James Gamble Rogers

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James Gamble Rogers
James Gamble Rogers by William Sergeant Kendall c1905.jpg
Born (1867-03-03)March 3, 1867
Bryan Station, Kentucky
United States
Died October 1, 1947(1947-10-01) (aged 80)
New York, New York
United States
Nationality American
Buildings Sterling Memorial Library, Yale University
Harkness Memorial Tower, Yale University
Berkeley, Jonathan Edwards, Branford, Saybrook, Trumbull, Pierson, Davenport and Timothy Dwight Colleges at Yale University
Sterling Law Building, home of Yale Law School
Hall of Graduate Studies, Yale University
Butler Library, Columbia University
Deering Library, Northwestern University
Columbia University Medical Center, Columbia University
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Hospital
Yale Club of New York City
A tribute to Rogers in the Memorial Quadrangle, Lee Lawrie, sculptor
Rogers' front facade of the Yale Club of New York City.

James Gamble Rogers (March 3, 1867 — October 1, 1947) was an American architect best known for his academic commissions at Yale University, Columbia University, Northwestern University, and elsewhere.[1]

Biography[edit]

Rogers was born in Bryan Station, Kentucky on March 3, 1867, to James M. and Katharine Gamble Rogers.[1] Rogers attended Yale University, where he contributed to The Yale Record and was a member of Scroll and Key, a senior society whose membership included several other notable architects. He received his B.A. in 1889, and is responsible for many of the gothic revival structures at Yale University built in the 1910s through the mid-1930s, as well as the university's master plan in 1924. He designed for other universities as well, such as the Butler Library at Columbia University, many of the original buildings at the Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center (now the Columbia University Medical Center), and several buildings at Northwestern University, notably Deering Library.

He died on October 1, 1947.

Legacy[edit]

Rogers was philanthropist Edward Harkness's favorite architect, and Harkness would often condition a gift for a new academic or medical building upon the institution's agreement to hire Rogers for the project. It is thus no coincidence that Rogers' work is abundant at Yale, Columbia and the other institutions Harkness supported lavishly. Though Harkness loved Rogers's work, when Harkness donated a new home for Wolf's Head, his society at Yale, another architect (Bertram Goodhue) was chosen.

Rogers' Collegiate Gothic designs for Yale lent an air of instant heritage and authenticity to the campus. Rogers was criticized by other prominent Gothic-revival American architects, namely Ralph Adams Cram, for his use of steel frames underneath stone cladding, and tricks such as splashing acid on stone walls to simulate age. Rogers was also criticized by the growing Modernist movement of the time. The 1927 Sterling Memorial Library came under especially vocal attack from Yale students for its historicist spirit and its lavish use of ornament. But current opinion generally regards the building as a triumph, being both beautiful and functional.

Rogers's nephew, James Gamble Rogers II (1901–1990) was also an architect, who designed homes in Winter Park, Florida for the Rogers family architecture firm Rogers, Lovelock and Fritz, where Rogers II's son John (Jack) Rogers is a principal architect.

Rogers II's other son, James Gamble Rogers IV (1937–1991) was also trained as an architect. After working in the family firm as a young man, James Gamble Rogers IV decided to pursue his passion for music. He became a noted Florida folksinger, composer and guitarist, now memorialized by the Gamble Rogers Memorial Foundation,[2] Gamble Rogers Middle School, and Gamble Rogers Memorial State Recreation Area at Flagler Beach on Florida's east coast.

James Gamble Rogers' architectural drawings and photographs are now held in the Dept. of Drawings & Archives in the Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library at Columbia University in New York.

Buildings[edit]

References[edit]

Sources[edit]

  • James Gamble Rogers and the Architecture of Pragmatism, Aaron Betsky, MIT, 1994.
  • The Architecture of James Gamble Rogers II in Winter Park, Florida, Patrick and Debra McClane, 2004. ISBN 0-8130-2770-5
  • The Campus Guide: Yale University, Patrick L. Pinnell, Princeton Architectural Press, New York, 1999.
  • Yale: A Pictorial History, Reuben A. Holden, New Haven, Yale University Press, 1967.