Building Victorian Boston: The Architecture of Gridley J.F. Bryant
Much of Boston's rich heritage of Victorian buildings dates from the mid-nineteenth century when Gridley James Fox Bryant (1816-1899) dominated the profession of architecture in the city. At that time, Boston was undergoing a transformation from a quaint post-colonial town to a rapidly expanding Victorian metropolis. Bryant led this transformation, providing an important link between the earlier architecture of Charles Bulfinch and Alexander Parris and the later work of such practitioners as H. H. Richardson and Peabody & Stearns.
In Building Victorian Boston, Roger Reed focuses on representative projects by Bryant, presenting them in a chronological narrative that both illuminates the trajectory of his career and creates a portrait of the profession of architecture during a defining period of New England history. Bryant designed more major buildings in Boston from 1840 to 1880 than any other architect. He also undertook commissions throughout New
England, especially in towns linked to Boston by newly constructed railroad lines. In many ways, his practice presaged aspects of modern architectural firms. His ability to work with a variety of designers, his expertise in construction management, and his exceptional talent for self-promotion all contributed to his success. Although by the time of his death his work was no longer fashionable, newspaper accounts noted the passing of the "Famed Bostonian" and "Great Builder" whose career had had such a dramatic impact on the face of the city.
For this volume, Reed has tracked down hundreds of Bryant's drawings as well as specifications, letters, newspaper articles, published renderings, and historical photographs. These materials are amply represented in this book, the definitive study of a quintessential Victorian architect.
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Alexander Parris Almshouse architect architectural Archives Arthur Gilman Auburn Back Bay Bailey Beacon Boston City Boston City Hall Boston Daily Bradlee brick Brookline Bryant and Gilman Bryant and Rogers Bryant's design Bryant's office Builder built Charles Bulfinch Charles Street Jail City Hall client construction County Courthouse County Jail Court Street Courtesy Earle Custom House destroyed Boston Transcript destroyed Specifications destroyed Suffolk Deeds documented drawings Earle G erected extant Boston Transcript exterior facade Figure floor Franklin Street Gothic granite Greek Revival Greek Revival style Gridley Bryant Gridley J. F. Bryant GridleyJ Hammatt Billings Hampshire Hartford Henry Historic New England Historic Preservation Commission Isaiah Rogers John Hubbard Sturgis Jonathan Preston Kimball Lynn Maine Historic Preservation major mansard roof Massachusetts plans prison projects Public Buildings Quincy railroad Richard Upjohn Salem Shettleworth South Boston Specifications of Public stone structure Sturgis Suffolk County supervising surviving tion Tremont Washington Street Wharf William York