Raymond F. Almirall

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Raymond F. Almirall
PracticeIngle & Almirall; R. F. Almirall; Almirall & Cusachs
Park Slope Branch Library, Brooklyn, 1906.
Bushwick Branch Library, Brooklyn, 1908.
Emigrant Industrial Savings Bank Building, New York, 1908.

Raymond F. Almirall (1869-1939) was an American architect of the Beaux-Arts period, practicing in New York City.

Life and career[edit]

Almirall was born in New York in 1869. He studied architecture at Cornell University and at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris. In 1896 he established an architectural firm in New York City with John W. Ingle, Ingle & Almirall.[1] The firm lasted until the end of 1900, when Almirall opened an independent office.[2] In the mid-teens, Almirall made Philip Alain Cusachs a member of his new firm, Almirall & Cusachs, which lasted into the 1920s.[3]

He was a very creative architect for his time and his work incorporated the latest architectural techniques including structural steel, reinforced cement and reinforced concrete [4]

In 1909, Almirall designed what might have been his masterpiece, the Beaux-Arts classical style Brooklyn Central Library which was expected to be a major example of the City Beautiful architectural style in that city. But money was short, and construction did not begin for several years. Soon after, money ran out and only the west wing wall was actually built. In 1937, the project was renewed and the New York firm of Githens & Keally was hired to redesign the building in the Modern Classical style. Almirall’s original scheme was abandoned in favor of the new one and the redesigned library was completed in 1941.[5]

Almirall also designed several large churches for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn. One of these, the Mortuary Chapel at Calvary Cemetery, Long Island City, New York was described at the time of its construction as ‘’the Most Remarkable Mortuary Chapel in America’’.[6]

He was one of the very few American architects of his day to design a Cathedral in a foreign country. His byzantine styled Holy Trinity Cathedral in Kingston, Jamaica which contains a "broad, clearly articulated facade" and a large concrete dome. In his book Hagia Sophia, 1850-1950: Holy Wisdom Modern Monument, author Robert S. Nelson compares the Cathedral to the Hagia Sophia.[7]

Almirall also designed most of the buildings for the Seaview Hospital in Staten Island, New York which at the time of its construction was the largest tuberculosis hospital in the world where many of the successful treatments for this disease were to be created. Today this hospital is a spectacular ruin.

Architectural Works[edit]

Ingle & Almirall, 1896-1900[edit]

Raymond F. Almirall, 1901-c.1915[edit]

Almirall & Cusachs, from c.1916[edit]


  1. ^ Real Estate Record and Builders' Guide 11 Jan. 1896: 41.
  2. ^ Brickbuilder Dec. 1900: 260.
  3. ^ Progressive Architecture 1931: 775.
  4. ^ Flower and Fifth Avenue hospital New York Medical College (Ann Arbor, Michigan: University of Michigan Library, 1867), p.4.
  5. ^ http://www.brooklynpubliclibrary.org/central/branch/history.jsp Brooklyn Central Library
  6. ^ Henry Haven Windsor, ed. Popular Mechanics: an Illustrated Weekly Review, Volume 12, Issues 1-6 (Chicago, Illinois: 1909), p.292-293.
  7. ^ Nelson, Robert S. Hagia Sophia, 1850-1950: holy wisdom modern monument. pp. 190, 191.
  8. ^ Engineering News 18 March 1897: 98.
  9. ^ a b c Russell, Daniel E. "The Bells of St. Patrick's". Glen Cove, NY: City of Glen Cove, n.d.
  10. ^ Engineering News 16 June 1898: 205.
  11. ^ Engineering Record 29 July 1899: 210.
  12. ^ Engineering Record 15 Sept. 1900: 262.
  13. ^ White, Norval and Elliot Willensky. AIA Guide to New York City. 2010.
  14. ^ Potts, David P. Wesleyan University, 1831–1910: Collegiate Enterprise in New England. 1992.
  15. ^ Real Estate Record and Builders' Guide 16 Sept. 1905: 429.
  16. ^ Real Estate Record and Builders' Guide 19 Aug. 1905: 314.
  17. ^ Real Estate Record and Builders' Guide 21 Oct. 1905: 610.
  18. ^ Gabrielan, Randall. Postcard History Series: Brooklyn. 1999.
  19. ^ City Record 11 May 1906: 4528.
  20. ^ a b c Dolkart, Andrew. Guide to New York City Landmarks. 2009.
  21. ^ Library Journal Dec. 1908: 525.
  22. ^ Nelson, Robert S. Hagia Sophia, 1850-1950: Holy Wisdom Modern Monument. 2004.
  23. ^ American Contractor 20 Aug. 1910: 46.
  24. ^ American Contractor 20 Sept. 1913: 55.
  25. ^ Engineering and Contracting 28 April 1915: 43.
  26. ^ Bridgemen's Magazine July 1916: 433.
  27. ^ Domestic Engineering 11 Nov. 1916: 203.
  28. ^ American Contractor 18 Oct. 1919: 45.
  29. ^ "Manhattan NB Database". http://www.metrohistory.com/. Office for Metropolitan History, n. d. Web.

External links[edit]

Raymond F. Almirall works. Held by the Department of Drawings & Archives, Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, Columbia University.