., has been attributed to Bennett.
Langsam (1997), 12, 26.
(Newport, Isle of Wight, England, 11/10/1834-1884)
Educated in England and Toronto, Canada; apprenticed as builder and millwright in Hamilton, Ontario then Cincinnati 1858 as pattern-maker; in Illinois during Civil War and as carpenter and builder; returned to Cincinnati 1866, as architectural draftsman after 1868; listed as architect 1876-1884.
Henry Bevis was described in 1876 as "a skilful and rapid designer, his plans displaying originality and fine taste in their arrangement and adornment. He is a member, in excellent standing, of the Architectural Chapter of Cincinnati [the AIA, of which he was a local founding member in 1870], and is liberally patronized by the builders and capitalists of that city. His place of business is at No. 163 Central Avenue.... He is highly esteemed in social and professional circles, as a gentleman of energy, culture, and public spirit."
Bevis designed several public schools and a building still located at the SWC of Race and Court streets. He designed the 1870s Emery Arcade and Hotel complex on Vine St. south of Fifth St. (the site of part of the existing Emery-sponsored Carew Tower/Hilton Netherland Hotel complex), so he may well have preceded the Hannaford and Steinkamp firms as the Emerys' "house-architects."
Bevis was an original member of the Cincinnati Chapter of the AIA, 1870.
Painter, AIC (2006), 69.
BEO (1876), 171-72.
Birch, Edward E., and Ernest O.
Possibly one of Cincinnati's earliest African-American architectural firms. Listed as Birch Bros. 1916-1926; Edward E. separately 1929-1967; Ernest O. 1927-1951. E.E. Birch is listed by Dabney, Cincinnati's Colored Citizens (1926), 406.
Dabney (1926), 406;
Boll, John H.
(Cincinnati, 1864-Ludlow, Ky., 1941)
Educated in the Cincinnati public schools; studied architecture with George W. Rapp, with whom he probably began practice; the 1891 biography states that Boll "now has his office and draughting rooms in the old quarters of his preceptor in the Esplanade Building, corner of 5th and Walnut" streets. Boll was first listed in Cincinnati in 1890; with Charles C. Taylor, 1889-1907; then on his own 1916-1919, 1931-1932.
John H. Boll & Co. published a brochure on the firm’s works and projects in the early 1890s (copy in the Cincinnati Historical Society). Buildings illustrated in this brochure include the superb Richardsonian San Marco Apartment Building, SEC Gilbert and Woodburn avenues; the 5th District School, Covington, Ky.; "the large new planning mill on Hunt Street" (1891); the Wadsworth Electric Watch Case Co., Dayton, Oh. and Ky.; the Hecla Clock Works, Harrison, Oh.; buildings for the John Henry Estate, Toledo, Oh.; and a high school in Racine, Wisc.
Probably carrying on the work of G.W. Rapp, Boll "planned the large hotel in Addyston and supervised its construction, as well as the erection of the store buildings and the immense buildings of the Addyston Company, which are among the largest of the kind in the world" (1891). Boll also designed a school building for Addyston. The surviving structures in Matthew Addy's "company town" along the Ohio River west of Cincinnati have recently been listed in the National Register of Historic Places. A rare 1894 promotional brochure called “Descriptive Linwood” indicates Boll designed more than one of this suburban community’s original school buildings.
Several works by the firm have recently been identified by means of captions, along with illustrations in the 1905 monograph of the L.P. Hazen Co., prominent contractors at the turn of the last century. Among them is a building for the Bodman Estate, formerly on Eighth St. near Broadway; the Kroger Grocery & Baking Co. Building at 521-23 Hunt St. (destroyed by fire 8/22/1907); and the E.H. Huenefeld Plant on Spring Grove Ave., whose reinforced concrete foundations are illustrated. Last but not least is the elegant saucer-domed interior, lit by curving rows of electric lights, of the Duhme Jewelry Co. store in the Carlisle Building, SWC Fourth and Walnut streets.
Boll (and Taylor) designed a number of suburban Cincinnati residences making the transition from the “Queen Anne” or late Richardsonian Romanesque to the early Colonial Revival styles, including the Collier residence in Avondale and the Lawson house in Walnut Hills; and a residence in the Highlands for Louis Pfeiffer. Boll & Taylor designed two fine 1902 houses on Ridge Ave. in Lawrenceburg, Ind., for George P. and William Squibb.
Boll lived in Ludlow, Ky., where he designed St. Boniface Roman Catholic Church and a schoolhouse.
The best-known work of Boll & Taylor is the Covington, Ky., Carnegie Library & Auditorium (now the N. Ky. Arts Council), SEC Scott Blvd. and Russell St., a superb Beaux-Classical design with exquisite detailing.
The City of Cincinnati and Its Resources (1891), 141;
Boll & Taylor Monograph;
SGC, 112, Lot 77.
Bollenbacher, John C.
(Bloomington, Ind., 1884-1939)
Chicago architect, who with Alfred H. Granger and Elmo C. Lowe designed the Hyde Park (former Bethlehem United) Community Methodist Church & Community Center, Madison Rd. and Hyde Park Ave. (1924-1928). Bollenbacher graduated from Indiana University in Bloomington and trained in architecture at M.I.T. He entered the Chicago office of Lowe and became a partner in 1908/1909. Alfred H. Granger joined them 1924-1929 and then the firm became Granger & Bollenbacher. The firm specialized in religious, especially Methodist, churches and institutions, as well as other academic structures; a number of designs for Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., included two 1920s dormitories in collaboration with Chicago/New York architect James Gamble Rogers, who had designed “Laurel Court” and other buildings in Cincinnati during the first decade of the 20th century.
Withey (1956, 1970), 64.
Bottomley, Myrl E. (Elijah)
(Charlotte, Mich., 1893-1956)
Landscape architect and teacher. Studied at Michigan State College and Cornell University; worked for Olmsted Bros. in Palos Verdes, Cal., in 1922; taught landscape architecture at Iowa State University; practiced with T. Glenn Phillips in Detroit (1925-1930). In 1926 Bottomley joined the faculty of the University of Cincinnati as head of the Department of Landscape architecture, where he taught landscape architecture and city planning until his death. He served as the University’s Campus Architect and, during World War II, worked on a Master Development Plan for the City of Cincinnati. In 1931 he was appointed to the President’s Conference on Home Building and Home Ownership. He was the author of three popular and influential books on the design of home landscapes, particularly for small properties, as well as articles in House Beautiful, Pencil Points, and other magazines. The University of Cincinnati Library holds his lecture notes and drawings relating primarily to his teaching career.
Birnbaum and Karson (2000), 21-23.
Bouscaren, L. (Louis) F. (Frederick) Gustave
(Guadeloupe, West Indies, 1840-1904)
One of the great late-19th-century American engineers, Bouscaren served many years as chief engineer for the Cincinnati Southern Railroad; he perfected the cantilever truss, which he used in designing the Central Railway Bridge linking Cincinnati and Newport, Ky., 1891; and in completing (1877; replaced in 1911) John A. Roebling's famous "High Bridge" over the Ky. River near Danville (and Shakertown at Pleasant Hill). Also involved in the construction of the original Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad Bridge between Cincinnati and Covington, Ky. Also, with Jacob H. Linville, the original Cincinnati Southern Railway Bridge between the Mill Creek Valley, Oh. and Ludlow, Ky. (1876-1877).
Bouscaren's family moved to a farm in Kentucky, about half-way between Cincinnati and Lexington, ca. 1850; he attended St. Xavier College in Cincinnati for a few months in 1853, before going to Paris for education and training at the Ecole centrale des arts et manufactures (1859-1862); he then returned to Cincinnati, where he worked for architects Anderson & Hannaford before recognizing his true "genius" in the field of engineering.
His papers are preserved in the Cincinnati Historical Society Library at Cincinnati Museum Center.
Ford (1881), 465-466;
The City of Cincinnati and Its Resources (1891), 142;
Condit(1977), 64, 68;
(Sidney, Oh., 1907-1998)
Educated Ohio State University (Bachelor’s in Architecture, 1930) and UC Evening College. With the U.S. Engineers' Office, Cincinnati (1934-1945+). Early female practitioner in Cincinnati. A Boyer Guild has been established to encourage women architects in the area.
Langsam (1997), 94;
Boyington, W.W. (William W.)
(Southwick, Mass., 1818-1898)
A prominent Chicago architect who designed for Cincinnati in 1881 a splendid Central Union Depot, Central Ave. west to Smith, between Pearl and Third streets; although it was considerably truncated, probably by the railroad's house architect or engineer, during execution (1882-1883; see Condit). Boyington worked in Massachusetts before 1853, when he moved to Chicago. He is said to have designed the first locomotive cab (for the Boston & Albany Railroad, for which H.H. Richardson later designed small but important suburban railway stations), and designed several cotton mills in Massachusetts. He worked extensively in Chicago both before and after the Great Fire of 1871, and was responsible for the celebrated Water Tower & Pumping Station (1867-1869), which survived the Fire and—even more amazingly, perhaps—has survived to this day, as well as the early Chicago University (1857-1865) and Illinois State Penitentiary at Joliet (1857-1862); he was also noted for the design of churches in Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Iowa, and Wisconsin, as well as the Chicago area.
Boyington's career survived the influx of architects and engineers after the Chicago fire—many of them better trained than the "pioneer master-builders of the 1850s and 1860s"—and contributed much to the rebuilding of the city, with public and commercial buildings, hotels, and railroad stations. His work included innovative solutions to the problems of Chicago's foundations and fireproofing. Toward the end of his long life he designed the little-admired Illinois State Building at the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893.
Withey (1956, 1970), 71;
Macmillan Encyclopedia, I (1982), 267 (entry by Thomas L. Sloan);
Condit (1977), 83-90.
Bragdon, Claude (Fayette)
(Oberlin, Oh., 1866-1946)
An interesting and original designer and author, "who believed that architecture should express the vitality of American democracy. In this and his insistence on organic rather than arranged architecture and ornament and in his rejection of eclecticism he firmly belongs to the school" of Sullivan and Wright (Strauss). Educated only through high school in Upstate New York, he worked as a draftsman for architects including Charles Ellis, a brother of the brilliant but erratic draftsman Harvey Ellis. Bragdon worked in N.Y. under Bruce Price (in 1889, soon after Price was designing houses and a Chamber of Commerce Building competition project for Cincinnati), and then for Green & Wicks (who did a good deal of work in northeastern Ohio) in Buffalo. He practiced on his own in Rochester, N.Y., from 1901 until 1923, when he moved to NYC (listed with Hollingsworth ca. 1917-1940), as a set designer, continuing to publish on architectural proportions and ornament, philosophy, and the occult.
Bragdon submitted several sketches to the 1889 Cincinnati Architectural Sketch Club Exhibition, perhaps under the influence of Price and Harvey Ellis, who also exhibited.
NYCOPAR (1900-1940), 36;
Wodehouse (1976), I, 28-29;
Macmillan Encyclopedia, I (1982), 268-69 (entry by Susan Strauss);
Article in JSAH (late 2006).
Brink, G. & A. (August)
Prolific but little-known German architect/builders; G. Brink was listed 1870-1884, G. & A. Brink 1885-1893; August Brink was associated with Anthony Kunz, Jr., 1894-1895; Kunz carried on the firm after August's death. The Brinks' (or Brincks') almost exclusively German-background clientele included John Hauck of the brewery (see possible alterations to his home at 812 Dayton St., West End); other breweries and factories; private residences; "tenements;" and speculative residential and commercial buildings, many in the area west of downtown Cincinnati.
Memoirs of the Miami Valley (1920);
Langsam (1997), 3, 35, 50-51, 114.
Brown, William R.
Listed on his own primarily in 1897-1898, with occasional other independent listings between partners: he was a partner of Charles Crapsey, 1889-1895; in Brown, (Matthew H.) Burton & (David) Davis, 1899-1901; Brown & Davis, 1902-1907. In 1909 W.R. Brown was listed in Chicago and was associated with the Builders' Exchange in Cincinnati. A William R. Brown was listed in New York City 1905-1906 and 1909; about the time churches in Upper New York State and New Jersey were designed by Brown & Davis.
Earlier works listed by Brown in the AA&BN and IA in the mid-1880s includes the Dayton, Oh. Odd Fellows' Hall (1883); Loveland, Oh. School House; Liberty, Ind., 1886, and Bellevue, Ky. M.E. Churches; the Franklin, Oh. and Maysville, Ky., 1886 Baptist Churches; suggesting that Brown was already established as a specialist in the design of churches before joining Crapsey.
Brown & Davis also specialized in church design, confirming that it was Brown who was influential in this respect. They designed, not only Methodist churches in Ithaca (1906) and Watertown, N.Y. (1907), in Verona, N.J. (1907), and Bellevue, Ky. (1909; Brown alone), as well as St. Mark R.C. Church in Richmond, Ky. (1907), but also educational buildings such as the administration building and library of the Union College of the M.E. Church at Barboursville, Ky. (1906), and a structure at Kansas City (Kansas) State University (1907).
See Crapsey and Davis for other major works in which Brown participated.
He was a registered member of the Cincinnati Chapter of the AIA, and an FAIA.
Painter, AIC (2006), 125, 233.
Browne, Herbert W.C.
Eminent Boston architect and restoration expert; studied abroad and in the Boston office of Jacques & Rantoul; joined Arthur Little as Little & Browne, from 1890 until World War II. Among many wealthy and socially elite clients was Larz Anderson of Cincinnati (father of Cincinnati architect George M. Anderson of Elzner & Anderson), whose Beaux-Arts-style mansion in Washington, at 2118 Massachusetts Ave, N.W. (1902-1905; now the headquarters of the Society of Cincinnati), is considered "the firm's outstanding achievement in domestic architecture."
Withey (1956, 1970), 83;
Directory of Boston Architects, 1846-1970, 15;
NYCOPAR (1840-1900), 18.
(Cincinnati, 1862; Memphis, Tenn., 1904)
Practiced on own 1884-1886, when many varied commissions for both German- and Anglo-American communities of Ohio and N. Kentucky that were listed in The Inland Architect attest to his success. Buddemeyer, (L.F.) Plympton, & (J.S.) Trowbridge, 1887; Buddemeyer & Plympton, 1888. Buddemeyer signed several of the fascinating sketches in the firm's 1888 New Year's greeting brochure. A few of their works, such as the Cavagna Farm near Cincinnati, were published in Europe at the time as examples of American architecture. Buddemeyer designed a remarkably precocious Japanese-inspired grandstand and judges’ box for the Carthage, Oh. Fairgrounds, north of Cincinnati in the 1880s. Buddemeyer is said to have designed the chapel and other buildings at Duke University, Durham, N.C.
Langsam (1997), 65, 86;
Information from Avery/Buddemeyer descendants.
Buffington, Leroy S. (Sunderland)
Son of a mechanical engineer; trained in the mid-1860s in the Cincinnati office of (Edwin) Anderson & (Samuel) Hannaford; by 1969 had also worked as a draftsman in Terre Haute, Ind., and Cleveland, Oh. He was both a student and a teacher at O.M.I. in Cincinnati, and a founding member of the Cincinnati Chapter of the AIA in 1870.
Buffington moved to St. Paul, Minn., in 1871 as superintendent of construction of the U.S. Customs House and other government buildings (occasionally with a partner, Abraham M. Radcliffe). While retaining the St. Paul office, he established himself in Minneapolis in the later 1870s and '80s, the period of his greatest success, although he continued to practice almost until his death. Controversial claimant of the conception of the steel-frame high-rise building.
Much of the work for which Buffington's firm is best known was designed by the brilliant draftsman Harvey Ellis, who contributed several sketches under the firm name to the 1889 Cincinnati Architectural Sketch Club Exhibition.
Wodehouse (1976), I, 33;
Macmillan Encyclopedia, I (1982), 320-21 (entry by Donald R. Torbert);
“Appreciation,” Architectural Record, LXIX, 3 (3/1931), 92.
Burke, Milo D
(Ashland Co., Oh., 1841)
Civil engineer. Educated at Oberlin College, Oh.; served in Union Army; worked for railroads as engineer; opened office in Cincinnati 1871. Involved with the design and construction of the Price Hill and the (reconstruction of the) Mount Auburn Inclined Planes, and one at Hamilton, Oh.
The City of Cincinnati and Its Resources (1891), 142.
Burnham, D.H. (Daniel Hudson)
(Henderson, N.Y., 1846-1912)
One of the major Chicago and American architects at the turn of the century, noted for his organization of the modern large-scale architectural firm, and for his visionary "City Beautiful" planning schemes, which included projects for Cleveland, Oh., as well as Chicago, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. Chief designer for the World's Columbian Exposition, Chicago, 1893, Burnham was apprenticed to William LeBaron Jenney (who apparently had at least family connections in Cincinnati) in Chicago, 1879; worked for several firms including Carter, Drake & (Peter B.) Wight, where he met the brilliant designer John Wellborn Root, with whom Burnham practiced from 1873 until Root's death in 1892; for Burnham's later firm names and partners, see the reference sources below. D.H. Burnham & Co. had a New York office from approximately 1904-1914.
At the turn of the century, D.H. Burnham & Co. was hired by Cincinnati's leading financial institutions to design their new headquarters buildings on Fourth and Fifth streets. A hybrid between "typical" Chicago and New York high-rise office buildings, these steel-frame structures clad in stone and pale brick brought a certain restraint (rather than the bold innovation the city's own architects and engineers often provided) to the downtown Cincinnati architectural scene.
The major Cincinnati commissions by D.H. Burnham & Co. were the Union Savings Bank & Trust Co. (or Jacob Schmidlapp Building), NWC Fourth and Walnut streets (1902; see below); the Traction Building, SEC Fifth and Walnut streets (1902); the First National Bank Building, SEC Fourth and Walnut streets (1903); the Fourth National Bank Building, north side of Fourth St., between Walnut and Vine streets (1905); the Schmidlapp Memorial Library or Wing (now the main entrance) of the Cincinnati Art Museum, Eden Park (1905, with several earlier proposals); and the east wing addition to the Hannafords' Alms & Doepke Department Store, NWC Central Parkway and Sycamore St. (1908).
D.H. Burnham & Co. with Graham, Burnham & Co., the successor firm, designed the 1914 addition to the Union Savings Bank & Trust Co. (1914), and added a section to J.W. McLaughlin's Shillito Store building at Seventh and Race streets.
Burnham, and later his partner and successor Ernest R. Graham (founder of the present Graham Architectural Foundation in Chicago), were evidently quite good friends with Schmidlapp, one of Cincinnati's major financiers and businessmen at the turn of the century.
Burnham (and Root) most likely also designed "Maxwellton," the home of Lawrence Maxwell (now) at 2220 Victory Parkway in Walnut Hills (ca. 1888; Music Room addition and alterations, ca. 1900). Sidney D. Maxwell, probably related to Lawrence Maxwell, was the Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce during the competition for and the construction of their building. (On "Maxwellton," see the NR form & Ohio Historic Inventory form by Steve Gordon, 1988.)
Burnham and Root had contributed architectural design(s) to the 1883 Cincinnati Exposition; and D.H. Burnham & Co. exhibited a design for an unnamed office building entrance at the 1st CAIA/CAM (1901), representing the Chicago Architectural Club. Burnham and Root submitted a high-roofed Gothic design quite similar in massing to the winning Romanesque design by H.H. Richardson in the competition for the Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce Building (1885).
According to Condit, the directors of the Pennsylvania Co., who controlled the Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and St. Louis Railroad, hired D.H. Burnham & Co., in late 1901 to prepare working drawings in early 1902 for a proposed union station in Cincinnati; in October 1903 the editors of The Railroad Gazette reported that plans "were under consideration... to build a union station in Cincinnati," and claimed in December that preliminary drawings were being prepared at Burnham's Chicago office for a station at Third and Walnut streets. Although a union station company was formed in 1904, other railroads began improving their own facilities as early as 1903, and a comprehensive union terminal was not to be realized until the brink of the Great Depression. (This Burnham project is not included in Hines' admittedly incomplete list of the firm's works).
Withey (1956, 1970), 96-100;
NYCOPAR (1900-1940), 11;
Wodehouse (1976), I, 33-39;
Macmillan Encyclopedia, I (1982), 352-56 (entry by Thomas S. Hines);
Langsam (1997), 2, 4, 62-63, 76-77, 125;
Condit (1977), 144-45, 198, n. 6;
Painter, AIC (2006), 96-97, 108-9, 111-12, 114, 134, 136-38, 150-51, 155, 160.
D.H. Burnham & Co.
Union Savings & Trust Co./Schmidlapp/Bartlett Building, 1901-2
Fourth and Walnut streets
West wing by Graham, Anderson, Probst & White of Chicago, 1927
The Union Savings/Bartlett Building is the most powerful of Burnham & Co.’s Cincinnati skyscrapers.
Burr, William H.
Designing engineer of the innovative and influential first Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad Bridge between Cincinnati and Covington, Ky. (1886-1888), a combined railway and highway bridge that was a forerunner of the 20th-century long span steel railroad bridge.
Condit (1977), 99-100, 130, n. 22.
Burroughs, Guy C. (Chaney)
(Oregon, Ill., 1881-1936)
Educated at the University of Illinois and Lake Forest College, Ill.; then to Cincinnati ca. 1909; (V.J.) Hall & Burroughs, 1911-1913; with John H. Deeken ca. 1918-1925; with William F. Bertsch 1926-1931. Best-known as a designer of fine Traditional residences, including those of B.H. Kroger and Mrs. George Eustis, he was described in an obituary as a "pioneer in English architecture in the Ohio Valley." He is said, however, to have brought with him "a mixture of Georgian and Western types of architecture, then prominent in and around Chicago," probably referring to the Arts & Crafts mode represented by several houses by Hall & Burroughs on Greendale Avenue, Clifton (ca. 1909). Burroughs designed the picturesque Gruen Watch Case Co. Building on "Time Hill," E. McMillan St., Walnut Hills (now part of the Union Institute), demonstrating "that a building headquarters for a place of business might be designed so as to be beautiful from an architectural standpoint as well as useful."
See also John H. Baker.
Painter, AIC (2006), 146;
Langsam (1997), 92, 97, 122;
Memoirs of the Miami Valley, III (1920), 385;
Obituary, Cincinnati Enquirer (12/7/1936), 2:7;
Obituary, Cincinnati Post (12/7/1936), 10:1;
Obituary, Cincinnati Times-Star (12/7/1936), 31:5.
Gruen Watch Co. Building, designed by Guy C. Burroughs and John Henri Deeken.
Burton, M.H. (Matthew Henry)
First listed in Cincinnati in 1897-1898; with (W.R.) Brown & (David) Davis, 1899-1901; later with (J.S.) Adkins and (G.S.) Werner; on own again in 1920s. Apparently specialized in residences, as the few known works are houses, of varying cost and location. Early in his career Burton designed the huge but elegantly restrained Frank Enger House, NWC Marion and Dakota avenues, N. Avondale (before 1898), a Beaux-Arts buff-brick box with extensive, delicate white glazed tile trim.
Werner & Burton designed at least two houses in East Walnut Hills with a distinctive mix of Spanish Mission, Arts & Crafts, Art Deco, and even belated Art nouveau elements: the Frank Dinsmore house at SWC Madison Rd. and Baker Ct., East Walnut Hills, and the George Longstreth house, 2950 Wold Ave., with its high foundations of hand-made bricks set at “crazy" angles. Burton also designed "La Lanterne," one of the most refined, sophisticated, and uncharacteristically (for both Indian Hill and, apparently, Burton for during the previous 20 years) "authentic" estates in Indian Hill (1929); it is said to have been inspired by "La Lanterne" in the town of Versailles, but is probably on an ampler scale, with formal gardens by the nationally-known Cleveland landscape architect A.D. Taylor.
It appears that Burton served as one of the leading architects for the extremely prolific firm of developer Myers Y. Cooper; at least one house for Cooper has been identified on Marion Avenue in Avondale near the Enger House.
Matthew H. Burton’s 1947 obituaries in the Cincinnati newspapers (January 20 and 21) say virtually nothing of his career, perhaps because he had “retired many years ago.” Nevertheless, The Cincinnati Enquirer provided a fine, if unspecific, tribute to the “Cincinnati Architect Noted As Suburban Homebuilder”:
“Any person who cares to stroll or motor leisurely through the city’s residential sections will see many fine homes, notable for the grandeur of their architecture, that were designed by Mr. Burton. Some are in the colonial style and others appear to have been transported from the Old World. It may be a courtyard or a tower that attracts the attention, or perhaps fluted columns and arched windows, for Mr. Burton sought to make every structure that he built a thing of beauty.
“A notable example certain to arrest the eye and kindle the imagination may be seen on Dana Avenue, not far from Xavier University.
“In Indian Hill there is a replica of a chateau that stands in Fontainebleau, the home of French kings. When Mr. Burton designed this residence [the Mrs. Norma Windisch Sullivan House, “La Lanterne”], his attention to detail extended even to the courtyard where the cobblestones are of the same size, shape and appearance as those in the French courtyard.
“The edifice of which Mr. Burton was most proud was the Kennedy Heights Presbyterian Church, 6312 Kennedy Ave. Here he lavished a wealth of detail that made it plain this was a ‘labor of love.’”
Burton was a son of Rebecca Cloon and Josiah Burton, whose families were both identified with the development of central and northern Avondale; the Burtons were connected by marriage to Robert Mitchell, developer of the Rose Hill neighborhood. According to a second Enquirer notice, Matthew Burton’s “grandfather, also an architect, participated in making the layout of the suburb now known as Avondale.” [This may refer to Samuel Cloon, whose Gothic Revival “cottage” in Avondale was illustrated in The Western Horticultural Review, which was published in Cincinnati in the early 1850s.]
M.H. Burton’s funeral was conducted by his cousin, the well-known Rt. Rev. Spence Burton, at that time the ninth Episcopal Bishop of the Diocese of the Bahamas; he had been Bishop of Haiti from 1938 to 1942. Among the prominent pallbearers were Campbell and Joseph C. Dinsmore.
Langsam (1997), 91, 93, 108-109, 116-117;
SGC, 57, Lot 4;
other materials from Larry Southwick, owner