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Lafever, Minard

Lafever, Minard (1798–1854). American architect. His NYC practice produced a wide range of buildings in a variety of styles, but his chief importance lies in his dissemination of Greek and Gothic Revivals through his many publications, including The Young Builder's General Instructor (1829), The Modern Builder's Guide (1833), The Beauties of Modern Architecture (1835), The Modern Practice of Staircase and Handrail Construction (1838), and The Architectural Instructor (1856). Lafever himself drew heavily on Stuart and Revett's Antiquities of Athens and the various publications of Peter Nicholson, but his own Grecian work was inventive, going far beyond archaeological exactness, and there are interesting parallels with some of Alexander ‘Greek’ Thomson's details and those of Lafever (which came first). His major NYC buildings were Gothic Revival churches, including the handsome Holy Trinity (1844–7) and the Church of the Saviour (First Unitarian Church, 1842–4), both in Brooklyn Heights. He also designed in the Egyptian Revival (Shields obelisk, Greenwood Cemetery, Brooklyn, 1845, and the Whalers' First Presbyterian Church, Sag Harbour, Long Island, 1843–4), Italianate, and Renaissance styles.

Bibliography

Carrott (1978);
Hamlin (1964);
Lafever (1829, 1838, 1856, 1968, 1969, 1969a);
Landy (1970);
Stamp & McKinstry (eds.) (1994)

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