Richardson Romanesque 1870's-1900


Trinity Church, Boston MA

Some of his most important works are
in Massachusetts

Crane Memorial Public Library, Quincy, MA
Ames Memorial Library, N.Easton, MA
The Public Library, Woburn, MA
Paine Estate, Waltham MA
Baptist Church, Newton, MA
  Few architects are prominent and innovative enough to have an architectural style named after them. Henry Hobson Richardson is one of them. His unique American interpretation of the Romanesque style has forever linked his name to this powerful massive style. During the 1870's he evolved his strongly personal style, which incorporated Romanesque form and unlike his predecessors, he borrowed from many sources.

His arches are frequently not truly Romanesque but Syrian, an early Christian form which springs from the ground level. He stressed unusual sculptured shapes in stone which give his structures great individuality. Heaviness was the ever-present characteristic of the style, emphasized not only by the stone construction but also by deep windows, cavernous recessed door openings and bands of windows. Openings were further defined by contrasting color or texture of stone or by short, robust columns. Towers occur in about 75 percent of Richardson's buildings, a second tower occurs in about 15 percent. Richardson was immensely popular and built many public buildings of importance. He died prematurely at the age of 47 in 1886.

 Trinity Church Towers
 

Church court yard 
Trinity Church, Boston MA 1876
The design for the church is a unified composition that includes the parish house and sanctuary. The plan of the building is in the form of the Greek cross with a central tower that dominates the building. 211 foot of square design with corner turrets and an octagonal roof covered with Akron tiles. The overall massing is pyramidal.
  Trinity Church is among the most famous of Richardson's designs. It established him as a truly national figure, the dominant architect of his day. Richardson moved his studio to Brookline MA at this time and lived and worked there until his premature death.
 Crane Memorial Public Library, Quincy, MA
Ames Memorial Library, N.Easton, MA
The Public Library, Woburn, MA
Thomas Treat Paine Estate, Waltham MA
Baptist Church, Newton, MA
Architecture
 

 
Public Library, Woburn





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