Cajetan J. B. Baumann
|Cajetan J. B. Baumann, O.F.M.|
|Born||3 August 1899
Grünkraut, Ravensburg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
|Died||9 May 1969
New York City
|Nationality||German and USA|
Brother Cajetan J. B. Baumann, O.F.M., AIA, (1899-1969), was a Franciscan friar and a noted American architect. Baumann’s designs were incredibly progressive, providing modern interpretations of Gothic architecture.
Baumann was born 3 August 1899 in Grünkraut, a town in the Ravensburg district of the State of Baden-Württemberg in Germany. He spent two years in military service during World War I, mostly with the engineering corps of the German Imperial Army. In 1922 he entered the novitiate of the Fulda Province of the Order of Friars Minor in Sigmaringen, where, upon completion, he was given the religious habit and the name by which he is now known on 16 July 1923. He remained a member of this Province throughout his life.
In 1925 Baumann was sent to the United States to help with his skills as a cabinetmaker and wood carver. It was there that he made his final profession at St. Bonaventure Friary in Paterson, New Jersey on 16 July 1926. He served that community for the next ten years. He then went on to earn a bachelor's degree from St. Bonaventure University in 1941 and a Master of Science from Columbia University, where he later served on the Board of Governors of the School of Architecture. He was also active in the National Committee on Religious Buildings, the Architectural League of New York, the National Sculpture Society, the New York Building Congress and the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards. Baumann was the American representative of the International Commission for the Restoration of the Basilica of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem.
Baumann became the first member of a religious Order ever to be named to the American Institute of Architects. He also gained The National Council Certificate, which qualified him as an architect throughout the United States. With those honors, he headed an architectural firm based in New York City for the Order of Friars Minor, the Office of Franciscan Art and Architecture, designing many religious structures around the hemisphere.
On the 9 May 1969, Baumann died from a heart condition at University Hospital in New York City. Before his death, he had been awarded honorary degrees from St. Bonaventure University, St. Francis College, Biddeford, Maine, and Rosary Hill College, Buffalo, New York. During his lifetime, he designed many structures, including churches, convents, schools, college residences, retreat houses, and seminaries.
Although it was not engaged in general practice, Baumann’s firm attracted a number of architects and designers who later earned national reputations. These included: Paul Damaz, the Office's Chief Designer, who helped design the United Nations headquarters in New York and received the Arnold Brunner Award in 1958; and Gottfried Bohm, who received the coveted Pritzker Prize in 1986 – architecture's highest honor.
- 1949: St. Clare's Hospital Nurses School, a seven-story brick nurses school, 426-432 West 52nd Street, Manhattan, New York, for $750,000.
- 1955: Order of St Basil the Great Nurses School, a five-story school with penthouse convent, 215 East 6th Street, Manhattan, New York, for $1,500,000.
- 1959: St. Mary's Ruthenian Catholic Church, three-story church & rectory, 244-246 E 15th Street, Manhattan, New York, for $450,000.
- 1960: St. Stephen of Hungary's Church (New York City), four-story rectory, 402-412 E 82nd Street, Manhattan, New York, for $300,000.
- 1965: Holy Cross Church (Bronx, New York), 600 Soundview Avenue, Bronx, New York
- 1966: St. John's Atonement Seminary, Montour Falls, New York, a new annex
- St. Bonaventure University, Saint Bonaventure, New York:
- Plassman Hall
- Friary (now Doyle Hall)
- Christ the King Seminary (now Francis Hall)
- University Administration Building (now Hopkins Hall)
- St. Anthony Shrine, Boston, MA
- Franciscan Commissariat of the Holy Land in America
- Holy Name Province O.F.M. "Our Deceased Friars"
- Office for Metropolitan History, "Manhattan NB Database 1900-1986"
- See Thomas J. Shelley, The Archdiocese of New York: the Bicentennial History, (New York: Archdiocese of New York, 2007), p.484-485; Holy Cross, Soundview Avenue (Accessed 7 February 2011)
Bruder Cajetan Baumann, Architekt in New York by Dorotheus Naumann (1966)