Edward Lippincott Tilton

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United States Immigration Station, Ellis Island, 1897-1900

Edward Lippincott Tilton (19 October 1861 – January 1933) was an American architect, with a practice in New York City, where he was born.[1] He specialized in the design of libraries, such as the Olean Public Library and Mount Pleasant Library (Washington, D.C.), two of about a hundred libraries, many of them Carnegie libraries, that he designed in the United States and Canada, and structures for educational institutions.[2] Tilton abandoned a budding career in banking to serve as a draftsman in the offices of McKim, Mead, and White, a traditional apprenticeship for which he prepared with a private tutor in architecture and which prepared him for a course of further study at the École des Beaux-Arts, Paris (1887–1890). Early commissions came through family connections; they included the casino (1891–92) in Belle Haven, an affluent shoreline community of Greenwich, Connecticut, and the Hotel Colorado in the resort of Glenwood Springs, Colorado (1891–93).[2]

He and the partner that he met in Paris, William A. Boring, won a competition in 1897 to design the first phase of new buildings for the U.S. Immigration Station on Ellis Island in New York Harbor: the Main Building (1897–1900), Kitchen and Laundry Building (1900–01), Main Powerhouse (1900–01), and the Main Hospital Building (1900–01) were all constructed to their designs before the formal partnership was amicably dissolved in 1904. The two architects continued to share an office.

His design for the Carpenter Memorial Library in Manchester, New Hampshire resulted in commissions for at least seven further structures in that city.[2] He also designed the campus of Concordia College, a liberal arts college in Bronxville, New York.[3]

He published his thoughts on library planning and construction, in Essentials in Library Planning with A.E. Bostwick and S.H Ranck (1928), and "Library Planning" posthumously published in the Journal of the Royal Institute of British Architects (1936).


  1. ^ The monograph is Lisa B. Mausolf with Elizabeth Durfee Hengen, Edward Lippincott Tilton A Monograph on His Architectural Practice, 2007 (on-line text).
  2. ^ a b c Lisa B. Mausolf and Elizabeth Durfee Hengen, "Edward Lippincott Tilton: A Monograph on His Architectural Practice", 2007 (pdf file)
  3. ^ "Concordia College Facilities". Retrieved 14 February 2014. 

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