Ware & van Brunt

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Ware & van Brunt. Leading architectural firm in the USA from 1863 to 1881, formed by William Robert Ware (1832–1915) and Henry van Brunt (1832–1903), both pupils of Richard Morris Hunt in New York, having studied at Harvard. Their best work was for ecclesiastical and institutional buildings, notably First Church, Boston, MA (1865–7), the Memorial Hall, Harvard (1865–80—perhaps the finest Gothic Revival building ever erected in the USA), the Episcopal Theological School, Cambridge, Mass. (1869–80), Weld Hall, Harvard (1871–2), Third Universalist Church, Cambridge, Mass. (1875), the stack addition to Gore Hall, Harvard University Library (1876–7—the first example of such book-storage in the USA), and St Stephen's Church, Lynn, Mass. (1881–2). Their Gothic work was much influenced by Ruskin, but they designed with considerable ?air in the Queen Anne and North- European Renaissance styles with considerable flair.

Ware was appointed Professor and Head of the first US School of Architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1865) and later (1881) set up the School at Columbia, NYC, based on Beaux-Arts principles. He designed the American School of Classical Studies, Athens, Greece (1886–8), a scholarly essay of considerable distinction. Van Brunt continued to practise, taking Frank Howe (1849–1909) into partnership (1881), and moved (1887) the firm to Kansas, MO, from where they designed many railway-stations for the Union Pacific railroad (Ware and van Brunt's Union Station, Worcester, MA of 1873–5—destroyed—was an example). Their Electricity Building, World's Columbian Exposition, Chicago Il (1892–3), was firmly Classical in style.

Ware and van Brunt were committed to high standards of professionalism, and both were distinguished writers and critics. Van Brunt was the first to translate Viollet-le-Duc's Entretiens into English as Discourses on Architecture (1875–81), while Ware published several works, including Greek Ornament (1878) and The American Vignola (1901).


Coles (ed.) (1969);
The Crayon, vi (1859), 15–20;
Hitchcock (1977);
Placzek (ed.) (1982);
Jane Turner (1996);
W. Rotch Ware (1866, 1878, 1900, 1912–13, 1977);
W&K (1983)