John Galen Howard

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John Galen Howard
John Galen Howard in 1886
Born(1864-05-08)May 8, 1864
DiedJuly 18, 1931(1931-07-18) (aged 67)
Alma materMassachusetts Institute of Technology
Children6, including Robert Boardman Howard, John Langley Howard
AwardsFellow of the American Institute of Architects (1901)
PracticeHoward & Cauldwell (1893-99); Howard, Cauldwell & Morgan (1899-1901); John Galen Howard (1902-06 and 1908-23); Howard & Galloway (1906-08); John Galen Howard & Associates (1923-27)
ProjectsUniversity of California, Berkeley, School of Architecture
Wheeler Hall at the University of California, Berkeley, designed by Howard and completed in 1917. In the background is Sather Tower, completed by Howard in 1915.

John Galen Howard (May 8, 1864 – July 18, 1931) was an American architect and educator who began his career in New York before moving to California. He was the principal architect at several firms in both states and employed Julia Morgan early in her architectural career.

Life and career[edit]

John Galen Howard born May 8, 1864, in Chelmsford, Massachusetts. Howard was son of physician, Dr. Levi Howard and Lydia Jane Hapgood, a homemaker and he had four brothers.[1] Howard was educated at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1882 to 1885) and the École des Beaux-Arts (1891 to 1893). He worked for H. H. Richardson in Brookline, for his successors Shepley, Rutan & Coolidge in Boston and for McKim, Mead & White in New York City.[2]

Howard began professional practice in 1893, when he formed the firm of Howard & Cauldwell with engineer Samuel M. Cauldwell.[3] In 1899 they were joined by Lewis Henry Morgan, and the firm became known as Howard, Cauldwell & Morgan. Works in the east included the Electric Tower, the centerpiece of the 1901 Pan-American Exposition.[4] They also submitted an unsuccessful entry in the competition to design the Master Plan for the University of California, Berkeley. Despite not winning the commission outright, in 1901 Howard dissolved his partnership when he was chosen by the Regents of the university to execute the accepted plan, known as the Hearst Plan.[5] In 1902 he reestablished his practice at Berkeley, and in 1903 formally established the School of Architecture, now part of the College of Environmental Design. As supervising architect of the University of California, Howard built extensively. His most famous buildings are the Campanile, California Memorial Stadium, Sather Gate and the Hearst Greek Theatre.

In 1904 Howard relocated his office to San Francisco, and after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake formed the firm of Howard & Galloway with engineer John D. Galloway.[6] This partnership was dissolved in 1908. After fifteen more years of private practice he formed the firm of John Galen Howard & Associates, with associates Henry Temple Howard, E. Geoffrey Bangs, Henry C. Collins and Charles F. B. Roeth. Howard's projects during these years include several buildings at the Alaska–Yukon–Pacific Exposition in Seattle, three of which were designed to be reused by the University of Washington,[a] and the San Francisco Civic Auditorium.[2] Howard's influence at the university began to wane after the retirement of president Benjamin Ide Wheeler in 1919, and he was seen as uncooperative by the Board of Regents. In 1922 the commission for the new Hearst Memorial Gymnasium was awarded to Julia Morgan and Bernard Maybeck without his input, and in 1924 his contract as supervising architect was not renewed. In 1927 he resigned as director of the School of Architecture and retired from his architecture practice, though he continued to teach at the university until his death in 1931.[7][3]


He married Mary Robertson Bradbury on August 1, 1893.[1] They had five children; Henry Temple Howard (1894–1967) was an architect who worked with his father; Robert Boardman Howard (1896–1983), became a sculptor and married another noted Bay Area sculptor, Adaline Kent (1900–1957); other children included Charles Houghton Howard (1899–1978), John Langley Howard (1902–1999) both were known artists of the time, and Jeanette Howard Wallace (1905–1998).[1]


Howard's primary legacy is as the founder of the formal School of Architecture at the University of California, Berkeley, and as a designer of buildings on the university campus. He is also noted as the first American employer of Julia Morgan from 1902 to 1904, though she did not look on her experience with him fondly.[8]

Howard completed many notable projects and was elected a Fellow in the American Institute of Architects in 1901.[9] In 1910 he was elected into the National Academy of Design as an Associate Academician.

Many of Howard's works are listed on the United States National Register of Historic Places (NRHP).[10][11]


Buildings for the University of California, Berkeley[edit]

Buildings elsewhere[edit]

Gallery of works[edit]

See also[edit]

  • Draper, Joan, “The Ecole des Beaux-Arts and the Architectural Profession in the United States: The Case of John Galen Howard,” in The Architect: Chapters in the History of the Profession, Spiro Kostof, ed., Oxford University Press, NY 1977, pages 209-237
  • Draper, Joan, “John Galen Howard,” in Toward a Simpler Way of Life: The Arts & Crafts Architects of California, Rober Winter, ed., Norfleet Press of University of California Press, Berkeley Los Angeles London 1997, pages 31–40
  • Partridge, Loren W. John Galen Howard and the Berkeley Campus: Beaux-Arts Architecture in the “Athens of the West”, Berkeley Architectural Heritage, Berkeley CA 1988


  1. ^ The reused buildings were: Fine Arts became Architecture Hall, the Auditorium became Meany Hall and Machinery Hall became Engineering Hall.
  2. ^ Now Ridge House of the Berkeley Student Cooperative.
  3. ^ The facades of this building survive as part of 456 Montgomery Plaza, completed in 1985.
  4. ^ Designed in association with Frederick Herman Meyer and John W. Reid Jr.


  1. ^ a b c Michelson, Alan. "John Galen Howard". Pacific Coast Architecture Database (PCAD). Retrieved November 24, 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d John Galen Howard" in California and Californians 3, ed. Rockwell D. Hunt (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company, 1926): 398-399.
  3. ^ a b Sally B. Woodbridge, John Galen Howard and the University of California (University of California Press, 2002)
  4. ^ Ahrhart, Charles (Apr 15, 1901). Official catalogue of Pan-American exposition. p. 7. Retrieved 2011-08-06.
  5. ^ "Personal Notes" in Engineering Record 43, no. 4 (January 26, 1901): 90.
  6. ^ "Personals" in Engineering News 55, no. 24 (June 14, 1906): 668.
  7. ^ Sally B. Woodbridge, Nomination of Seventeen Properties on the University of California, Barkeley Campus to the National Register of Historic Places (1978)
  8. ^ Mark Anthony Wilson, Julia Morgan: Architect of Beauty (Layton: Gibbs Smith, 2007)
  9. ^ "John Galen Howard (1864-1931)". University at Buffalo. June 11, 2004. Archived from the original on March 16, 2013. Retrieved November 6, 2012.
  10. ^ Berkeley, University of California MRA
  11. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
  12. ^ A History of Real Estate, Building and Architecture in New York City During the Last Quarter Century (New York: Real Estate Record Association, 1898)
  13. ^ Historic Building Detail: BOS.2311, Massachusetts Cultural Resource Information System.
  14. ^ a b c d William C. Hays (January 1915). Jones, Frederick (ed.). "Some Architectural Works of John Galen Howard". The Architect & Engineer of California and the Pacific Coast States. San Francisco. 40 (1): 64, 80. Retrieved 23 July 2019.
  15. ^ a b c d "Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition in 1909" in American Architect and Building News 95, no. 1716 (November 11, 1908): 153-154.
  16. ^ Jeff Elliott, "The Empire Building and the Clock Tower", Santa Rosa History, July 31, 2011.
  17. ^ Cerny, Susan Dinkelspiel (2007). An Architectural Guidebook to San Francisco and the Bay Area. Gibbs Smith. p. 316. ISBN 978-1-58685-432-4.

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