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Richard Upjohn

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Title: Richard Upjohn  
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Subject: Hobart and William Smith Colleges, St. Mary's Episcopal Church, Burlington, New Jersey, Broadway Historic District (Saratoga Springs, New York), List of Anglican churches, Downtown Albany Historic District
Collection: 1802 Births, 1878 Deaths, 19Th-Century American Architects, American Ecclesiastical Architects, American Saints, Anglican Saints, Architects from New York City, Architects of Anglican Churches, Architects of Cathedrals, Defunct Architecture Firms Based in New York City, English Ecclesiastical Architects, English Emigrants to the United States, Fellows of the American Institute of Architects, Founder of American Institute of Architects, Nrhp Architects, People from Shaftesbury, Presidents of the American Institute of Architects, Richard Upjohn Buildings
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Richard Upjohn

Richard Upjohn
Upjohn oil portrait circa 1870
Born (1802-01-22)22 January 1802
Shaftesbury, England, UK
Died 16 August 1878(1878-08-16) (aged 76)
Putnam County, New York, USA
Occupation Architect
Buildings Trinity Church in New York City
The Edward King House in Newport, Rhode Island
St. Paul's Cathedral in Buffalo, New York
Kingscote in Newport, Rhode Island, completed in 1839.
The Edward King House in Newport, Rhode Island, completed in 1847.
St. Peter's Episcopal Church in Albany, New York, completed in 1859.
All Saint's Memorial Church in Navesink, New Jersey, completed in 1864.
St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Selma, Alabama, completed in 1875.
St. Agnes-by-the-Lake in Algoma, completed in 1879.

Richard Upjohn (22 January 1802 – 16 August 1878) was a British-born American architect who emigrated to the United States and became most famous for his Gothic Revival churches. He was partially responsible for launching the movement to such popularity in the United States. Upjohn also did extensive work in and helped to popularize the Italianate style. He was a founder and the first president of the American Institute of Architects. His son, Richard Mitchell Upjohn, (1828-1903), was also a well-known architect and served as a partner in his continued architectural firm in New York.[1][2]


  • Life and career 1
  • Veneration 2
  • Projects 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

Life and career

Richard Upjohn was born in Shaftesbury, England, where he was apprenticed to a builder and cabinet-maker. He eventually became a master-mechanic. He and his family emigrated to the United States in 1829. They initially settled in New Bedford, Massachusetts and then moved on to Boston in 1833, where he worked in architectural design.[2] He became a naturalized citizen of the United States in 1836.[3] His first major project was for the entrances to the Boston Common, the town's central park and his first church would be St. John's Episcopal Church in Bangor, Maine. He had relocated to New York City by 1839 where he worked on alterations to the famed Trinity Church on Wall Street in lower Manhattan. The alterations were later abandoned and he was commissioned to design a new church, completed in 1846, and still extant today. He published his extremely influential book, "Upjohn's rural architecture: Designs, working drawings and specifications for a wooden church, and other rural structures", in 1852. The designs in this publication were widely used across the country by builders, with many examples remaining.[1]

Upjohn, along with 13 other architects, co-founded the Thomas Ustick Walter, fourth Architect of the Capitol. He went on the design many buildings in a variety of styles. He died at his home in Garrison, New York in 1878. Architectural drawings and papers by Upjohn and other family members are held by the Drawings and Archives Department of the Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library at Columbia University, in New York City, also by the New York Public Library's Humanities and Social Sciences Library, in the Manuscripts and Archives division, and by the Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C..[2]

He died on 16 August 1878 in Putnam County, New York of "softening of the brain", (Cerebral Softening).[4]


Upjohn is honored together with Ralph Adams Cram and John LaFarge with a feast day on the liturgical calendar in the current 1979 "Book of Common Prayer" of the Episcopal Church in the U.S.A. on December 16.


Some of Upjohn's notable projects include:

See also



  1. ^ a b Doumato, Lamia. Richard Upjohn, Richard Michell Upjohn, and the Gothic Revival in America. Monticello, Ill: Vance Bibliographies, 1984. ISBN 0-89028-128-9
  2. ^ a b c Upjohn, Everard M. Richard Upjohn, Architect and Churchman. New York: Columbia University Press, 1939.
  3. ^ Murray, Christopher John (2004). Encyclopedia of the romantic era, 1760-1850, Volume 2. New York & London: Fitzroy Dearborn. p. 1175.  
  4. ^ "Richard Upjohn, Architect" (PDF).  
  5. ^ Susan and Michael Southworth, AIA Guide to Boston, Third Edition, (Guildford, Connecticut: Global Professional Publishing, 2008), p.41.
  6. ^ Susan and Michael Southworth, AIA Guide to Boston, Third Edition, (Guildford, Connecticut: GPP, 2008), p.27.
  7. ^ NRHP plaque: File:AllSaintsPlaque.jpg
  8. ^ Susan and Michael Southworth, AIA Guide to Boston, Third Edition, (Guildford, Connecticut: Global Professional Publishing, 2008), p.199.
  9. ^ Christ Church Parish Records
  10. ^ Susan and Michael Southworth, AIA Guide to Boston, Third Edition, (Guildford, Connecticut: Global Professional Publishing, 2008), p.265.
  11. ^ Alexandra Kathryn Mosca, "Green-Wood Cemetery". "Images of America" series, (Charleston, S.C.: Arcadia Publishing, 2008), p.11

External links

  • Columbia University Libraries: The Upjohn collection of architectural drawings by Richard, Richard Michell, and Hobart Upjohn :Architectural drawings, papers, and records, (circa 1827-1910)
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