Sidney Lovell

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Sidney Lovell
Born (1867-02-26)February 26, 1867
Racine, Wisconsin, U.S.
Died August 6, 1938(1938-08-06) (aged 71)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Nationality American
Occupation Architect
Parent(s) Philip and Louisia Knill Lovell
Practice Wood and Lovell
Buildings Lafayette Square Opera House, Rosehill Mausoleum

Sidney Lovell (February 26, 1867 — August 6, 1938) was an American architect best known for designing mausoleums, and to a lesser extent theaters and opera houses. His first cemetery commission, the mausoleum at Rosehill Cemetery in Chicago, Illinois, is considered his best work. He obtained a patent on an improved mausoleum ventilation system in 1917. Two of his works are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Early life[edit]

Sidney Lovell was born February 26, 1867, in Racine, Wisconsin, to Philip and Louisa (née Knill) Lovell. He was the sixth of seven children. Philip Lovell had emigrated to the United States at the age of 24 from Driffield, East Yorkshire, United Kingdom, while Louisa Knill had emigrated at the age of 17 from Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, United Kingdom. Both arrived in 1845 and took up residence in Beloit, Wisconsin. They married on April 26, 1856,[1] and moved to Racine in 1857.[2] The Lovells were among Racine's earliest settlers (the town had only been founded in 1841),[3] and Philip earned a living as a butcher.[2]

Like his younger brother Frank,[2] Sidney was most likely educated in the local public schools.[3] Philip Lovell died on July 12, 1873, when Sidney was six years old.[2] Philip Lovell had been very prosperous, and left his wife well-off. (For example, she owned 1 percent of the stock in the Commercial and Savings Bank of Racine.)[4]

Architectural career[edit]

Theater years[edit]

The mausoleum at Rosehill Cemetery in Chicago, considered Lovell's masterwork.

In 1882, architect James M. Wood arrived in Racine for the opening of the Blake Opera House, which he had designed and which he was to manage. Lovell became acquainted with Wood, and left Racine with Wood in 1883.[1] Lovell served as Wood's architectural apprentice (there being almost no schools of architecture at the time),[1] and assisted Wood in designing the Grand Opera House in Wausau, Wisconsin, in 1883;[5] the Academy of Music in East Saginaw, Michigan, 1884;[6][7] Wood's Opera House in Bay City, Michigan, in 1885;[8][7] and then later large-scale theatrical scenery in Chicago, Illinois. Although Lovell and Wood's activities between 1883 and 1885 are not known, by 1885 Lovell was a full-fledged architect.[1]

From spring 1885 to summer 1886, Wood and Lovell traveled from town to town in Michigan, designing theatrical scenery.[1] In 1886, Wood designed the Hennepin Avenue Theater in Minneapolis, Minnesota.[9] Wood and Lovell's other activities are not known from 1886 to 1888, but in 1888 the pair arrived in Los Angeles, California, where Wood had won a commission to remodel the Grand Opera House[1] (now known as the Golden State Theater).[10] The project was finished in 1890.[10] The two men formed a partnership, Wood & Lovell, in 1891[3] in San Francisco.[1][a] The firm added a third partner, Fuller Claflin, in 1893. Wood and Lovell focused on commissions in Chicago and New York City, while Claflin handled West Coast business.[13] The same year, Wood & Lovell opened a branch office in Chicago, to which the two original partners removed.[14] They kept their San Francisco office open until 1895.[1]

During this period, Wood & Lovell specialized in theaters with an East Indian decorative motif.[1] Among the projects on which Lovell and Wood worked were the Broadway Theatre in Denver, Colorado, in 1890;[15] the Marquam Grand Opera House in Portland, Oregon, in 1890;[16] the Loring Opera House in Riverside, California, in 1890;[16] the Tacoma Theater in Tacoma, Washington, in 1890;[17][7] the Yosemite Theater in Stockton, California, in 1892;[16][18] Stockwell's Theatre in San Francisco in 1892;[19] the Empire Theater in Quincy, Illinois, in 1893;[14] the Lafayette Square Opera House in Washington, D.C., in 1895;[20][21] and the Jefferson Theatre in Portland, Oregon, in 1896.[22]

In 1897, Wood and Lovell dissolved their partnership.[16] Lovell continued to design theaters, including the Tucson Opera House in Tucson, Arizona, in 1897;[23] the Overland Theater in Nebraska City, Nebraska, in 1897;[24] the Metropolitan Opera House in Owatonna, Minnesota, in 1897;[25] the Appleton Opera House in Appleton, Wisconsin, in 1901;[26] the Neenah Theater (a movie theater) in Neenah, Wisconsin, in 1902,[27] the Illinois Theatre in Rock Island, Illinois, in 1905;[28] and the Kedzie Avenue Theater Annex (a movie theater) in 1912.[29]

Other buildings[edit]

Entrance tower at Kensico Cemetery by Lovell & Lovell, which cleverly concealed the cemetery's water tank.

As early as 1892, Lovell began work designing non-theatrical buildings as well. One of the earliest was the Hotel Renaissance, built in San Francisco in 1892.[30] Lovell continued to design non-theatrical structures, such as apartment buildings,[31] but did not focus his work in this area until about 1913. In that year, he designed a department store building in Marinette, Wisconsin;[32] an apartment building in Chicago;[33] a nickelodeon and billiard hall in Chicago;[34] and a theater, office building, billiard hall, and retail store in Chicago.[35]

In 1914, architects William Ernest Walker and Howard L. Cheney joined Lovell's firm.[36] Over the next four years, Lovell continued to design a wide array of commercial structures: a five-story warehouse in Chicago in 1915;[37] luxury apartments in Chicago in 1915;[38] an ornate fence for wealthy Chicago residence in 1916;[39] an apartment building Chicago in 1916;[40] a large 18-unit apartment building Chicago in 1916;[41] two small apartment buildings in Chicago in 1917;[42] a testing laboratory building in Chicago in 1917;[43] a factory and power station in Chicago Heights, Illinois, in 1917;[44] and a factory in Chicago Heights, Illinois, in 1918.[45]

Mausoleum work[edit]

In 1912, Rosehill Cemetery, a large cemetery on Chicago's North Side, contracted with Lovell for the design of a massive mausoleum. The Community Mausoleum (also known as the Rosehill Mausoleum) was completed in 1914, and is widely considered to be Lovell's masterwork.[46] The $300,000 ($7,173,090 in 2016 dollars), 1,500-crypt structure[47] was the first large-scale public mausoleum in the nation.[46] The mausoleum contains 38 windows by the Tiffany Studios.[48] This is the largest collection of secular Tiffany-designed glass in the United States,[49] and was valued in 1994 at $10 million ($16,158,509 in 2016 dollars).[48] In 1916, Lovell designed a $150,000 ($3,301,376 in 2016 dollars), 1,000-crypt mausoleum for Valhalla Cemetery in St. Louis, Missouri.[50]

As Lovell designed mausoleums, he came to realize that there were fundamental problems facing above-ground burial. It had been common for centuries for above-ground burial vaults to be tightly sealed, to prevent the leakage of fluids and the spread of nauseating odors (both generated by the decomposition of the human body) from vaults.[51][52][53] Tightly sealed vaults, however, allowed decomposition gases to build up, causing vaults to violently rupture ("exploding vault syndrome") and scatter partly-decomposed remains inside the mausoleum.[54][55][56][57] Lovell designed a solution, which involved building a ventilation system and drainage system behind the vaults. He applied for a patent, which was granted on October 23, 1917 (patent number 1,244,109).[58][59]

Chapel at the mausoleum at Mayfield Cemetery in Cleveland Heights, Ohio.

Lovell designed a mausoleum for Forest Hill Cemetery in Kansas City, Missouri, in 1919,[60] and later that year designed and erected a large family monument for the Francis Joseph Reitz family in St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery in Evansville, Indiana.[61]

In 1920,[62] Lovell was at work on designs for a $264,000 ($3,156,159 in 2016 dollars) mausoleum at Oakwood Cemetery in Saginaw, Michigan;[63] and a $300,000 ($3,586,545 in 2016 dollars) mausoleum at Deepdale Cemetery in Lansing, Michigan;[64] and a $150,000 ($1,793,272 in 2016 dollars) mausoleum at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Norfolk, Virginia;[65] and a $150,000 ($1,793,272 in 2016 dollars) mausoleum at Old Mission Cemetery in Wichita, Kansas.[66]

Lovell's son, Marion "Don" Lovell, joined his father's firm in 1922, and the company adopted the name "Lovell & Lovell".[67]

In 1923, Lovell was commissioned to design a large mausoleum at Knollwood Cemetery in Mayfield Heights, Ohio.[68] The $175,000 structure was finished in 1928.[69] Lovell designed a public mausoleum for Kensico Cemetery in Valhalla, New York, in 1924,[70] and a unique Gothic stone entrance to conceal a 60-foot (18 m) high water tower in 1928.[71] He also designed the Oakwood Memorial Mausoleum in Oakwood Cemetery in Dixon, Illinois, in 1924.[72]

Lovell designed another Cleveland-area mausoleum in 1926 for Mayfield Cemetery in Cleveland Heights, Ohio. The $400,000 structure opened in 1929.[73] Lovell & Lovell finished design work on the $250,000 Memorial Crypt at Fairlawn Cemetery in Decatur, Illinois, in late 1925 or early 1926. It opened in April 1927.[74]

Lovell completed work on the Llano Pantheon, a mausoleum in Llano Cemetery in Amarillo, Texas, in 1927.[75]

In association with T. P. Barnett & Co., Lovell & Lovell designed a mausoleum at Oak Grove Cemetery in St. Louis in 1928.[76] That same year, Lovell & Lovell designed a mausoleum at Mount Royal Cemetery in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania,[77] a $500,000 mausoleum at Forest Park Cemetery in Houston, Texas,[78] and a $250,000 mausoleum at Springdale Cemetery in Peoria, Illinois.[79][80][b]

In 1930, Lovell & Lovell completed work on the Highland Memorial Mausoleum in Highland Cemetery in South Bend, Indiana.[82]

The Chicago Daily Tribune reported that Lovell, alone or in association with his son, designed 56 mausoleums and mausoleum additions in his lifetime.[83]

Personal life[edit]

Lovell married Jane Winters Bruner of San Francisco on April 16, 1890. The couple had two children: son Marion McDonald (born July 7, 1895) and daughter Alice Booth (born July 1, 1899).[16]

Death[edit]

Sidney Lovell suffered from frail health in his last years. He died on August 6, 1938, at Birchwood Park Sanitarium in Chicago.[83]

His funeral was held in the chapel at Rosehill Cemetery,[84] and he was buried in the Rosehill Mausoleum.[46]

Honors[edit]

In 1925, Lovell won an "first mention" award in the Remodeled Building Class for his work on 224 E. Ontario Street in Chicago. The award was bestowed by the Lake Shore Trust and Savings Bank, which sponsored a series of architectural awards for construction in the North Central area of Chicago.[85]

Two of Lovell's mausoleums are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Old Mission Cemetery mausoleum was specifically singled out for this honor in 2009.[86] His mausoleum was included in the historic designation given to Springdale Cemetery in 2004.[79]

References[edit]

Notes
  1. ^ Historian Barbara Coy Janssens says the firm was established in 1888,[1] but this conflicts with Gebhard and Winters' statement that Wood was working on the Grand Opera House in Los Angeles until 1890, and Lewis, Millard, and Byington's The Bay of San Francisco claim that the firm of Wood & Lovell did not exist until 1891. Janssens also claims that Wood & Lovell designed the New California Theatre, erected in 1889. Theater owner Michael B. Leavitt makes no mention of Lovell,[11] nor does The Electrical World article about theater's design.[12]
  2. ^ Don Lovell alone is credited with the 1928 design of the mausoleum at Woodlawn Park Cemetery.[81]
Citations
  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Janssens 2003, p. 20.
  2. ^ a b c d Butterfield 1879, p. 598.
  3. ^ a b c Lewis, Millard & Byington 1892b, p. 462.
  4. ^ Wisconsin Bank Examiner's Office 1896, p. 81.
  5. ^ Hettinga 2002, p. 44.
  6. ^ Leonard 1887, p. 66.
  7. ^ a b c Lewis, Millard & Byington 1892a, p. 644.
  8. ^ Bloomfield 2015, p. 112.
  9. ^ "Minneapolis, Minn.". The Inland Architect and Builder. November 1886. p. xiv. Retrieved March 11, 2017. 
  10. ^ a b Gebhard & Winter 1977, p. 403.
  11. ^ Leavitt 1912, p. 623.
  12. ^ "The Mather Plant in the New California Theatre, San Francisco". The Electrical World. July 18, 1889. pp. 19–20. Retrieved March 11, 2017. 
  13. ^ "Architects". The California Architect and Building News. January 20, 1893. p. 1. Retrieved March 11, 2017. 
  14. ^ a b Janssens 2003, p. 22.
  15. ^ Morrison 2006, p. 70.
  16. ^ a b c d e Janssens 2003, p. 21.
  17. ^ Hunt 1916, p. 424.
  18. ^ "Stockton's New Theatre". The San Francisco Morning Call. July 13, 1892. p. 2. Retrieved March 12, 2017. 
  19. ^ "The Opening of Stockwell's New Theatre". Los Angeles Herald. July 11, 1892. p. 2. Retrieved March 12, 2017. 
  20. ^ Headley 2006, p. 281.
  21. ^ "Blaine's Old Home to Be A Theatre". The Washington Times. December 29, 1894. p. 2. Retrieved March 12, 2017. 
  22. ^ Bibber & Shettleworth 2007, p. 81.
  23. ^ Hilzinger 1897, p. 132.
  24. ^ "Synopsis of Building News". The Inland Architect and News Record. September 1897. p. 19. Retrieved March 11, 2017. 
  25. ^ "Theatres and Halls". American Architect and Building News. March 27, 1897. p. xiv. Retrieved March 11, 2017. 
  26. ^ "Theaters and Halls". The Improvement Bulletin. October 19, 1901. p. 20. Retrieved March 11, 2017. 
  27. ^ Schmitt 2014, p. 74.
  28. ^ "Plans for New Opera House". Rock Island Argus. March 28, 1905. p. 2. Retrieved March 12, 2017 ; "Julius Cahn's Official Theatrical Guide, 1906-1907". 1906. p. 388. Retrieved March 12, 2017. 
  29. ^ "The Kedzie Annex". Construction News. September 28, 1912. pp. 10–11. Retrieved March 12, 2017. 
  30. ^ "Real Estate Review". The San Francisco Morning Call. June 20, 1892. p. 7. Retrieved March 12, 2017. 
  31. ^ "Among Architects and Builders". Chicago Daily Tribune. May 23, 1897. p. 34 ; "Downtown Corner Is Sold At Auction For $167,563". Chicago Daily Tribune. July 16, 1904. p. 10. 
  32. ^ "Business Buildings". Construction News. January 18, 1913. p. 26. Retrieved March 11, 2017. 
  33. ^ "Under Construction". Construction News. January 25, 1913. p. 22. Retrieved March 11, 2017. 
  34. ^ "News of the Week". Construction News. February 1, 1913. p. 16. Retrieved March 11, 2017. 
  35. ^ "Under Construction". Construction News. March 9, 1913. p. 21. Retrieved March 11, 2017. 
  36. ^ "Personals". The Construction News. April 25, 1914. p. 6. Retrieved March 11, 2017. 
  37. ^ "Warehouses". The American Contractor. August 31, 1915. p. 30. Retrieved March 11, 2017. 
  38. ^ "Chicago". The American Contractor. September 11, 1915. p. 34. Retrieved March 11, 2017. 
  39. ^ "Illinois". The American Contractor. April 22, 1916. p. 39. Retrieved March 11, 2017. 
  40. ^ "Illinois". The American Contractor. May 13, 1916. p. 42. Retrieved March 11, 2017. 
  41. ^ "Illinois". The American Contractor. October 21, 1916. p. 44. Retrieved March 11, 2017. 
  42. ^ "Illinois". The American Contractor. April 7, 1917. p. 52. Retrieved March 11, 2017. 
  43. ^ "Mills and Factories". The American Contractor. June 9, 1917. p. 28. Retrieved March 11, 2017. 
  44. ^ "Illinois". The American Contractor. April 7, 1917. p. 50. Retrieved March 11, 2017. 
  45. ^ "Mills and Factories". The American Contractor. June 15, 1918. p. 40. Retrieved March 11, 2017. 
  46. ^ a b c Hucke & Bielski 1999, p. 39.
  47. ^ "Rosehill Mausoleum". Construction News. February 15, 1913. pp. 6–7. Retrieved March 11, 2017. 
  48. ^ a b Bradley, Jack L. (Fall 1994). "The Tiffany Windows of Rosehill Cemetery" (PDF). Newsletter of the Association for Gravestone Studies. p. AGS Fall '94 13–14. Retrieved March 12, 2017. 
  49. ^ Bielski 1998, p. 47.
  50. ^ "Mausoleums". The American Contractor. April 29, 1916. p. 25. Retrieved March 11, 2017. 
  51. ^ Webster 2007, pp. 75-76.
  52. ^ Harris 2007, pp. 35-38.
  53. ^ Slocum & Carlson 2011, pp. 71-73.
  54. ^ Harris 2007, p. 35.
  55. ^ Roberts 1997, p. 44.
  56. ^ Consumers Union 1979, p. 144.
  57. ^ Slocum, Josh (August 11, 2014). "What You Should Know About Exploding Caskets". The Washington Post. Retrieved September 6, 2014. 
  58. ^ United States Patent Office 1918, p. 340.
  59. ^ National Park Service (July 24, 2013). Beecher Mausoleum. National Register of Historic Places Registration Form. NPS Form 10-900 (PDF) (Report). Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of the Interior. p. 11. Retrieved March 12, 2017. 
  60. ^ "Kansas City Has a Handsome Community Mausoleum". Through the Ages. October 1931. p. 15 ; "Concrete and Marble Mausoleum for Kansas City". Concrete Products. March 1919. p. 60. Retrieved March 12, 2017. 
  61. ^ "Cemetery Memorial of Unusual Architecture". Monumental News. August 1919. pp. 620–621. 
  62. ^ "Illinois". The American Contractor. August 14, 1920. p. 39. Retrieved March 11, 2017. 
  63. ^ "Saginaw, Michigan - Contracts Awarded". The American Contractor. October 8, 1921. p. 72. Retrieved March 11, 2017. 
  64. ^ "Illinois". The American Contractor. October 29, 1921. pp. 47–48. Retrieved March 11, 2017. 
  65. ^ "Virginia - Norfolk, Va.". The American Contractor. May 1, 1920. p. 74. Retrieved March 11, 2017. 
  66. ^ "Construction Notes". Stone. January 1920. p. 36. Retrieved March 11, 2017. 
  67. ^ Janssens 2003, p. 24.
  68. ^ "Knollwood Mausoleum". The Plain Dealer. October 21, 1923. p. 83. 
  69. ^ "$77,441,000 In Building Is Done By Clevelanders". The Plain Dealer. January 2, 1929. p. 11. 
  70. ^ "Mausoleum in Marble". Stone Magazine. November 1925. p. 666. 
  71. ^ "An Example of an Attractive Tower". Water Works Engineering. January 29, 1930. p. 160. 
  72. ^ "Oakwood Memorial Mausoleum". Dixon Evening Telegraph. February 13, 1924. p. 25. Retrieved March 13, 2017. 
  73. ^ "Jews Plan $500,000 Mausoleum". The Plain Dealer. January 31, 1926. p. C4 ; "Mausoleum Will Be Work of Art". The Plain Dealer. November 3, 1929. p. D2. 
  74. ^ "Opening of Mausoleum on Next Sunday". The Decatur Herald. April 27, 1927. p. 8. Retrieved March 13, 2017. 
  75. ^ "Contract Awarded for Mausoleum Here". The Amarillo Globe-Times. October 20, 1927. p. 6. Retrieved March 13, 2017. 
  76. ^ "Carvings—Wrought Iron—Bronze—Interior Woodwork". The Western Architect. August 1928. p. 210. 
  77. ^ "Carvings—Wrought Iron—Bronze—Interior Woodwork". The Western Architect. August 1928. p. 214. 
  78. ^ "Miscellaneous". The Daily Bulletin of the Manufacturers Record. August 4, 1928. p. 11. 
  79. ^ a b National Park Service (October 26, 2004). Springdale Cemetery. National Register of Historic Places Registration Form. NPS Form 10-900 (PDF) (Report). Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of the Interior. p. 12. Retrieved March 12, 2017. 
  80. ^ "Springdale Cemetery's Rural Charm Reveals Its Own History of Peoria". Sunday Journal-Star. May 30, 1954. 
  81. ^ Gillan, Alvarez & Ford 1994, p. 174.
  82. ^ Historic Preservation Commission of South Bend and St. Joseph County 1993, p. 51.
  83. ^ a b "Obituaries". Chicago Daily Tribune. August 7, 1938. p. 14. 
  84. ^ "Death Notices". Chicago Daily Tribune. August 7, 1938. p. 14. 
  85. ^ "Wins Architectural Prize". Chicago Daily Tribune. February 8, 1925. p. 7. 
  86. ^ National Park Service (May 28, 2009). Old Mission Mausoleum. National Register of Historic Places Registration Form. NPS Form 10-900 (Report). Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of the Interior. pp. 3, 5–6. Retrieved March 12, 2017. 

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