Jewett House, Vassar College
Lewis F. Pilcher, AIA (1871 – 1941), was an American academic and architect active in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth-century New York City. With William G. Tachau, he was a partner of Pilcher and Tachau, the predecessor firm of Tachau and Vought. He was a professor of art at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York. He subsequently was a state architect of New York.
Through his connections at Vassar, Pilcher designed the eight-story North Residence (1907), renamed in 1915 as Jewett House. The structure is composed of a four-story U-shaped arms block, which frames a quad-side court, and is attached to a rear eight-story tower that incorporates a 30,000-gallon water tank. The structure extensively used steel and concrete structural components faced with red brick and terracotta ornamentation. The high level of decorative work, including crenellations, grotesque terracotta faces and animals was incongruous to Vassar’s restrained red brick-with-sandstone-trim Quad dormitories and was nicknamed “Pilcher’s Crime.” The structure failed to attract donors who would have attached their name and it was instead renamed in honor of the college’s first president, Milo P. Jewett.
- Jewett House (1907, formerly North Residence before 1915)
- Troop C Armory in Brooklyn, New York
- The Kingsbridge Armory in the Bronx, New York