Walter F. Fontaine

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Walter Francis Fontaine
Born 1871
Fitchburg, Massachusetts
Died 1938
Charlestown, Rhode Island
Nationality United States
Occupation Architect
Holy Family Church, Woonsocket, 1909.
W. F. Fontaine House, Woonsocket, 1925.
Union St.-Jean Baptiste d'Amerique Building, Woonsocket, 1926.

Walter F. Fontaine (1871–1938) was an American architect of French Heritage from Woonsocket, Rhode Island.

Fontaine was born in Fitchburg, Massachusetts in 1871 to parents that had moved there from Woonsocket. When he was a young child, his family moved back to Woonsocket, where his father, John B. Fontaine (1836-1895) was a prominent building contractor.[1]

He was educated in the local schools, and began his architectural training in 1887 in the office of Willard Kent, a local architect. [2] After additional training in Europe in 1893, he worked for the Providence firm of Stone, Carpenter & Willson.[2] Near the end of his time there, he was responsible for the construction supervision of that firm's Providence Public Library and Union Trust Co. Building.[1]

In 1901 he returned to Woonsocket where he opened his own office. Beginning in 1903, he worked with Elmer H. Kinnicutt as Fontaine & Kinnicutt.[1] This association ended upon Kinnicutt's death in January 1910. In 1921, his two sons, Oliver W. and Paul N. Fontaine began working for him. By this time Joseph M. Mosher was also associated with the office. In 1935, both sons became partners in the newly reorganized firm of Walter F. Fontaine & Sons. It remained as such until the elder Fontaine's death.

After their father's death, his sons reorganized the firm as Walter F. Fontaine, Inc. It remained as such until 1942, when Paul left to participate in the war effort.[3] In his brother's absence, Oliver opened his own office, which remained active into the 1970s.

Fontaine was a member of the AIA and served for a time as Vice President of the Rhode Island chapter. He was also a member of the Rhode Island State Planning Board.

Fontaine and his wife, Obeline Lucier Fontaine, died during the Hurricane of 1938 at their summer home in Charlestown, Rhode Island.[2]

Several of his buildings have been included in the National Register of Historic Places.

Architectural Works[edit]

While in private practice, 1901-1903:

  • Commercial Block, 99-113 Main St., Woonsocket, RI (1902)[1][4]
  • Central Police Station (Former), 139 Front St., Woonsocket, RI (1903)[1][5]

Fontaine & Kinnicutt, 1903-1910:

  • St. Mary R. C. Church, 46 Valley St., Willimantic, CT (1903) - This church suffered a major fire in May 2013, but expects to rebuild.[6]
  • St. Aloysius R. C. Church, 2 Beck St., Newburyport, MA (1904)[7]
  • Malcolm Campbell House, 129 Lyman St., Woonsocket, RI (1905)[8]
  • Our Lady of Good Help R. C. Church, 1063 Victory Hwy., Mapleville, RI (1905)[9]
  • Our Lady of Lourdes R. C. School, 211 Carleton St., Providence, RI (1905)[10]
  • French Worsted Mills, 153 Hamlet Ave., Woonsocket, RI (1906) - Demolished 2012.[11]
  • Ervin Dunn House, 168 Woodland Rd., Woonsocket, RI (1907)[8]
  • St. Lawrence R. C. Church, 624 Woonasquatucket Ave., Centerdale, RI (1907)[12]
  • St. Matthew R. C. School, 909 Lonsdale Ave., Central Falls, RI (1907)[13]
  • First M. E. Church, 17 Federal St., Woonsocket, RI (1908)[14]
  • Notre Dame R. C. High School (Former), 62 Fales St., Central Falls, RI (1908)[15]
  • St. Casimir R. C. Church, 228 Child St., Warren, RI (1908-09) - Demolished.[16]
  • Elisha D. Clarke House, 144 Woodland Rd., Woonsocket, RI (1909)[8]
  • Holy Family R. C. Church, 414 S. Main St. Woonsocket, RI (1909)[17]
  • Pothier School, 1044 Social St., Woonsocket, RI (1909)[18][19]

Private practice, 1910-1935:

  • Y. M. C. A. Building, 43 Federal St., Woonsocket, RI (1910-11)[20]
  • Mt. St. Francis Orphanage, 4 St. Joseph St., Woonsocket, RI (1911)[21]
  • Edward T. Mee House, 253 Harris Ave., Woonsocket, RI (1912)[8]
  • Theron Metcalf School, 45 Winter St., Franklin, MA (1912-13)[22][23]
  • Thompson School, 10 Prospect St., Webster, MA (1912-13)
  • Edmond H. Guerin House, 190 Glen Rd., Woonsocket, RI (1913) - The most expensive private home Fontaine designed.[8]
  • Woonsocket High School, 357 Park Pl., Woonsocket, RI (1913)[24]
  • Children's Building, Rhode Island State Sanatarium (Zambarano Hospital), Pascoag, RI (1914-15)[25]
  • St. Ann R. C. Church, 84 Cumberland St., Woonsocket, RI (1913-14)[26]
  • Ralph E. Carpenter House, 217 Woodland Rd., Woonsocket, RI (1915)[27]
  • Charles A. Proulx House, 183 Glen Rd., Woonsocket, RI (1915)[8]
  • American Paper Tube Co. Factory, 93 Hazel St., Woonsocket, RI (1916)[28]
  • McFee School, 108 High St., Woonsocket, RI (1916)[29]
  • Our Lady of Good Help R. C. School, 1063 Victory Hwy., Mapleville, RI (1916)[30]
  • St. Charles Borromeo R. C. Church, 176 Dexter St., Providence, RI (1916)[31]
  • Fifth Avenue School, 65 5th Ave., Woonsocket, RI (1917)[32]
  • Goldmark Knitting Co. Mill, 43 Railroad St., Woonsocket, RI (1917)[33]
  • St. Joseph R. C. Church, 191 Bucknam St., Everett, MA (1917) - Demolished.[34]
  • Blackstone High School, 86 Main St., Blackstone, MA (1919) - Demolished.[35]
  • Convent for Notre Dame R. C. Church, 626 Broad St., Central Falls, RI (1919)[36]
  • Laurier Theatre, 17 Cumberland St., Woonsocket, RI (1919) - Demolished.[37]
  • St. Louis de Gonzague R. C. Church (Remodeling), 48 W. Hollis St., Nashua, NH (1920-22) - Mostly demolished 1976.[38]
  • St. Anthony R. C. School, 190 Ashley Blvd., New Bedford, MA (1921)[39]
  • Mt. St. Charles Academy, Logee St., Woonsocket, RI (1922-24)[40]
  • St. Michael the Archangel Ukrainian Catholic Church, 394 Blackstone St., Woonsocket, RI (1922)[41]
  • Woonsocket Commercial School, 77 Federal St., Woonsocket, RI (1922)[42]
  • Sacred Heart R. C. School, Richards Ave., North Attleborough, MA (1923)[43]
  • St. Cecilia R. C. Church, 1253 Newport Ave., Pawtucket, RI (1923-24)[44]
  • Convent for St. Ann R. C. Church, 138 Elm St., Woonsocket, RI (1924)[8]
  • Walter F. Fontaine House, 211 Glen Rd., Woonsocket, RI (1925) - The architect's own home.[9]
  • Our Lady of Good Counsel R. C. School, 59 Pleasant St., Phenix, RI (1926)[45]
  • Union St.-Jean Baptiste d'Amerique Building, 1 Social St., Woonsocket, RI (1926)[46]
  • Woonsocket Jr. High School, 357 Park Pl., Woonsocket, RI (1926-27) - Actually a very large addition to the 1913 high school.[47]
  • Hospital, Rhode Island State Sanitarium, Pascoag, RI (1927-28)[48]
  • St. Joseph R. C. Church, 208 S. Main St., Attleboro, MA (1927-28)[49]
  • Bellingham Public Library, 10 Common St., Bellingham, MA (1929)[50]
  • St. Matthew R. C. Church, 1030 Dexter St., Central Falls, RI (1929)
  • St. James R. C. Church, 33 Division St., Manville, RI (1930-32)[17][51]
  • Chris the King R. C. Church, 120 Legris Ave., Centerville, RI (1932-33) - Burned 1954.[52]
  • Convent for St. Matthew R. C. Church, 189 Wellington St., Fall River, MA (1932-33)[52]
  • St. Charles Borromeo R. C. School, 155 Harrison St., Providence, RI (1932-33)[53]
  • Convent for St. John R. C. Church, St. John St., Arctic, RI (1933-34) - Demolished.[54]
  • Sacred Heart R. C. Church, 321 S. Broadway, Lawrence, MA (1934-36)[55]

Walter F. Fontaine & Sons, 1935-1938:

  • Nurses' Home, Rhode Island State Sanitarium, Pascoag, RI (1935-36)[56]
  • Our Lady of Victories R. C. Church, 130 Prospect St., Woonsocket, RI (1935-36)[57]
  • Slatersville School, 83 Greene St., Slatersville, RI (1935-36)[58]
  • St. John R. C. Church, 20 Washington St., Arctic, RI (1936-40)[45]
  • St. Luke R. C. Church, 108 Washington Rd., Barrington, RI (1936) - Altered beyond recognition.[17]
  • St. Joseph R. C. Church, 1200 Mendon Rd., Woonsocket, RI (1938) - The last building Fontaine designed before his death.[21]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Representative Men and Old Families of Rhode Island. Vol. 3. 1908
  2. ^ a b c "Walter F. Fontaine". http://www.woonsocket.org/. n.d. Web.
  3. ^ Progressive Architecture 1943: 75.
  4. ^ Main Street Historic District NRHP Nomination. 1991.
  5. ^ Engineering News 1903: 121.
  6. ^ Real Estate Record and Builders' Guide 2 May 1903: 864.
  7. ^ "Church of Aloysius de Gonzaga". mhc-macris.net. Massachusetts Historical Commission, n.d. Web.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g Historic Resources of Woonsocket, Rhode Island NRHP Nomination. 1976.
  9. ^ a b Jordy, William H. Buildings of Rhode Island. 2004.
  10. ^ Our Lady of Lourdes Church Complex NRHP Nomination. 1990.
  11. ^ Fibre and Fabric 12 May 1906: 13.
  12. ^ Angell, Frank C. Annals of Centerdale. 1909.
  13. ^ Central Falls, Rhode Island: Statewide Historical Preservation Report P-CF-1. 1978.
  14. ^ Norton, Paul F. Rhode Island Stained Glass: An Historical Guide. 2001.
  15. ^ Engineering Record 12 Sept. 1908: 46b.
  16. ^ Warren, Rhode Island: Statewide Historic Preservation Report B-W-1. 1975.
  17. ^ a b c Norton, Paul F. Rhode Island Stained Glass: An Historical Guide. 2001.
  18. ^ Engineering Record 4 July 1908: 60.
  19. ^ Engineering Record 26 Dec. 1908: 41.
  20. ^ American Architect 9 Nov. 1910: 2.
  21. ^ a b Woonsocket, Rhode Island: Statewide Historic Preservation Report P-W-1. 1976.
  22. ^ American Architect 7 Aug. 1912: 14.
  23. ^ School Board Journal July 1913: 23.
  24. ^ American Contractor 29 March 1913: 55.
  25. ^ Electrical World 19 Dec. 1914: 1225.
  26. ^ Engineering News 13 Nov. 1913: 325.
  27. ^ American Contractor 17 July 1915: 60.
  28. ^ American Contractor 8 Jan. 1916: 33.
  29. ^ American Contractor 8 April 1916: 55.
  30. ^ American Contractor 25 Dec. 1915: 42.
  31. ^ American Contractor 21 Oct. 1916: 62.
  32. ^ American Contractor21 July 1917: 47.
  33. ^ American Contractor 25 Nov. 1916: 53.
  34. ^ American Contractor 26 May 1917: 27/
  35. ^ "Blackstone High School". mhc-macris.net. Massachusetts Historical Commission, n.d. Web.
  36. ^ American Architect 25 June 1919: 16.
  37. ^ American Contractor 15 Feb. 1919: 55.
  38. ^ American Contractor 17 July 1920: 54.
  39. ^ American Contractor 6 Nov. 1921: 53.
  40. ^ American Contractor 9 Sept. 1922: 38.
  41. ^ American Contractor 27 April 1921: 48.
  42. ^ American Contractor 5 Aug. 1922: 48.
  43. ^ "Sacred Heart Parochial School". mhc-macris.net. Massachusetts Historical Commission, n.d. Web.
  44. ^ Engineering News-Record 1923: 55.
  45. ^ a b Historic and Architectural Resources of West Warwick, Rhode Island: A Preliminary Report. 1979.
  46. ^ Meras, Phyllis and Katherine Imbrie. An Explorer's Guide: Rhode Island. 2012.
  47. ^ Domestic Engineering 1926: 95.
  48. ^ Domestic Engineering and the Journal of Mechanical Contracting 1927: 13
  49. ^ "Saint Joseph's French Catholic Church". mhc-macris.net. Massachusetts Historical Commission, n.d. Web.
  50. ^ "Bellingham Public Library". mhc-macris.net. Massachusetts Historical Commission, n.d. Web.
  51. ^ Guide officiel des Franco-Américains. 1940.
  52. ^ a b Bridgemen's Magazine 1932: 163.
  53. ^ Bridgemen's Magazine 1932: 99.
  54. ^ Engineering News-Record 1933: 91.
  55. ^ "Sacread Heart Roman Catholic Church". mhc-macris.net. Massachusetts Historical Commission, n.d. Web.
  56. ^ Bridgemen's Magazine 1935: 88.
  57. ^ Bridgemen's Magazine 1935: 547-548.
  58. ^ Bridgemen's Magazine 1935: 682.

Further reading[edit]

Kervick, Francis William Wynn (1962). Architects in America of Catholic tradition. C.E. Tuttle Co. p. 50.