Upjohn, Richard, 1802–78, American architect, b. England. He came to the United States in 1829. A skilled cabinetmaker and draftsman, he lived first in Manlius, N.Y., and then in New Bedford, Mass., where he set himself up as an architect. His first commissions were private houses in Bangor, Maine (1833–36). He had executed St. John's Church, Bangor (1836–39), and several smaller commissions when in 1839 he was engaged to rebuild Trinity Church, New York City. Moving to New York, he established an office there. The new Trinity Church (1846) was carefully modeled on English examples and inaugurated a new phase in the Gothic revival. Upjohn designed the old St. Thomas's Church in New York City (later burned), several churches in Brooklyn, the chapel of Bowdoin College, smaller Gothic churches, and many residences. He was a founder of the American Institute of Architects and its first president (1857–76). His son, Richard Michell Upjohn, 1828–1903, architect of the Connecticut State Capitol, was associated with his father.
See E. M. Upjohn, Richard Upjohn, Architect and Churchman (1939).
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English-born American architect remembered primarily as a church architect and as a Gothic Revivalist. His most well-known building is Trinity Church, New York City (1841). He was the first president of the American Institute of Architects, which he helped to found.
Illustrated Dictionary of Architecture Copyright © 2012, 2002, 1998 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved
Upjohn, Richard(1802–78) architect; born in Shaftesbury, Dorset, England. He emigrated (1829) and worked with Alexander Parris in Boston (1834–38). His first major building and the one by which he is best remembered was Trinity Church, New York (1839–46), which definitively linked the Protestant Episcopal Church with the Gothic Revival style. Upjohn designed many residences and public buildings promoting medieval and Italianate forms; his primary reputation as a church architect rests on a series of large and small urban and rural churches characterized by their adaptation of the English Gothic style to local materials, his own favorite being Trinity Chapel, New York (1853). His later ecclesiastical architecture incorporated Romanesque and Italianate forms. He published a pattern book, Rural Architecture (1852). Upjohn trained many young architects including Leopold Eidlitz. He was a founder and first president of the American Institute of Architects (1857–76).
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.