Joy Wheeler Dow

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Joy Wheeler Dow (July 18, 1860 – February 7, 1937) was an American self-taught architect, artist and author.

Early life[edit]

Dow was born in Greenwich Village, New York City, the son of Augustus F. and Sarah Wheeler Dow. Born 'Joseph Wheeler Dow', he changed his name at age 21 to 'Joy Wheeler Dow'. Dow was primarily an architect, artist and author, and was an authority on Colonial architecture. He designed the Playhouse at Kennebunkport, the ideal Meeting house at Summit, N. J., and many homes in Essex County, New Jersey. (Change to father's name, mother's name, Joy Dow's name, and date of birth.) [1]


A self-taught architect, Dow moved to Millburn, New Jersey in 1878. Most of his early work was done in the Wyoming Section of Millburn and Summit, NJ. The Unitarian Church in (1912) in Summit is considered his best NJ work.[2]

He was a charter member of the New Jersey Society of Architects, which later became the New Jersey Chapter of the American Institute of Architects in 1965.

Homes designed and built by Dow can be found in Millburn, New Jersey: Canterbury Keys – built 1894, Princessgate – built 1896, Eastover – built 1898, The Rabbitt House – built circa 1900, others Robinwood – built 1908.

As an author Dow is most well known for his book on American Renaissance. He also contributed to The Book of a Hundred Houses: A Collection of Pictures, Plans and Suggestions for Householder. Publisher: H.S. Stone & Co., 1902. His correspondence is archived at Maine State Library.[3]

Personal life[edit]

Dow married Elizabeth Goodchild in 1904. They had two sons, congressman John G. Dow and Joy Wheeler Dow, Jr.


  • American Renaissance. A Review of Domestic Architecture. Illustrated by Ninety-Six Halftone Plates. New York: William T. Comstock, 1904. Full text at Internet Archive
  • A Crosby Family by Nathan Crosby. Stone, Huse & Co, book and job printers, 1877, page 48.


  1. ^ A Crosby Family by Nathan Crosby. Stone, Huse and Co. Book and job printers, 1877, page 48.)
  2. ^ Lurie, Maxine N; Mappen, Marc (January 1, 2011). Encyclopedia of New Jersey. New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press. ISBN 9781780341224.
  3. ^ Fuller, Marion C.; McLeod, HIlda. Joy Wheeler Dow Correspondence.