Fred Wesley Wentworth

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Fred Wesley Wentworth (August 3, 1864 – October 5, 1943) was an American architect known for his many buildings in Downtown Paterson, New Jersey as well as several residences and theaters in northeastern New Jersey. Wentworth had a major impact on shaping Paterson after a wind-driven fire decimated much of the central business district in 1902. His body of work consisted of institutional, commercial, residential, religious and healthcare buildings as well as some of the nation's first movie theaters designed exclusively for motion pictures.[1][2][3] He was a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects.

Background and education[edit]

Wentworth was born August 3, 1864, in Boxborough, Massachusetts and raised in Dover, New Hampshire. He graduated Dartmouth College in 1889 with a degree in architecture. He married Florence Agnes Marie Hurlburt on May 9, 1893. They had no children. He died on October 5, 1943 and is interred in Pine Hill Cemetery in Dover.[4][5]

Downtown Paterson[edit]

Paterson Post Office (1899)

Wentworth worked in Paterson between 1888 and 1943. It was a small manufacturing town when he arrived but grew rapidly and its population nearly tripled during the time he was there. He designed many of the new property types needed, the post office, the court house,[6] movie theatres, parking garages, aeronautics factories and other commercial buildings.[7] In 1902 a fire devastated most of the center of the city and Wentworth was responsible for much of the rebuilding work needed afterwards.[6] He designed numerous buildings[8][9][10] some in collaboration with his draftsman and later partner Frederick J. Vreeland. Many fall within the Downtown Commercial Historic District.[11]

Other public buildings[edit]

Loomis Sanitarium Library
  • Public School #10, Paterson
  • Public School #13, Paterson
  • Passaic County Tuberculosis Sanitarium (1928), aka Preakness Hospital Preakness, abandoned 2009
  • Passaic County Welfare Home (1936), Haledon and Wayne[22]
  • Valley View Sanitarium (1927–31), known as the Preakness Building[23]
    • Nurses Residence, known as Passaic County Juvenile Detention Center
    • Storage Building
  • Loomis Sanitarium Library

Religious buildings[edit]

Movie theaters[edit]

Stanley Theater

Wentworth was commissioned to build the several movie theatres by Jacob Fabian including The Regent which was the first facility built exclusively for the exhibition of moving pictures and other movie palaces.[14][27] Fabian is recalled in the cinema at City Center Mall, the Fabian 8.[28]


Psi Upsilon (2007)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Wentworth: The Garden State's Most Iconic Architects". AIA – NJ. Archived from the original on 2013-04-23. Retrieved 2014-10-15.
  2. ^ Polton, Richard E (2012), The Life and Times of Fred Wesley Wentworth: The Architect Who Shaped Paterson, NJ and Its People, Pine Hill Architectural Press, LLC, ISBN 978-0-8135-6078-6
  3. ^ Clunn, Nick (November 16, 2012). "Paterson native discovers works of forgotten city architect". The Record. Retrieved 2014-10-10.
  4. ^ "Fred Wesley Wentworth". Find a Grave. Retrieved 2014-10-10.
  5. ^ "Architect Fred Wesley Wentworth (1864–1943)". Dartmouth. Retrieved 2014-10-10.
  6. ^ a b "Downtown Paterson Buildings". Fred Wesley Wentworth. Retrieved 2014-11-22.
  7. ^ "Who is Fred Wesley Wentworth?". Fred Wesley Wentworth. Retrieved 2014-11-22.
  8. ^ Simon, Lizzie (November 11, 2012). "Discovering Paterson One Building at a Time". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2014-10-10.
  9. ^ a b c d e "Walking Tour of Downtown". Paterson History. Archived from the original on 2012-03-19. Retrieved 2014-09-15.
  10. ^ "Book looks at life and times of Fred Wentworth". Foster's Daily Democrat. February 7, 2013. Retrieved 2014-10-10.
  11. ^ "Paterson Listed Historic Sites and Landmarked Buildings Buildings" (PDF). Greater May 2008. Retrieved 2014-10-10.
  12. ^ a b "Passaic County Court House and Annex". New Jersey Historic Trust. Retrieved 2014-10-10.
  13. ^ "OldPassaic County Courthouse". Emporis. Retrieved 2014-10-10.
  14. ^ a b c "KEY CLIENT—JACOB FABIAN". Retrieved 2014-10-10.
  15. ^ "Former JW Masonic Temple being made into landmark". North Retrieved 2014-10-10.
  16. ^ "Alexander Hamilton Hotel". Emporis. Retrieved 2014-10-10.
  17. ^ Chen, David (June 25, 1995). "Paterson Hopes Hotel's Rebirth Will Lead the City's Way". The New York Times. Retrieved 2014-10-10.
  18. ^ "The YM-YWHA of Paterson". The Jews of Paterson. Retrieved 2014-10-10.
  19. ^ "Fabian Building". Emporis. Retrieved 2014-10-10.
  20. ^ "Paterson General Hospital". Emporis. Retrieved 2014-10-10.
  21. ^ "YMCA Building". Emporis. Retrieved 2014-10-10.
  22. ^ "Passaic County Board of Social Services". Passaic County Board of Social Services. Retrieved 2014-10-10.
  23. ^ "Facilities Plan Phase i: Inventory and Needs Assessment". Passaic County Planning Department. May 23, 2011. Archived from the original on November 22, 2014. Retrieved 2014-10-14.
  24. ^ ERvolino, Bill (December 20, 2012). "Majestic art deco temple waiting to learn its fate". The Record. Retrieved 2014-10-10.
  25. ^ Archimede, Gianfranco (2007). "Temple Emanuel". Presrvation New Jersey. Archived from the original on 2016-08-18. Retrieved 2014-11-24.
  26. ^ Juster, Randy (March 8, 2014). "The Uncertain Future of Temple Emanuel". decoppix. Retrieved 2014-11-24.
  27. ^ "Fabian Theater". Cinema Treasures. Retrieved 2014-11-22.
  28. ^ "Fabian 8". Cinema Treasures. Retrieved 2014-10-13.
  29. ^ Avignone, June (1999), Downtown Paterson, Arcadia Publishing, ISBN 978-0-7385-6323-7
  30. ^ "Branford Theater". Cinema Treasures. Retrieved 2014-10-10.
  31. ^ "Fabian Theater". Cinema Treasures. Retrieved 2014-10-10.
  32. ^ a b Read, Philip M. (2013), Movie Houses of Greater Newark, Arcadia Publishing, ISBN 978-0-7385-9933-5
  33. ^ "Ritz Theater". Cinema Treasures. Retrieved 2014-10-10.
  34. ^ "PATERSON'S ELECTRIC STORM; Home of John W. Griggs Struck – Bolt Hits Crowded Car". The New York Times. July 12, 1903.
  35. ^ "History of Hobart Manor". William Paterson University. Retrieved 2014-10-10.
  36. ^ "Who is Fred Wesley Wentworth?". Fred Wesley Wentworth. Retrieved 2014-11-22.

External links[edit]