Renwick, James,1818–95, American architect, b. New York City, grad. Columbia, 1836. His design for Grace Church (1843–46) in New York City was followed by that for St. Patrick's Cathedral; he was chosen as architect for the cathedral in 1853, and it was dedicated in 1879, the most ambitious essay in Gothic that the revival of the style produced. In Washington he built the original Corcoran Gallery (now the Renwick Gallery) and the Smithsonian Institution. Other of his works were the first building of Vassar College and the distribution reservoir for the Croton Aqueduct in New York.
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At 24, Renwick won the commission to design Grace Church in New York City (1843). Later he designed St. Patrick’s Cathedral (1858), NYC, a vast Gothic church. He also designed the Smithsonian’s “castle” (1847), in Washington, DC, and the original Corcoran Gallery (1859), now the Renwick Gallery in Washington, DC.
Illustrated Dictionary of Architecture Copyright © 2012, 2002, 1998 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved
Renwick, James(1818–95) architect; born in New York City. Famous for their stylistic versatility and mechanical and material innovations, his many buildings include Grace Church (1843–46) and St. Patrick's Cathedral (1858–88), New York, and the Smithsonian "Castle" (1847–55), Washington, D.C.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.