Samuel J. F. Thayer

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Providence City Hall, 1878
Dartmouth College Library (1885)

Samuel J. F. Thayer (1842–1893) was an American architect, notable for designing buildings such as the Providence City Hall and the Cathedral of St. George, as well as the city halls of Brookline, Stoughton, and Methuen, Massachusetts.[1]


Thayer studied under J.D. Towle.[2] He lived for a time in South Boston, Massachusetts, and enlisted in the 5th Regiment Massachusetts Volunteers during the Civil War, serving from October 1862 to July 1863.[3]

After the war, Thayer collaborated briefly with Boston architect Abel C. Martin, forming the firm Martin & Thayer.[2] This firm designed the Centenary Methodist Church in Stanstead, Quebec, a Gothic Revival structure, in 1866-69.[2] In 1867 they designed a large summer hotel on Lake Memphremagog, Quebec near the American border.[2]

By 1869 the partnership with Martin had ended, and both opened separate offices.[2] Thayer then went on to design the Town Hall of Brookline, Massachusetts, Providence City Hall in 1878, and the Dartmouth College library in 1885.[2]

He shot himself in a fit of despondency, dying on February 28, 1893.[4][5] He had been "in ill health for some time," and reportedly had money troubles.[6] He left behind a suicide note, along with a wife and son.[6]

Notable works[edit]


  1. ^ Mary Melvin Petronella; Edward W. Gordon (2004). Victorian Boston today: twelve walking tours. UPNE. p. 177. ISBN 978-1-55553-605-3.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Martin & Thayer". Biographical Dictionary of Architects in Canada. Retrieved 12 April 2018.
  3. ^ Thayer, Bezaleel (1874). Memorial of the Thayer name. R.J. Oliphant. p. 36.
  4. ^ Oliver Ayer Roberts (1901). History of the Military company of the Massachusetts, now called the Ancient and honorable artillery company of Massachusetts. 1637-1888. 4. A. Mudge & son, printers.
  5. ^ "SHOT HIMSELF". Los Angeles Times. March 19, 1893. p. 16.
  6. ^ a b "S.J.F. Thayer Suicided". Boston, Massachusetts: Boston Post. 1 March 1893. p. 2. Retrieved 12 April 2018.

External links[edit]