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
Richard Page | Seneca Palmer | John B. Papworth | Samuel D. Peacock | Pedretti Family | Luther Peters | Philip Pfeiffer | Ernest Pickering | Anton and Louis Piket | Lucian F. Plympton | John Russell Pope | Russell S. Potter | Auguste Pottier | Bruce Price | Harry M. Price | Edwin R. Procter | Thomas B. Punshon | BIBLIOGRAPHY
Advertised as architect (Daily Cincinnati Gazette [April 1, 1844], 1:6), according to Sikes' List (Cincinnati Historical Society): "contact him at Mr. Hanks and Co., Miles Greenwoods Foundry or at his home."
(Danby, Vt., 1771 or ca. 1793-1856)
Sikes quotes the 1850 Cincinnati Census, Ward I on his age (57) and occupation (architect), as having a wife and having come from New York. Described as from Albany, N.Y., Palmer is said to have come to Cincinnati in 1834, although Clay Lancaster (in an important article that provides a reconstruction based on contemporary descriptions and views of the Bazaar) cites him as "a resident architect of 'the classical taste in architecture'" who designed Mrs. Trollope's bizarre Bazaar, at Broadway and Third streets, in 1829; on the other hand, Mrs. Trollope's protege Auguste Hervieu is also claimed (unconvincingly, in spite of his quixotic lithographs in Domestic Manners) as its designer. The nascent Ohio Mechanics' Institute was housed in the Bazaar in the later 1830s; it was demolished about 1880.
Palmer did design the two powerful Greek Revival complexes, centered on temple-form chapels, of the Lane Presbyterian Theological Seminary, Walnut Hills (ca. 1830-1832), and the Western Baptist Theological Institute, Covington, Ky. (ca. 1840; engraved perspectives of both appear in Cist, 1841). In 1832 The Lane Seminary drew in both Dr. Lyman Beecher and the Rev. Calvin E Stowe as professors; Dr. Beecher brought with him Catherine E. Beecher and Harriet Beecher Stowe; both professors resigned in 1850. Both institutions were hotbeds of Abolitionism; the Baptist Seminary moved in the mid-1850s to Georgetown, Ky., where it remains as Georgetown College; Mrs. Stowe wrote Uncle Tom's Cabin, to a considerable extent based on experiences and accounts of slavery while in this area. And, of course, the sisters published The American Woman's Home: or, the Principles of Domestic Science (1869; published in Cincinnati as well as N.Y.), and other books that helped improve the situation of women—particularly single women—in the late 19th century. Most or all of Palmer's Lane Seminary buildings were replaced by McLaughlin's High Victorian Gothic structure(s) in the late 1870s, although the Beecher house remains on Gilbert Avenue as a center of Black history and the community. At least two residences, including the President's House of the W.B.T.I., remain in Covington, on 12th and Russell streets, in an historic neighborhood named for the Institute, which acquired a large farm and then subdivided it rapidly and profitably about 1840 in order to pay for its own facilities.
The handsome temple-form Lafayette and Franklin Bank on Third St. (1836) is credited to Palmer, but also to Henry Walter, and to Swiss/German-born John Jolasse, who apparently lived with and worked for Palmer, perhaps actually designing some of his best works. The U.S. Bank, formerly NWC Third and Main streets (before 1839), was a similar, but smaller and Ionic rather than Doric, temple. Another hexastyle Doric building on Third St., apparently originally a mansion, and later the Children's Home, might have been designed by Palmer. He designed, or at least superintended the construction, of the original St. Paul Roman Catholic Church in Pendleton; the upper part of its Greek tower was replaced by a Gothic spire in 1873, and the building was re-classicized by the Hannafords after a fire in 1899.
Painter notes that an essay in the 1829 Cincinnati city directory praises him as the architect of the Bazaar. But that in the street section Palmer is identified as a carpenter.
Palmer was still listed 1851-1852 (Knudson and Seneca Palmer were credited with the Bates Building in 1852); and Palmer & [Robert] Heines, 1853-1855.
Withey (1956, 1970), 453;
Ford (1881), 243;
Painter, AIC (2006), 17, 26-27;
Langsam (1997), 3, 12, 24;
Nuxhall, SGC, 28, Lot 86.
St. Paul Roman Catholic/ Verdin Co., 1848-1850
Rebuilt: Samuel Hannaford & Sons, ca. 1900
444 Reading Road, Pendleton
The former St. Paul Church building is now a museum and event center, an anchor for the thriving Pendleton arts district.
Papworth, John B. (Buonarotti)
(Marylebone, London, 1775-1847)
Leading English Regency architect, landscape gardener, town planner, and author of architectural pattern-books; a founder of the Royal Institute of British Architects in 1834. Son of John Papworth (1750-1799), a stuccoist for Sir William Chambers; Wyatt Papworth was his second son.
Papworth, self-styled "Architect to the King of Wurttemberg" was called upon by William Bullock to design "Hygeia," a planned community south of Cincinnati in Northern Kentucky, on the approximate site of Ludlow, Ky. Bullock was an adventurer and entrepreneur (as well as brother of the Regent's own cabinet-maker, George Bullock). The plan for Hygeia was published in London as an appendix to Drake and Mansfield’s Cincinnati in 1826. A number of Papworth office drawings for Hygeia and some of the proposed buildings (said to be in very poor condition) survive at the R.I.B.A. in London (see McHardy catalogue).
Walter E. Langsam has surmised that the elaborate "domed" river-entrance hall of Elm-wood Hall may have been designed by Papworth and built for Bullock as a "come-on" for Hygeia after Bullock returned from London and before he abandoned the project, but the current owner and resident, Latrobe authority Patrick Snadon, suggests that Latrobe himself may have been responsible for at least the conception of the room while delayed in Cincinnati about a week en route to New Orleans in 1820.
Colvin (1954; 1978), 615-19;
Wodehouse, British Architects (1978), 213-14;
Macmillan Encyclopedia, III (1982), 363-64 (by George McHardy);
Painter, AIC (2006), 15;
Langsam (1997), 3, 22-23;
Hardy catalogue of R.I.B.A drawings.
Peacock, Samuel D.
(Cincinnati, born in 1853)
Son of a peripatetic patternmaker, the son went (virtually without training) from his father's occupation to mechanical drawing, to construction (and perhaps design) of large commercial and industrial structures, some of concrete, to self-taught architecture. The only known example of his style is "The New Masonic Temple at Newport, Ky.," still on NEC Monmouth and Seventh streets, an endearing case of High Victorian eclecticism published in The Scientific American, Architects & Builders Edition (Jan. 1888).
He is said to have submitted a competition project for the Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce Building (H.H. Richardson beat him out), and designed and built another Masonic building in Georgetown, Ky. Listed as an architect in Cincinnati 1901-1910, he then founded and became president of the German American Commercial & Savings Bank, and disappeared from the architectural scene.
The Pedretti family is two generations of fresco painters, artistic plasterers, and interior decorators, several of them trained in Italy at the Brera, Milan. They’ve worked in some of Cincinnati's most important buildings from the patriarch Francis' arrival to decorate Isaiah Rogers' Burnet House Hotel in 1854, until well into the 20th century.
Francis Pedretti (1829-1891) had a colorful career as a Garibaldian soldier before coming in 1849 to N.Y., where he worked for dry-goods magnate A.T. Stewart and Prof. Samuel F.B. Morse (the inventor of the telegraph, responsible for introducing photography to the U.S., and a fine painter), among others. By 1876 Francis Pedretti’s firm is said to have worked in 18 states.
He was succeeded by his sons Raphael M. Pedretti (born in Cincinnati, 1860) and Charles A. Pedretti (born in Cincinnati, 1864) who succeeded Francis in partnership from 1887 until 1905, when the partnership was dissolved and brothers established their own firms. Raphael Pedretti conducted his business alone until his son Francis C. Pedretti joined him as Raphael Pedretti & Son. It appears that the Pedrettis often—but not exclusively—collaborated with Samuel Hannaford & Sons; an elegant ad for their work appeared in the 1894 Hannaford & Sons monograph, for instance.
Among the works of the partnership of Raphael and Charles Pedretti (1886-1905) were the re-stenciled interiors of K.K. Bnai Yeshurun/Isaac Mayer Wise/ Plum St. Temple, SWC Plum and W. Eight streets, Downtown Cincinnati, originally designed by James K. Wilson (1865-1866), with decoration and repairs by James W. McLaughlin (1890-1891); the former Mound Street Temple, Eighth and Mound streets, West End, originally by Anderson & Hannaford (1868-1869), unless this is a later building or decorative campaign; the Cincinnati City Hall, between Plum St. and Central Ave, W. Eighth and Ninth streets, Downtown, by Samuel Hannaford & Sons (1888-1892); the Bourbon County Courthouse, Courthouse Square, Paris, Ky., by Frank Milburn (ca. 1910); the Montana State Capitol, Helena, designed by George R. Mann, Bell & Kent, and others, including proposal by Frank M. Andrews, with both F. Pedretti‘s Sons and C.A. Pedretti supplying stained-glass windows and murals, etc. (1896-1912); and the Ohio State House, Capitol Square, High St., Columbus (possibly an early 20th-century renovation, but more likely the interiors of the Hannafords‘ State House Annex [1899-1901]; and many private residences.
Raphael’s firm may have been responsible for the handsome (recently restored) interiors of the Hamilton County Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Memorial Hall, NWC Elm and Grant streets, Over-the-Rhine, by S. Hannaford & Sons (1904-1908).
Many interiors decorated by Charles A. Pedretti’s firm are listed in Goss (1912); the First English Lutheran Church (originally by Crapsey & Brown, 1890s, but perhaps redecorated by Pedretti when it was converted from an “Akron Plan” to a standard form); Second National Bank Building (J.S. Adkins); St. Augustine Roman Catholic Church, Covington, Ky.; Home Savings Bank; the Businessmen’s Club Rooms renovated in H.H. Richardson’s Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce Building (destroyed by fire 1911); Businessmen’s Club Building (in the Hannafords’ former Phoenix Club Building); Walnut Hills Christian Church (S. Hannaford & Sons); Sacred Heart Academy, Clifton; First National Bank of Norwood; and the First national Bank Building and Carnegie Library, Paducah, Ky.
By 1912 Charles A. Pedretti’s work in private residences included those of Frank Herschede, 3886 Reading Rd. at Dana Ave., N. Avondale, by S.S. Godley (1907-1908); “the late” Anthony Brunsman,4090 Rose Hill Ave, N. Avondale, by Tietig & Lee (1905/1908); Mrs. M. (Matthew) B. Farrin, 3666 Reading Rd., N. Avondale, by Harry Hake (before 1906); Mrs. M.B. (Dora) Farrin, 4045 Rose Hill Ave., N. Avondale, by J.S. Adkins (1906/1911) [M.B. Farrin was a major lumber dealer]; E.E. Shipley, Lenox Place and Glen Lyon Ave., N. Avondale (before 1908); W.B. Schawe, 995 Lenox Place SWC Glen Lyon Ave., N. Avondale, by S.S. Godley (1909); Charles Christie(Mrs. Charles J. Christie), 4137 Forest Ave., Norwood (before 1909); Frank Dinsmore, 2777 Baker Place, E. Walnut Hills, by Werner & Burton (ca. 1910; see Langsam, Great Houses of the Queen City); Max (C.) Fleischmann, 525 Lafayette Ave, Clifton, by James Gilmore (before 1914); Dr. Frank (B.) Cross, perhaps Fairfield Ave, West Side, south of Madison Rd., by J. Gilmore (ca. 1910); Major Frank J. Jones, 520 Oak at Vernon Place, Vernonville (perhaps the old Bullock House, on site of Vernon Manor; remodeled by S. Hannaford & Sons or Elzner & Anderson, ca. 1910); General Lewis Seasongood, NWC Reading Rd. and N. Crescent Ave., N. Avondale, by S. Hannaford & Sons (before 1913); Henry F. Lackman, Rapid Run Pike and Eighth St., Price Hill, perhaps remodeled by H. Hake or S. Hannaford & Sons (ca. 1905); A.J. Conroy, 948 Dana Ave, N. Avondale (before 1908); Robert (J.) Bonser, 3652 Reading Rd, Avondale (before 1913); A.F. Maish, 4032 Reading Rd, N. Avondale, by Elzner & Anderson (1903/1909); William Lodge, 4033 Rose Hill Ave, N. Avondale (ca. 1905); E. (Ethan) B. Stanley, 2540 Madison Rd, Hyde Park (before 1908); C.A. (Charles Arthur) Hinsch, 809 N. Crescent Ave, N. Avondale, by S. Hannaford & Sons (before 1908); Moritz Haas, 610 Forest Ave, Avondale; Benjamin Sebastian, 2339 Ashland Ave, Walnut Hills (before 1908); George B (“Boss”) Cox, “Parkview” or “Park View,” NEC Brookline and Jefferson avenues, Clifton, S. Hannaford & Sons (1895; see Great Houses); Thomas P. Egan, 2012 Edgecliff Lane (mid-1880s; originally the Caleb B. Matthews House by Burnham & Root of Chicago [see under “Maxwelton” in Langsam’s Great Houses]; belonged to lumber-manufacturer Egan in the early 20th century; the interiors are said to have been totally renovated); Charles Wiedemann, NWC Tenth St. and Park Ave., Cote Brillante, Newport, Ky. (1893-1894; see Great Houses).
On Francis Pedretti:
BEO (1876), 366;
Kenny (1879), 52;
Painter, AIC (2006), 33, 121;
On Raphael Pedretti:
Goss (1912), III, 272-73;
Cuvier (1914), 105;
Painter, AIC (2006), 81, 121;
On Charles Pedretti:
Goss, III, 957-58;
Haverstock, ed. (2000), 669-700;
Painter, AIC (2006), 81, 121;
The late Dorothy (“Dottie”) Walters did work toward a Master’s thesis on the Pedrettis for the University of Cincinnati Department of Art History during the 1980s.
In partnership with Silas R. Burns as Peters & Burns of Dayton, Oh., 1881-1907; among most prominent Dayton firms, best known for the impressive Richardsonian Romanesque Dayton Public Library, but in fact probably responsible for many other projects in Dayton, Hamilton, and Middletown, Ohio, commissions at the turn of the last century.
Withey (1956, 1970), 469.
Trained in Germany; settled in Cincinnati in 1885; listed on own 1891-1923. Specialized in church buildings; also designed the Cincinnati Abattoir Co. plant, 3236 Spring Grove Avenue; the St. Leger Apartments, Gilbert Ave and St. Leger Place, Walnut Hills; as well as residences, including designs for the ubiquitous real-estate developers Bofinger & Hopkins of Norwood, McGregor Park in Mt. Auburn, and elsewhere in the burgeoning turn-of-the-century suburbs.
Withey (1956, 1970), 470;
Obituary, Cincinnati Enquirer (7/6/1925),8:5;
Obituary, New York Times (7/6/1925);
Obituary, American Art Annual, XXI.
Taught at University of Cincinnati from 1925 and from 1946 served as Dean of the newly created College of Applied Arts (now DAAP); author of well-known books on architectural design; served as President of Cincinnati Chapter of AIA, 1930-1932.
Painter, AIC (2006), 172, 181.
Piket (or Picket), Anton (or Anthony) and Louis
Anton Piket appeared in the Cincinnati directories in 1856, with his son Louis (Utrecht, Holland, 1839-1910); they practiced as Piket & Son until 1870; Louis is listed 1870-1909; two of Louis' sons joined his office in 1888, and there is a reference to a residence by an A.C. Piket in 1907. Anton lived in Newport and then Covington after the Civil War, while Louis remained in Cincinnati, providing (not unusually) a base on both sides of the river for the partners.
Both taught architecture and mechanical drawing at St. Xavier College (now University, on Victory Parkway), then located on Sycamore between Sixth and Seventh streets. The first Roman Catholic church and educational institution within the city's limits, on this site, were gradually replaced by the Gothic Revival St. Xavier Church by the Pikets (1860) and Italianate/Second Empire Xavier College buildings; when the church burned in 1882, Louis Piket supplied a design for rebuilding the tower, but Samuel Hannaford received the commissioned (although the Pikets' original Gothic spire was far more suitable than the present domelet) and apparently designed later Xavier buildings on and around the church.
Anton Piket is said to have designed mid-19th-century buildings for the First Presbyterian Church, the Ohio Mechanics' Institute, and the Medical College.
Louis' other major works included (some phases of) the Grand Opera House, the Gibson Hotel, the city almshouse, the Guildhouse and renovation and a parish-hall addition to Trinity Church on Madison Ave near Third St. in Covington, Ky. (1886 and 1888), and the Hanke Bros. store on Main St. opposite 12th St. in Over-the-Rhine (1888); and for the same firm, three warehouses (1893). The Piket firm designed many other churches and schools, mostly for the Catholic communities of Cincinnati and N. Ky., including the highly visible Immaculata Church on Mt. Adams (1859-1860; possibly with design input by James W. McLaughlin) and Sacred Heart Church in Bellevue, Ky. (1892-1893; later covered with composition stone by the Hannafords), and also St. Paul Roman Catholic Church on W. Short St., Lexington, Ky.; as well as commercial and residential structures in Gothic Revival, Italianate, and Queen Anne styles.
Tenkotte and Langsam;
Painter, AIC (2006), 39.
Piket & Sons
Church of the Immaculate Conception/Holy Cross-Immaculata, 1859-1860
30 Guido Street, Mount Adams
Evidence of Cincinnati’s natural attributes and early progress comes together in this breathtaking location overlooking the meandering Ohio River, the crowded city basin, and the verdant Kentucky hills. The simple sculptural shape of Immaculata has made the church a favorite subject for artists.
Plympton, Lucian (or Lucien) F.
(Horsehead, near Corning, N.Y., 1856-1938)
Son of a talented artistic family (previously named Plimpton); educated in Cincinnati at the Chickering Institute, where he later taught; traveled in Europe ca. 1875-1880, studying at the Karlsruhe Polytechnic Institute and Vienna Academy of the Fine Arts (where he studied with Friedrich Schmidt), ca. 1875-1880; began practicing in Cincinnati ca. 1883; in 1885 he was joined by James S. Trowbridge; Edwin Buddemeyer joined them in 1887 and probably remained with Plympton a few years after Trowbridge's death in late 1887; Michael Heister was in the office in 1889; Plympton was associated with M.R. Nash (son of A.C. Nash) 1892-1895; and in 1897 with H.E. Siter; the first Harry Hake was also trained in the office in the late 1890s.
At the turn of the last century Plympton moved to Pittsburgh (complaining about the difficulty of gaining large commissions, rather than his plentiful residential opportunities, in a city dominated by Hannaford and other established architects). Plympton then probably worked for the Pittsburgh firm of John T. Comes, noted designer of Roman Catholic churches and institutions, for the rest of his career, although he also served as at least a delineator for the Pittsburgh Roman Catholic architect Edward J. Weber. Plympton’s association with Weber is known through his delineations in the latter’s handsome book, Catholic Ecclesiology (Pittsburgh, 1927).
Among Plympton’s contributions are spectacular renderings of studies for “A Modern Cathedral,” “A Church and Rectory,” “A Stone Village Church with Tower,” “A Church and Rectory for a Small Town” (with E.J.W.), “A Village Church,” “Church and Rectory in a Suburban District of a Large City,” “Group for Parish of our Lady of the Most Beautiful Sacrament,” Pittsburgh, Pa.; St. Joseph’s, Portage, Pa.; the Boys’ Catholic High School, Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh; and a related “Study of a Group of Buildings” and of “A School Building” (the latter with E.J.W.). Most of these are designed in an exaggeratedly vertical medieval style, Romanesque or Gothic, with the emphasis on extraordinary towers.
It is curious that Plympton should have been hired after the turn of the 20th century by Pittsburgh firms that specialized in ecclesiastical design almost exclusively, considering that no religious work at all is known for Plympton’s firm in any of its permutations while in Cincinnati.
Plympton was "well known as a gentleman with artistic ideas." He and his mentor Schmidt were represented in the 1882 Cincinnati Industrial Exposition Art Exhibition. Plympton contributed sketches of European details dated 1880 and 1887 to the 1889 Cincinnati Architectural Club exhibition; and he was still showing similar sketches and designs at the Pittsburgh Architectural League in 1907. In the early 1880s he designed vase shapes for his mother Cordelia A. Plimpton to decorate at the Cincinnati Pottery Club, and his renderings of local scenes and landmarks in 1880s and 1890s directories and promotional brochures have enormous panache.
Buddemeyer, Plympton, & Trowbridge's 1888 New Year's greeting was an exquisite booklet consisting of 21 dazzling sketches by all three partners, mostly of Richardsonian houses (Richardson’s Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce Building is featured on the cover), although several reflect the "real" half-timbered style best represented by Plympton's mother's house perched at the south end of Upland Avenue in Walnut Hills; nearby is the famous Albert D. Fisher "Swiss chalet" given its due in Clay Lancaster, Architectural Follies in America (1960), and the progenitor of a local vernacular school, highly suited to the hillsides of Cincinnati and N. Ky. (although not always confined to such appropriate locations); and there is even an 1888 reference to a frame house in "Norwegian style." Buddemeyer & Plympton in 1888 designed a Japanese-inspired complex for the Hamilton County Fairgrounds in Carthage, Ohio. Other well-known, surviving houses include the half-timbered (with a first floor of “erratic boulders”) H.C. Hulbert house on Lafayette Avenue, Clifton; and two quaint (if reclad) residences on the NEC of Greenup and Seventh streets, Covington, Ky.
Possibly the firm's major non-residential work was the Cincinnati Crematory (1885), still (painted white) above Dixmyth Avenue (now Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Drive) in Clifton Heights.
Langsam (1997), 65, 69, 86-87, 89;
Pope, John Russell
One of New York's most distinguished Beaux-Arts architects in the early 20th century; his work has recently been reassessed, and his and his firm's merits are again being recognized. Pope was educated at the College of the City of New York, Columbia University, the American Academy in Rome, and the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris (1900). He returned to New York and worked in the office of Bruce Price, also becoming a friend of Charles McKim of McKim, Mead & White, and shortly afterward opening his own firm. His early work included many fine town and country houses, but after 1925 public buildings claimed most of the firm's attention. Among their major works were Pope's posthumous National Gallery of Art (1941), the National Archives, and the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C.; buildings and plans for Yale and other Eastern universities; and even structures in England and France.
Pope's firm was associated with Garber & Woodward in the design of the superb Doric-Deco Cincinnati Gas & Electric Co. (later Cinergy and then Duke Energy) headquarters, SWC Fourth and Main streets (1930; see also D.P. Higgins). Pope also designed the Abraham Lincoln Memorial, Hodgenville, Ky. (1925; not far from Louisville).
Withey (1956, 1970), 480-81;
NYCOPAR (1840-1900), 62;
NYCOPAR (1900-1940), 62;
Wodehouse (1976), 147-51;
Macmillan Encyclopedia, III (1982), 450-51 (by Richard Chafee);
Hewitt (1990), 281;
Langsam (1997), 154;
Van Vynckt, ed. (1993), I, 682-83 (by Brian Kelly);
Painter, Sullebarger, AIC (2006), 188, 189, 230.
Potter, Russell S.
Listed on own 1930-1932; with Edgar Tyler & G. Marshall Martin 1933; FAIA, 1898-1966. A member of the firm Potter, Tyler, Martin & Roth, Potter chaired the department of architecture at Miami University from 1933 to 1947. He received a degree in architecture in 1918 from the University of Pennsylvania and did graduate work at Grenoble, France. First employed in New York, he came to Cincinnati in 1922 to work in the offices of Harry Hake and Samuel Hannaford & Sons.
Potter established his private practice in 1928 and joined Edgar D. Tyler and G. Marshall Martin beginning in 1933 in a partnership that continues today. Prior to the partnership, Mr. Tyler was Staff Architect for the Cincinnati Union Terminal Company and Mr. Martin was Chief Designer with a prominent Cincinnati architectural firm. In 1945, Mr. George Roth joined the partnership and in 1967, the firm's name was changed to George F. Roth and Partners. The firm is now known as The Roth Partnership.
Potter’s work included the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity house (and possibly other commissions) at Miami University (1938) and projects for Ohio University in Athens and Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio. He was president of the Architects Society of Ohio and past vice president and secretary of the Cincinnati Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. He was also a member of the Ohio State Board of Examiners of Architects from 1948 to 1956. He was awarded a fellowship in the AIA in 1961.
Among the most notable commissions of Potter Tyler Martin & Roth are the Miami Inn in Oxford, alterations and additions to Shillito’s Department Store (1934), the Freshman Dormitory at Miami University (1935); Wyoming Elementary School (1935), Fine Arts Building at Miami University (1943); Liberty Street Firehouse (1938), the U. of Cincinnati Armory & Field House (1944), multiple dormitories at Ohio University (1954), Eden Park Band Pavilion (1958), Cincinnati Women's Club (1963), The John Weld Peck Building (1963, in partnership with Harry Hake & Partners), The Jewish Hospital (1963), and Cincinnati Art Museum Additions (1964).
Sullebarger, AIC (2006), 213;
Langsam (1997), 125;
“Potter reelected by Architecture Board,” The Cincinnati Enquirer, Feb. 1, 1952, 10:2;
“R.S. Potter, Architect, Dies; Burial Service to be Private,” Post Times Star, Jan. 7, 1966, 16:1;
“Russell S. Potter; Noted Architect,” The Cincinnati Enquirer, Jan. 7, 1966, 30:4;
Compiled by Beth Sullebarger, September 2003.
Potter, Tyler & Martin
Former Lazarus Department Store/John Shillito Department Store,
151 West Seventh Street
The Lazarus family, which had acquired the John Shillito Department Store in the late 1920s, selected Potter, Tyler & Martin to provide a more fashionable, up-to-date image to stimulate business at the end of the Depression. The use of granite, marble, and limestone provides color and texture to the stone cladding, which is sculpted with stylized Mayan motifs.
(Coulommiers, France, 1823-1896)
of Pottier & Stymus (New York). Pottier was trained a s a wood sculptor in Paris; emigrated to New York in 1847; worked in the office of the prominent New York cabinet-maker Edward W. Hutchings & Son, where he met Gustave Herter of that later innovative firm of decorators and furniture-suppliers (see above); they joined together as the short-lived 1851-1853 firm Herter, Pottier & Co. In 1856 Pottier became general foreman at Rochefort & Skarren, where he probably met Stymus, the upholstery foreman there.
Pottier & (William P.) Stymus, founded after Rochefort’s death in 1859, became an extremely fashionable decorating firm and designers, makers, and suppliers of fine and sometimes cutting-edge furniture, in a wide variety of post-Civil War Eclectic styles, including the Modern Gothic, Neo-Grecian, Renaissance Revival, and Egyptian Revival (sometimes combined). They provided furnishings for the President’s Office and Cabinet Room in the White House (1869); the home of financier and politician Leland Stanford in Palo Alto, Cal. (1875); and “Glenmount,” the Henry C. Pedder Estate and House in Llewellyn Park, West Orange, N.J., that became the home—including its original early 1880s décor—of Thomas Alva Edison and his family for 45 years. Outstanding pieces and sets of Pottier & Stymus furniture have sold for as much as hundreds of thousands of dollars and are featured in the collections of many important museums, including the Metropolitan in New York.
In 1888, shortly after the Pottier & Stymus Manufacturing Company was liquidated, becoming the P. & S. Company, a cooperative, run by the next generation of the founders’ families and other former employees, the Lexington Avenue factory was destroyed in a disastrous fire. Although the facility was rebuilt, it is believed that most of the firm’s meticulous records were lost in the fire.
Possibly the re-established firm changed their focus to include the design and manufacture of stained glass. They supplied the striking LaFargesque allegorical stained-glass windows for the Hannafords’ City Hall (1887-1893), primarily on the Grand Staircase and in the Council Chamber‘s transoms. An advertisement for the firm appears in the Hannafords’ 1894 “Selections” of their work.
Dedication booklet for Cincinnati City Hall (1893);
Painter, AIC (2006), 121;
In Pursuit of Beauty (1987).
(Cumberland, Md., 1843-1903)
Leading American architect, both creative and eclectic, during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Educated in Maryland; entered the office of (John S.) Niernsee & Nelson in Baltimore, 1862; spent a year in Paris studying architecture; returned to practice in Baltimore with Ephraim Baldwin, specializing in churches. Opened an office in Wilkes Barre, Pa., in 1873 and in 1877 moved to New York, where he soon established a successful practice. (Mrs. Emily Post, the famous authority on etiquette, was a daughter.)
Price was a versatile and usually distinctive designer. Vincent Scully in his seminal, 1955 book, The Shingle Style, describes him as “that versatile gentleman and erratic genius” (p. 77); and in a number of other extensive references emphasizes the “wildness” and “energy” of his early works, before the self-imposed discipline of his later works brought him under control. Price is known both for early works in the Shingle Style (including several early “honeymoon cottages” in the Tuxedo Park, N.Y., commuters' resort that may well have influenced Frank Lloyd Wright's earliest work, including his own home and studio in Oak Park, Ill, as Scully has suggested), massive buildings in his own version of the Richardsonian Romanesque, and later, more Beaux-Arts-inspired large public, institutional, and commercial works, such as the Windsor Station in Montreal (1892-1893) and the famous Chateau Frontenac Hotel in Quebec City (1894-1896).
Price competed unsuccessfully against H.H. Richardson with a handsome, published design for the Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce Building (1885). Price contributed also architectural design(s) to the 1883 Cincinnati Exposition, and his local connections in the early 1880s obviously deserve to be explored further. Bruce Price exhibited the Fuller Memorial in Chicago and, with James A. Darrach, a dormitory and apartment building at the 3rd CAIA/CAM (1903).
Sheldon & Lewis and Lewis & Morgan have reprinted 1880s publications of Price's earlier Shingle Style J. Wayne Neff House, formerly at the SWC Oak St. and Reading Rd in Avondale (1881); a somewhat plainer but more characteristically (and deliberately) awkwardly massed shingled residence, the home of Edward Colston, locally attributed to Price, remains on the SWC of McMillan St. and Highland Avenue, Mt. Auburn. Langsam also suggests that the “honeymoon house” of William Howard Taft(said to have been commissioned by his bride’s parents, the Herrons) on E. McMillan St. in E. Walnut Hills may well have been designed by Price, both because of its considerable similarities to his work in Tuxedo Park, as well as the Colston House, and the lack of a claim for its design by a local architectural firm. "Semi-Detached Houses at Mt. Auburn" by Price were illustrated in the AA&BN in 1885 (see In Pursuit of Beauty). Jay Brite (q.v.), who delineated several plates of Cincinnati buildings in the Inland Architect, included "A Stable in Avondale" by Price in 1884; with its charming pargetting, it does not look like the part of the Neff coach house shown in Sheldon & Lewis. (See Langsam, Great Houses of the Queen City , for further connections, including Shillito family links with Tuxedo Park.)
Withey (1956, 1970), 487-88;
NYCOPAR (1840-1900), 63;
NYCOPAR (1900-1940), 62;
Wodehouse (1976), I, 156-57;
Langsam (1997), 2, 63-65, 74-75;
Macmillan Encyclopedia, III (1982), 476 (by Timothy F. Rub);
Van Vynckt, ed. (1993), I, 697-98, (by Michael J. Lewis);
Russell Sturgis, Architectural Record, Supplement to the June 1899 Issue, p. 1-65 .
Price, Harry M.
Listed as draftsman, perhaps with C.M. Foster at the same address, in 1906; architect 1910, 1913-1949. May have been trained at the Ohio Mechanics’ Institute. Early in career worked for the Myers Y. Cooper Real Estate firm. Possibly born in Europe, Price may have returned there at least three times. Apparently a prolific architect, specializing in residential design and development of communities such as Amberley Village, Price worked for such prominent Jewish families as the Freibergs, Jaffes, Rollmans, Trounstines, and Westons, in a variety of Traditional styles. Cincinnati Modernist architect Carl Strauss got his start working for Price after being graduated from Harvard University (School of Design) in 1937, continuing until Strauss joined the Army in 1942 or 1943, later claiming he learned “a helluva lot from him.” According to Strauss, Price was the supervising architect (with E.G. Reed of Cleveland) for the Hulbert Taft, Jr., House in Indian Hill. Robert (“Bob”) Kennedy was also a draftsman in Price’s office while Strauss was there.
Before 1937 Price served as chief field representative of the architecture and construction division—the liaison between the local project and the principal designing staff [of the PWA] in Washington, D.C. According to his Times-Star obituary, Price was the sole architect, designer, and engineer of a $8-million-dollar housing-project near Baltimore, Md., called Stansbury Manor, a non-government development completed in 1942 at Middle River, five miles from Baltimore overlooking the Chesapeake Bay (one of a group of housing-developments built for workers at the Glenn L. Martin Aircraft Company during the early years of World War II, especially to house women and African-American workers at the nearby plant designed by Detroit architect-engineer Albert Kahn).
Obituary, Cincinnati Post (1/11/1951), 34:1;
Obituary, Cincinnati Times-Star (1/11/1951);
Obituary, Cincinnati Enquirer (1/12/1951);
American Israelite (1/18/1951);
Maryland Online Encyclopedia, (7/15/2006);
Architecture: Albert Kahn (1948), 29, 91;
Bucci (1993), 81-83, 103, 105, 123;
Merkel (1984), 59;
Betty (Mrs. Dr. Aaron) Perlman, “Who’s Harry?” (paper for Noonday Club, ca. 1995).
Procter, Edwin R. (Richard)
Son of William and Olivia Procter, of Procter & Gamble. A junior member of the Cincinnati Chapter of the AIA, 1870-1874, Procter appears in the Cincinnati directories 1875-1877 as the partner of Samuel Hannaford; possibly they joined together in order to compete (successfully) for the design of the Cincinnati Music Hall. A number of drawings for other buildings, especially houses, labeled Hannaford & Procter are in an Album at the Rare Book Room of the Public Library of Cincinnati & Hamilton County.
Painter, AIC (2006), 102, 103;
Langsam (1997), 35, 52, 65, 81;
Nuxhall, SGC, 18, Lot 60.
Samuel Hannaford and Edwin R. Procter
Cincinnati Music Hall, 1877-1878; Exposition Buildings, 1879
1241-43 Elm Street, Over-the-Rhine
Painter, AIC (2006), 51, 149;
Menefee (1926), 116-17.