Raymond F. Almirall

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Raymond F. Almirall
Born 1869
New York, New York
Died 1939
New York, New York
Nationality USA
Known for Architect

Raymond F. Almirall (1869-1939) was an American architect of the Beaux-Arts period, at the beginning of the 20th century, whose innovative architectural style won him many varied clients in New York and elsewhere. Among his noted designs was Brooklyn's own "Sacré-Cœur", St. Michael's Church,.[1]

Early life and architectural education[edit]

Almirall was born in New York in 1869. He studied at Cornell University and at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris for three years. Thereafter he established his architectural firm in Brooklyn.

Architectural practice[edit]

He was a very creative architect for his time and his work incorporated the latest architectural techniques including structural steel, reinforced cement and reinforced concrete [2]

In 1909, Almirall designed what might have been his masterpiece, the Beaux-Arts classical style Brooklyn Central Library which was expected to be a major example of the City Beautiful architectural style in that city. But shortly after construction began funding dried up and only the West Wing Wall was actually built. In 1937, the project was renewed and the firm of Githens & Keally was hired to redesign the building in the Modern Classical style. Almirall’s original scheme was abandoned in favor of the new one and the redesigned library was completed in 1941.[3]

Almirall did design three other branch libraries for Brooklyn all of which were funded by Andrew Carnegie.

In Manhattan, he is best known for his Emigrant Savings Bank building, now offices, and the Boss Tweed Courthouse, both magnificent examples of Beaux-Arts, City Beautiful architecture. At one time the Emigrant Savings Bank was the largest bank in the country.

Almirall also designed several large churches for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn. One of these, the Mortuary Chapel at Calvary Cemetery, Long Island City, New York was described at the time of its construction as ‘’the Most Remarkable Mortuary Chapel in America’’.[4]

He was one of the very few American architects of his day to design a Cathedral in a foreign country. His byzantine styled Holy Trinity Cathedral in Kingston, Jamaica which contains a broad, clearly articulated facade' and a large concrete dome. In his book ‘’Hagia Sophia, 1850-1950: holy wisdom modern monument’’ author Robert S. Nelson compares the Cathedral to the Hagia Sophia.[5]

Almirall also designed most of the buildings for the Seaview Hospital in Staten Island, New York which at the time of its construction was the largest tuberculosis hospital in the World where many of the successful treatments for this disease were to be created. Today this hospital is a spectacular ruin.

Works include[edit]


  1. ^ Francis Morrone and James Iska, An Architectural Guidebook to Brooklyn, p.276
  2. ^ Flower and Fifth Avenue hospital New York Medical College (Ann Arbor, Michigan: University of Michigan Library, 1867), p.4.
  3. ^ http://www.brooklynpubliclibrary.org/central/branch/history.jsp Brooklyn Central Library
  4. ^ a b Henry Haven Windsor, ed. Popular Mechanics: an Illustrated Weekly Review, Volume 12, Issues 1-6 (Chicago, Illinois: 1909), p.292-293.
  5. ^ a b Nelson, Robert S. Hagia Sophia, 1850-1950: holy wisdom modern monument. pp. 190, 191. 
  6. ^ Almirall, Raymond F., architect. “Church of the Nativity, Brooklyn.” (undated albumen print), A. D. White Architectural Photographs Collection, Cornell University Rare and Manuscript Collections (15/5/3090.00511)
  7. ^ Brownstoner Blog Building of the Day: 4200 Fourth Avenue. Originally posted 31 January 2011. Retrieved 13 April 2011.
  8. ^ MUSEUM PLANET RAISES BAR FOR iPad APPS. Originally posted February 25, 2011 in Denver, Colorado; retrieved 13 April 2011. Copyright 1999 - 2011, Museum Planet (content) and BOLDfx (programming) unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved.
  9. ^ 92. Former Emigrant Industrial Savings Bank, “The Masterpiece Next Door: All 500-plus Manhattan landmarks on the National Register of Historic Places, blogged.” Originally posted Saturday, December 6, 2008, retrieved 13 April 2011.
  10. ^ “About the Brooklyn Lyceum”, Brooklyn Lyceum Website. Retrieved 13 April 2011.
  11. ^ Forgotten New York: Hospital of the Damned Accessed 13 April 2011
  12. ^ David B. Potts, Wesleyan University, 1831-1910: Collegiate Enterprise in New England. (New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press, 1992), p.194.
  13. ^ [1]