Robert Smith: Architect, Builder, Patriot, 1722-1777

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Robert Smith was the most important and influential architect-builder in the American colonies. His major buildings were ornaments of Philadelphia, where he lived. But his reputation also brought him commissions from as far away as Carlisle, Pennsylvania, Shrewsbury, New Jersey, and Williamsburg, Virginia. Among his accomplishments were the steeple of Christ Church (1753-54), Nassau Hall at Princeton (1754-56), St. Peter's Church (1758-61), Zion Lutheran Church (1766-69), the Walnut Street Jail (1773-74), and Benjamin Franklin's House (1763-65). This book illuminates the role of the architect in the eighteenth century as designer and supervisor of construction, including the form of the contracts he signed and the difficulties he encountered in collecting his fees.

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