Ralph Adams Cram

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Cram, Ralph Adams (1863–1942). Leading Gothic Revivalist in the USA, much influenced by the works of Bodley, Morris, and Ruskin. He went into partnership with Charles Francis Wentworth (1861–97) in 1889, and together they built the Episcopalian Church of All Saints, Ashmont, Dorchester, Boston, MA (1891–1913). This brought them fame and attracted the gifted Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue (1869–1924) to join them as a partner in the firm, renamed Cram, Wentworth, & Goodhue (1892–1914). After Wentworth's early death Frank Ferguson (1861–1926) joined the partnership, and Cram, Goodhue, & Ferguson rose to national pre-eminence with two important commissions: the master-plan and chapel for the US Military Academy, West Point, NY (1903–14), and the Church of St Thomas, Fifth Avenue, NYC (1906–14). The church is one of the finest works of the Arts-and-Crafts and Gothic Revival styles in America. The Graduate School Complex and Chapel at Princeton University (1911–29) were sophisticated designs, but Cram's greatest achievement (1915–41) is undoubtedly the project for the completion and Gothicizing of the Cathedral of St John the Divine, Morningside Heights, NYC, begun in a Byzantine Romanesque style in 1892 to designs by Heins and Lafarge. A respected scholar, Cram was the author of Church Building (1901) and The Substance of Gothic (1917) among other important works.


Cram (1924, 1925, 1930, 1966, 1967, 1969);
A. Daniel (1980);
Muccigrosso (1980);
North (1931);
Shand-Tucci (1975, 1994);
D. Watkin (1986)

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Ralph Adams Cram, 1863–1942, American architect, b. Hampton Falls, N.H. An ardent exponent of Gothic architecture, Cram produced many collegiate and ecclesiastical works in a neo-Gothic style. Among these are part of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City; the graduate school and chapel at Princeton; and buildings at Williams, Phillips Exeter Academy, Rice Univ., and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. After the withdrawal of B. G. Goodhue in 1914, the architectural firm with which he was associated was known as Cram and Ferguson.

See Ralph Adams Cram: Life and Architecture (Vol. I, 1995) by D. Shand-Tucci.