Richard A. Waite

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Richard A. Waite
Born Richard Alfred Waite
May 14, 1848
London,  United Kingdom
Died January 7, 1911
New York City, New York  United States
Nationality British
Spouse(s) Sarah Holloway
Parents Charles Henry Waite and Harriet Humphries Holland
Practice Buffalo NY
Buildings Ontario Legislative Building, Toronto

Richard A. Waite (May 14, 1848 – January 7, 1911) was a British-born American architect in the late 19th century.

Early years[edit]

Richard A. Waite was born in London in 1848 as one of seven children (surviving included William T, Helen and Jennie) of Charles Henry Waite and his wife Harriet Humphries Holland. Richard Waite's father arrived in America in 1856 with his wife and children and settled in Buffalo, New York to work in a printing company.

Education and career[edit]

Waite like many early architects, learned building design as an apprentice. He studied mechanical engineering in New York City under John Ericsson, the inventor of the Civil War ironclad USS Monitor.

Waite returned to Buffalo in 1874 as a fully trained architect. His 1869 marriage to Sarah Holloway, daughter of local contractor Isaac Holloway, afforded him several public works commissions. In 1876, he made architectural history by hiring Louise Blanchard Bethune as a draftsman. She went on to become the first professional woman architect in the United States.

Although Waite built many homes in the Buffalo area, some of his best-known commissions were in Canada and Scotland.

A list of some of Waite's accomplishments:

Waite also helped design the Oliver Opera House in South Bend, Indiana.[citation needed] This opera house was built by James and Joseph Doty Oliver, both founders of the Oliver Chilled Plow Works located in South Bend, Indiana. James Oliver was the inventor of the Chilled Plow.

Personal and death[edit]

Waite's mother died in 1862 and his wife Sarah in 1901. Waite was survived by Sarah, brother William T (also an architect) and his children:[1]

  • son Richard Alfred Waite II (January 30, 1874 – March 11, 1961) studied architecture at Cornell University, but changed to theology at Syracuse University due to poor health. His son became a Methodist minister and died in St. Louis, Missouri.[2] Waite is buried with his wife at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Buffalo.
  • Helen Holloway Waite (November 16, 1871 – December 6, 1949)
  • Raymond Isaac Waite, (October 18, 1875 – death unknown)
  • Evadne Holland Waite (October 1, 1879 – 1958)
  • Mary Sarah Waite (December 26, 1880 – March 3, 1956)


External links[edit]