Bertram G. Goodhue was an innovator who combined Gothic and Hispanic designs with modern ideas. He revolutionized church (ecclesiastical) architecture by reawakening Medieval traditions, with a focus on modern detailing within traditional designs. His fanciful Spanish Churrigueresque buildings for the Panama-California Exposition brought new energy to Spanish Colonial Revival architecture in the United States. Later in his career, Goodhue moved beyond Gothic ornamentation to explore classical forms, designing landmark buildings such as the Nebraska State Capitol.
Born: April 28, 1869 in Pomfret, Connecticut
Died: April 23, 1924 in New York City
Studied for six years under James Renwick, Jr., architect of many public buildings and churches, including Smithsonian Institute Castle in Washington, DC and Grace Church and St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York.
Important Projects Attributed to Goodhue:
- 1910: Cadet Chapel, West Point (Cram, Goodhue, and Ferguson)
- 1912: First Baptist Church, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
- 1915: Church of the Intercession, New York City
- 1915: Panama-California Exposition Buildings, San Diego, California
- 1918: St. Bartholomew's Church (St. Bart's), New York City
- 1922: Nebraska State Capitol building, Lincoln, Nebraska
- 1924: National Academy of Sciences Building, Washington, DC
- 1924: Master Plan for the California Institute of Technology
- 1926: Los Angeles Central Public Library (LAPL), California
More About Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue:
Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue never attended college. Instead, at age fifteen he went to work in the New York office of Renwick, Aspinwall and Russell. In 1898, he formed his own partnership with Cram, Goodhue, and Ferguson.
Although Goodhue's early works were noted for their high Gothic style, he later adopted a Romanesque style. By the end of his career, his work tended toward simple, classical lines. The Los Angeles Central Library, completed after his death, has elements of Art Deco design. Today Goodhue is considered an American modernist.
Goodhue is said to have invented two font styles:
- Merrymount, designed for the Merrymount Press of Boston
- Cheltenham, designed for the Cheltenham Press in New York City; Cheltenham was adopted by The New York Times for their headline typeface and by the L.L. Bean company for their distinctive logo
SOURCE: The Alexander S. Lawson Archive, Ithaca Typothetae [accessed April 26, 2012]
In the Words of Goodhue:
"...the trouble in our houses today is that we want everything to seem rich and extravagant—we want money, and then we want to show it in our surroundings."
—from The New York Times, A Renowned Architect's Home of His Own by Christopher Gray, January 22, 2006 [accessed April 8, 2014]
Books About Goodhue
Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue Architectural Drawings and Papers, 1882-1980. Department of Drawings & Archives, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University.