James A. Wetmore

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"James Wetmore" redirects here. For the American bishop, see James Wetmore (bishop).

James A. Wetmore (1863-1940) was an American lawyer and administrator, best known as the Acting Supervising Architect of the U.S. Office of the Supervising Architect from 1915 through 1933. Wetmore is frequently and incorrectly described as the "architect" of the many federal buildings that bear his name.

Wetmore was born in Bath, New York and began his career as a court reporter.[1] By 1896 he was working for the United States Treasury Department and had received his law degree from George Washington University. In 1911 he moved into a position as executive assistant to Supervising Architect James Knox Taylor, which put him in charge of all non-technical operations of the office,[2] and he himself took over as acting head of the office in 1915, expecting it to be temporary. Eighteen years later he retired to Florida.

Through the extensive building programs of the early 1930s New Deal era, nearly 1,700 government draftsmen were employed in the Supervising Architect's office. Wetmore's name appears on some 2,000 cornerstones of federal buildings,[1] including:


  1. ^ a b http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,748133,00.html
  2. ^ Architects to the nation, Antoinette Josephine Lee, page 222
Preceded by
Oscar Wenderoth
Office of the Supervising Architect
Succeeded by
Louis A. Simon