Charles Sumner Frost

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Navy Pier Auditorium
Old Chicago and North Western Terminal ca. 1912, soon after its completion

Charles Sumner Frost (May 31, 1856 – December 11, 1931) was an American architect. He is best known as the architect of Navy Pier and for designing over 100 buildings for the Chicago and North Western Railway.


Born in Lewiston, Maine, Frost was first a draftsman in Boston, and graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1876. While working in Boston he worked for the firm of Peabody and Stearns from 1876 to 1881.[1][2] He moved to Chicago in 1882, when he began a partnership with Henry Ives Cobb. Together, they established the firm Cobb and Frost, which was active from 1882 to 1898. After the partnership ended, he worked alone. Frost married Mary Hughitt, a daughter of Marvin Hughitt, the President of the Chicago and North Western Railroad, in 1897. On January 1, 1898, he partnered with his brother-in-law, Alfred Hoyt Granger, to form the firm of Frost and Granger. Frost and Granger were known for their designs of train stations and terminals, including the now-demolished Chicago and North Western Terminal. Frost designed 127 buildings for the Chicago and North Western Railroad alone.[3] After Frost and Granger dissolved in 1910, Frost continued to work independently, designing such structures as the Navy Pier Auditorium. [4] Frost was a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects.[5] He retired on December 31, 1928 and died on December 11, 1931 in Chicago.[2] The city of Frost, Rome Township, Faribault County, Minnesota, was named for Charles S. Frost.[6]

Notable buildings[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Stuart Cohen and Susan Bejamin; North Shore Chicago; Houses of the Lakefront Suburbs 1890-1940 Acanthus Press, 2004, p.311
  2. ^ a b Coventry, Kim; Meyer, Daniel; Miller, Arthur H. (2003-01-01). Classic Country Estates of Lake Forest: Architecture and Landscape Design, 1856-1940. W. W. Norton & Company. p. 296. ISBN 9780393730999.
  3. ^
  4. ^ Frost Papers at UMN
  5. ^ Leonard, John William; Marquis, Albert Nelson (1908-01-01). Who's who in America. Marquis Who's Who. p. 676.
  6. ^ Upham, Warren (2001-01-01). Minnesota Place Names: A Geographical Encyclopedia. Minnesota Historical Society Press. p. 189. ISBN 9780873513968.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Potter, Janet Greenstein (1996). Great American Railroad Stations. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. pp. 295, 297, 301, 303, 316, 317, 328, 358, 405, 406, 408, 410, 545. ISBN 978-0471143895.
  8. ^ "Morgan Park Library, Chicago". Inland Architect and News Record. 15: 51. April 1890.
  9. ^ Butler, Patricia A., and Sharon Crawford (1985). Geneva Lake Area Intensive Survey: and Architectural/Historical Report, Vol. 1. Geneva Lake Land Conservancy (Wis.), State Historical Society of Wisconsin.
  10. ^ a b Eckert, Kathryn Bishop (2000-01-01). The Sandstone Architecture of the Lake Superior Region. Wayne State University Press. p. 203. ISBN 0814328075.
  11. ^ Biggs, Douglas L., and Gloria J. Betcher (2014-06-09). Ames. Arcadia Publishing. p. 40. ISBN 9781467111638.
  12. ^ Andrea Lazarski (1978-10-04). "NRHP Inventory/Nomination: Chicago & Northwest RR Passenger Station". National Park Service. Retrieved 2017-09-13.
  13. ^ Hannan, Caryn (2008-01-01). Illinois Encyclopedia. State History Publications. p. 353. ISBN 9781878592965.
  14. ^ " -". Retrieved 2016-07-31.
  15. ^ Millett, Larry (1996-01-01). Twin Cities Then and Now. Minnesota Historical Society. p. 129. ISBN 9780873513272.
  16. ^ "Railroad and Bank Building | Saint Paul Historical". Saint Paul Historical. Retrieved 2016-08-21.