Thomas Henry Poole

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Thomas Henry Poole
Born (1860-01-01)January 1, 1860
Shrewsbury, England
Died July 31, 1919(1919-07-31) (aged 59)
Manhattan, New York City, New York State
Nationality English
Occupation Architect
Buildings Holy Name of Jesus
Our Lady of Good Counsel
Saint Cecilia's

Thomas Henry Poole (1860 – 31 July 1919[1]) was British-born architect who designed numerous churches and schools in New York City.

Poole was born in Shrewsbury, England, in 1860. He was educated at Rugby and Christ Church, Oxford.[2] Poole is listed in a Manhattan city directory as an architect in 1887, when he was 27, suggesting that he may have had a substantial apprenticeship.[3] In 1886 he resided at 127 West 56th Street. In 1900 he was listed at 15 West 30th Street. In 1918, the T. H. Poole Co. had offices at 13 West 30th Street.

Works (partial list)[edit]

Poole was a Roman Catholic, and most of his commissions were for the archdiocese in and around New York. He seldom designed Protestant churches; but these too were in New York City.




  • One of the earliest Poole designs is the Holy Name of Jesus Roman Catholic Church on the northwest corner of West 96th Street and Amsterdam Avenue, begun in 1891 and dedicated in 1900. The Gothic design features an interior hammerbeam roof.
  • Poole was a parishioner at the Church of Our Lady of Good Counsel, at 232 East 90th Street. It is also Gothic but with huge Tudor-style paired turrets at each end. The church is executed in an unusual Vermont marble, a filmy blue-white with rich veining. It was completed to Poole's design in 1892.
  • One of his few commissions not for a Catholic parish was the Harlem Presbyterian Church in 1905. Located at West 122nd Street and Mount Morris Park West, it boasts a strikingly eclectic design with a dome on top of a Romanesque lower section. It is in the Mount Morris Park Historic District.
  • The wildly ornate neo-Gothic facade of the 1907 St. Thomas the Apostle, on 118th Street just west of Saint Nicholas Avenue, was for many years a neighborhood landmark. In 2003 it closed and was slated for demolition.[3]
  • St. Catherine of Genoa, 1887, 506 West 153rd Street, Hamilton Heights. The Archdiocese of New York closed the parish school in 2006.
  • St. Columba Catholic School, 1910, at 331 West 25th Street in Chelsea. Gothic style, pressed brick with terra cotta trimmings. In 2006, the Archdiocese of New York closed the school.
  • Sacred Heart Academy, 1884, 49 West 17th St. 4-story brick. Demolished.
  • St. Joseph of the Holy Family School, 1912, 125th Street and Morningside Avenue, Harlem. Closed.


Long Island[edit]


New Jersey[edit]

Washington, DC[edit]

Writing career[edit]

Poole also served his Catholic faith as a writer. He contributed articles to The Messenger, a church publication with offices in Manhattan. He wrote a detailed architectural review of the Westminster Cathedral when it opened in London, England, in 1903:

“…outside of its practical character it ought certainly to lead to the further development of all that is beautiful in art and to the better interior adornment of our churches… giving us the best possible facilities for the carrying out of all the requirements of our religion to the fullest possible extent with all the solemnity and grandeur that the service of man can invoke and the offering of our best works and thoughts as well as of our bodies and souls to God the Lord and Master of all.” [10]

Poole’s name also appears as a contributor in the Catholic Encyclopedia: An International Work of Reference, published in 1913. He wrote entries about architectural terms, such as apse chapel, also known as the lady chapel.[11]

Poole died July 31, 1919, at his Manhattan office, 13 West 30th Street. His funeral was held at Saint Cecilia's in Brooklyn, one of his churches.[12]



  1. ^ The American Review of Reviews: An International Magazine, July–December 1919, page 252
  2. ^ "Thomas H. Poole (obituary)". New-York Tribune. August 2, 1919. Retrieved 2011-04-20. 
  3. ^ a b Streetscapes, by Christopher Gray, The New York Times, December 22, 2002
  4. ^ "About Us". Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish (Queens, NY). Retrieved 2010-11-16. 
  5. ^ National Park Service (2009-03-13). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  6. ^
  7. ^ St. Lawrence parish history
  8. ^ Blessed by the Archbishop, The New York Times, October 17, 1898, p. 7
  9. ^ The Catholic University of America Facilities Operations - Gibbons Floorplans
  10. ^ The Messenger, 1903, page 498
  11. ^ The Catholic Encyclopedia, 1913, page 660
  12. ^ Obituary 2, The New York Times, August 2, 1919, page 7