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Austin W. Lord

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Austin W. Lord
Born(1860-06-27)June 27, 1860
DiedJanuary 19, 1922(1922-01-19) (aged 61)
BuildingsWilliam A. Clark House
Edward S. Harkness House
Masonic Temple, Brooklyn
ProjectsAdministration Buildings, Isthmian Canal Commission, Panama

Austin Willard Lord FAIA (June 27, 1860 – January 19, 1922) was an American architect and painter. He was a partner in the firm of Lord & Hewlett, best known for their work on the design of the former William A. Clark House on Fifth Avenue in New York.[1][2]

Education and early career


Lord was born in Rolling Stone, Minnesota,[1] the son of Orville Morrell Lord (1826–1906), one of the first settlers in the area.[3] After receiving his initial training at the Minnesota State Normal School at Winona and in architects' offices in Minnesota, he entered the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1884. In 1887 he married Margaret Gage (or Gaige) of Winona, and the following year he traveled alone to Europe on a Rotch Traveling Scholarship.[4] He spent the 1889–90 academic year studying in the ateliers of Honoré Daumet and Charles Girault in Paris,[5] after which he visited Germany, Belgium, Spain, and Italy.

On his return to the United States in 1890, Lord joined the firm of McKim, Mead, and White, where he worked on such projects as the Brooklyn Museum of Arts and Sciences, the Metropolitan Club, and buildings at Columbia University.[6] There he met James Monroe Hewlett, with whom he formed a partnership which was to endure until Lord's death in 1922. Among the architects who worked at the firm were Washington Hull (1895–1909), Electus D. Litchfield (1901–08) and Hugh Tallant (who had been a partner with Henry Beaumont Herts since 1897 before joined Lord and Hewlett in 1911). During various times the firm was also known as "Lord, Hewlett and Hull" or (more infrequently) "Lord, Hewlett and Tallant."

Also in 1894, Lord, under the aegis of Charles F. McKim, was appointed Director of the American School of Architecture in Rome (later the American Academy in Rome), where he stayed until 1896.[4]

In 1899, William A. Clark, a wealthy businessman (and later U. S. senator) from Montana, commissioned Lord, Hewlett, & Hull to design a large house for him to be built on Fifth Avenue in New York City.[7] (Clark had commissioned the firm to design his mausoleum in Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx in 1897.[8]) In 1904 the commission led to a major legal dispute within the firm which was only resolved in 1908,[9] and the house was not completed until 1911.

Lord and Hewlett were also entangled in a legal dispute over the Department of Agriculture Building to be erected on the National Mall in Washington, DC. Although the firm won the national design competition for the building (over submissions by such prominent firms as Carrère and Hastings and Peabody and Stearns[10]), the U. S. Supreme Court ruled that the appropriation made by the U. S. Congress for the project covered only the basic design of the building, and that the firm was never asked to proceed with detailed plans, let alone the actual construction.[11][12]

Later career


In 1912, Lord was appointed Trustees Professor of Architecture and Director of the School of Architecture at Columbia University.[13] In the same year he was selected by George W. Goethals to design the administration buildings for the Isthmian Canal Commission in Panama.[14] "Lord spent the month of July 1912 on the Isthmus studying the topography of the land and local conditions that would affect the design of the buildings. The agreement was that he would return to New York to work out a general scheme in which all of the buildings "from Toro Point to Taboga Island would be of a prevailing style." Due to mutual frustration between Lord and Goethals, Lord resigned from the project in August 1913.[15] Lord's consequent neglect of his work at Columbia led to concern on the part of the trustees of the university and eventually to his dismissal from his position there in 1915.[16]

Wilton River, Silvermine Conn. Oct. 1915

Shortly after leaving his post at Columbia, Lord retired to Silvermine, Connecticut, where he had bought a large farmhouse and had been active in the artists' colony there, the Silvermine Group of Artists, since its formal establishment in 1909.[17] Although his partnership with Hewlett was to remain until his death, it was about this time that Lord began to devote most of his energies to painting. This was due in part to his friendship with another member of the Silvermine Group, the painter Carl Schmitt, who married his daughter Gertrude in 1918 and settled permanently in Silvermine the following year. In addition to being part of exhibitions at Silvermine and other local venues, including a one-man show in Winona,[18] Lord's work was shown at the National Academy of Design,[19] the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, the Art Association of Newport, and the Mahoning Institute in Youngstown, Ohio.[20]

Lord died in Silvermine in 1922.[1]

Professional memberships


Selected works


All works attributed to Lord and Hewlett unless otherwise noted.


  1. ^ a b c "Austin W. Lord Dies; Architect-Painter; Ex-Director of School of Architecture at Columbia; Designed Senator Clark's Home." New York Times, January 20, 1922.
  2. ^ Dennis McFadden, "Lord, Austin W.", in Macmillan Encyclopedia of Architects edited by Adolph K. Placzek (New York: Free Press, 1982), vol. 3., p. 32. ISBN 9780029250006.
  3. ^ History of Winona County (Chicago, H. H. Hill & Co., 1883), pp. 307–309, 62.
  4. ^ a b "Austin W. Lord." Brickbuilder, vol. 25 no. 1 (January 1916), p. 25.
  5. ^ Who's Who in New York (New York: Who's Who Publications, 1918), p. 681.
  6. ^ National Cyclopaedia of American Biography vol. 11 (New York: James T. White & Co., 1901), p. 330.
  7. ^ "W. A. Clark's New House", New York Times, February 5, 1899.
  8. ^ Woodlawn Cemetery National Historic Landmark Nomination p. 19
  9. ^ "Senator Clark's New Home Causes a Suit," New York Times, December 11, 1901.
  10. ^ "United States Department of Agriculture Building to be Built in Washington, D. C." Architects' and Builders' Magazine, vol. 34 no. 10 (July 1902), pp. 371–74. The article includes plans and elevations of the proposed building.
  11. ^ Lord and Hewlett v. United States, 217 U.S. 340 (1910) at Justia.
  12. ^ Dana G. Dalrymple, "Agriculture, Architects, and the Mall, 1901–1905: The Plan is Tested." Archived September 26, 2012, at the Wayback Machine in Sue Kohler and Pamela Scott, eds. Designing the Nation's Capital: The 1901 Plan for Washington, D.C. (Washington, D.C.: U. S. Commission of Fine Arts, 2006), pp. 207–44. ISBN 016075223X
  13. ^ "Columbia to Teach New Architecture: Prof. Lord's Coming to University Will Revolutionize Teaching Methods," New York Times, October 5, 1912, p. 19.
  14. ^ a b "House Canal Force in Fine Buildings," New York Times, August 18, 1913, p. 6.
  15. ^ Vicki M. Boatwringht, "Administration Building Unites Past, Present and Future," Panama Canal Review October 1, 1979, p. 9, citing Canal Record vol. 5 no. 50 (August 7, 1912), p. 397.
  16. ^ Susan M. Strauss, "History III: 1912–1933," in The Making of an Architect: 1881–1981: Columbia University in the City of New York, ed. Richard Oliver (New York: Rizzoli, 1981), pp. 89–90.
  17. ^ "New Artists' Society." American Art News vol. 7, no. 35 (September, 20, 1909 p. 7.
  18. ^ "Austin W. Lord to Show His Paintings at Library." Winona (MN) Republican-Herald, October 21, 1916, p. 8; online at the Winona Newspaper Project
  19. ^ Peter Falk, ed., The Annual Exhibition Record of the National Academy of Design, 1901–1950, (Madison, CT: Sound View Press, 1990). ISBN 9780932087096
  20. ^ "Lord Paintings Shown Thursday at Free Library." Winona (MN) Republican-Herald, November 8, 1916; p. 7, online at the Winona Newspaper Project
  21. ^ Journal of the American Institute of Architects, vol. 10, no. 2 (February 1922), p. 51.
  22. ^ Transactions of the American Geographical Society, vol. 33, no. 1 (January–February 1901) p. 97.
  23. ^ "Beaux Arts Members Pledge $100,000." New York Tribune, November 26, 1908, p. 6.
  24. ^ Robert B. MacKay, Anthony K. Baker, and Carol A. Traynor, Long Island Country Houses and Their Architects (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1997), p. 260. ISBN 0393038564
  25. ^ Michael C. Katherns, Great Houses of New York, 1880–1930 (Acanthus Press, 2005), pp. 207–18. ISBN 0926494341
  26. ^ Stanley Turkel, Built to Last: 100+ Year-Old Hotels in New York (AuthorHouse, 2011), pp. 109–15. ISBN 1463443412
  27. ^ Report of the Queens Borough Public Library, 1907 p. 40.
  28. ^ Mary B. Dierickx, The Architecture of Literacy: The Carnegie Libraries of New York City, (New York: Cooper Union, 1996). ISBN 1562567179
  29. ^ "The Masonic Temple for the Brooklyn Masonic Guild." Architects' and Builders' Magazine, v.10 (1908–09) pp. 435–440.
  30. ^ Brickbuilder vol. 18 no. 7 (July 1909), plates 88–96.
  31. ^ Annie Tolebate, "An Architect's Summer Home: The House of Austin W. Lord, Esq., Water Witch, New Jersey." American Homes and Gardens vol. 4, no. 12 (December 1907), pp. 456–57.
  32. ^ Aymar Embury, One Hundred Country Houses: Modern American Examples (New York: The Century Co., 1909), pp. 18–20.
  33. ^ Margaret Birney Vickery, Smith College: The Campus Guide: An Architectural Tour (Princeton, NJ: Princeton Architectural Press, 2007), pp.37–40. ISBN 1568985916
  34. ^ Harkness Memorial State Park official page
  35. ^ "Administration Building Unites Past, Present and Future," Panama Canal Review, October 1, 1979, pp. 7–13.
  36. ^ W. H. de B. Nelson, "A Studio Home in Connecticut," International Studio, vol. 53 no. 212 (October 1914), pp. lxv–lxvii.
  37. ^ New Canaan Preservation Alliance Trustees' Award for Residential Rehabilitation
  38. ^ "Some Recent Hospitals," Architectural Forum, vol. 30 no. 6 (June 1919), pp.168–69 and plates 92–93.
  39. ^ W. J. Nealley and J. Monroe Hewlett, "Brooklyn's Oldest Hospital Built Anew." Modern Hospital vol. 7 no. 5 (November 1916), pp. 361–66.

Further reading

  • Yegül, Fikret K. Gentlemen of Instinct and Breeding: Architecture at the American Academy in Rome, 1894–1940. New York: Oxford University Press, 1991, chaps. 3 and 4.