Frederick Clarke Withers
|Born||February 4, 1828|
|Died||January 7, 1901 (aged 72)|
|Buildings|| Halsey Stevens House |
Reformed Church of Beacon
Jefferson Market Courthouse
Chapel of the Good Shepherd
|Projects|| Gallaudet University |
Hudson River State Hospital
Astor Memorial Reredos
Frederick Clarke Withers (4 February 1828 – 7 January 1901) was a successful English architect in America, especially renowned for his Gothic Revival church designs. For portions of his professional career, he partnered with fellow immigrant Calvert Vaux; both had been assistants of Andrew Jackson Downing in Newburgh, New York, where they began their careers following Downing's death. Withers greatly participated in the introduction of the High Victorian Gothic style to the United States.
Frederick Clarke Withers was born in Shepton Mallet, Somersetshire.He had a brother, Robert Jewell Withers, who also became an architect. He studied architecture in England for eight years. He came to the United States in the winter of 1851–52 at the invitation of the prominent American architect and horticulturist Andrew Jackson Downing. Withers and Downing later became family, as they married sisters: Emily Augusta and Caroline Elizabeth DeWindt, respectively. The sisters were great-grandchildren of President John Adams, and grandnieces of John Quincy Adams. Downing drowned that year, attempting to save his mother-in-law in the explosion of the steamboat Henry Clay .
Calvert Vaux, Downing's partner, then took Withers in as an assistant and later partner.Vaux included a design for a bookcase credited to Withers among those in his Villas and Cottages (1857), which records both designs of the firms Downing & Vaux and Vaux & Withers. At this time Withers also produced several country houses independent of the firm, many for Newburgh clients in adjacent Balmville. His library for the Frederick Deming house (1859) was deemed architecturally significant by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in the late 1970s and removed for display.
At the outset of the American Civil War, Withers volunteered and received a commission as a lieutenant in the 1st New York Volunteer Engineer Regiment. This experience added invaluable engineering experience to his architectural expertise. After 1863, he gradually moved his practice to New York City from Newburgh. As an independent architect in New York working largely in the Gothic Revival mode, Withers wrote about architecture and designed in the highly colored "Ruskinian Gothic" manner. His first commission for a High Victorian Gothic building, the Reformed Church of Beacon, was likely secured through the congregation's associations with John Peter DeWindt, his father-in-law. Others in this style, such as the nearby Tioranda School, were recognized by the National Academy of Design in 1866.
When A. J. Bicknell published Withers' Church Architecture (1873),featuring the school, the architect's reputation was secured. Among his prestigious commissions in New York was the William Backhouse Astor, Sr. Memorial Altar and Reredos (1876–77) at Trinity Church. Withers' only cast-iron building stands at 448 Broome Street, Manhattan, but many of his urban designs went unrealized. By the 1880s he had separated from Vaux and worked in partnership with Walter Dickson (1835–1903), originally from Albany, New York.
A number of Withers' works are listed on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) and further honored as National Historic Landmarks.
Under the firm Vaux, Withers & Co., Withers designed his most famous building, the Jefferson Market Courthouse, built in 1874 on 10th St. in Greenwich Village, New York next to the Jefferson Market Prison. The Courthouse was made for the Third Judicial District anddesigned in the High Victorian Gothic style. The building was called "Jefferson Market" because the site chosen, in 1870 was at the time the Jefferson Market, the local produce market. The frieze on the outside of the building contains scenes from Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice .
Balmville is a hamlet in Orange County, New York, United States. It is part of the Poughkeepsie–Newburgh–Middletown, NY Metropolitan Statistical Area as well as the larger New York–Newark–Bridgeport, NY-NJ-CT-PA Combined Statistical Area. It is located in the southeastern part of the Town of Newburgh. The population was 3,178 at the 2010 census. Many wealthy, influential, and upper income families live in Balmville on roads such as River Road, Sloane Road, Commonwealth Avenue, Susan Drive, and Grand Avenue. Susan Drive is accredited for housing the former Delano Family Estate (Algonac). The Delano family was the family of the mother of Franklin D. Roosevelt, and she in fact was born and raised at Algonac. Many homes in Balmville are incredibly expensive due to their pristine views of the Hudson River. Balmville is also the site of the Powelton Club Country Club. It currently ranks as the highest income hamlet in the greater Newburgh area.
Newburgh is a city in the U.S. state of New York within Orange County. With an estimated 2019 population of 28,177, it is a principal city of the Poughkeepsie–Newburgh–Middletown metropolitan area, which belongs to the larger New York megacity. Located 60 miles (97 km) north of New York City, and 90 miles (140 km) south of Albany on the Hudson River within the Hudson Valley Area, the city of Newburgh is located near Stewart International Airport, one of the primary airports for Downstate New York.
Calvert Vaux was an English-American architect and landscape designer, best known as the co-designer, along with his protégé and junior partner Frederick Law Olmsted, of what would become New York City's Central Park.
Andrew Jackson Downing was an American landscape designer, horticulturist, and writer, a prominent advocate of the Gothic Revival in the United States, and editor of The Horticulturist magazine (1846–52). Downing is considered to be a founder of American landscape architecture.
The Jefferson Market Branch of the New York Public Library, once known as the Jefferson Market Courthouse, is a National Historic Landmark located at 425 Avenue of the Americas, on the southwest corner of West 10th Street, in Greenwich Village, Manhattan, New York City, on a triangular plot formed by Greenwich Avenue and West 10th Street. It was originally built as the Third Judicial District Courthouse from 1874 to 1877, and was designed by architect Frederick Clarke Withers of the firm of Vaux and Withers.
The original jailhouse at this site was built alongside a police court and volunteer firehouse in the 1833 Jefferson food market, named for the former president. The jail was torn down in 1873.
The Reformed Church of Beacon, originally the Reformed Dutch Church of Fishkill Landing, is a historic and architecturally-significant church in Beacon, New York. The congregation, who no longer occupies the building, claims it is the oldest church in Beacon. It is located on NY 9D about 0.5 miles (1 km) south of Beacon's municipal complex and downtown area and overlooks the Hudson River from a bluff.
The Montgomery–Grand–Liberty Streets historic district was the first of two to be designated in the city of Newburgh, New York, United States. It runs along the three named north-south streets in the northeast quadrant of the city and includes 250 buildings in its 1,010 acres (4.1 km2). The later East End Historic District is nearby.
Eustatia is a brick house overlooking the Hudson River in Beacon, New York, United States. Located on Monell Place in the northwestern corner of the city, it is a rare survival in Beacon of a cottage in the High Victorian Gothic style.
Francis ("Frank") R. Kowsky is a notable architectural historian and State University of New York (SUNY) Distinguished Professor of Fine Arts at Buffalo State College, SUNY, Buffalo, New York. He has published on nineteenth-century American architects and architecture including Frederick Withers, Calvert Vaux, and H. H. Richardson, as well as the architecture and landscape of Buffalo and northwestern New York State. He is also active in historic preservation and has served on the New York State Board for Historic Preservation, the Board of Directors of the Preservation Coalition of Erie County, New York, and is currently a trustee of the National Association for Olmsted Parks.
The Birches is a house at the southeast corner of the junction of NY 9D and 403 in the hamlet of Garrison, New York, United States. It was built for William H. Osborn, as part of his nearby Wing & Wing estate, by architect Ralph Adams Cram in the Gothic Revival architectural style. Osborn was a 19th-century railroad tycoon, who became one of the most prominent railroad leaders in the United States. In addition to Wing and Wing and the Birches, Osborn famously constructed Castle Rock, his great summer estate overlooking the Hudson River.
St. Luke's Episcopal Church is located in Beacon, New York, United States. The church complex of four buildings and a cemetery takes up a 12-acre (4.9 ha) parcel between Wolcott, Rector, Phillips and Union Streets. It was founded in 1832 as a religious school that soon became St. Anna's Church of Fishkill Landing.
Maple Lawn, also known as the Walter Vail House, is a residence in Balmville, New York, United States built in the Gothic Revival architectural style's Picturesque mode. It was designed by Frederick Clarke Withers, following principles of his late mentor, Andrew Jackson Downing, and commissioned by a wealthy local family in 1859.
The Architecture of Buffalo, New York, particularly the buildings constructed between the American Civil War and the Great Depression, is said to have created a new, distinctly American form of architecture and to have influenced design throughout the world.
Echo Lawn Estate, also known as Stonegate after the Great War, is a historic estate located at Balmville in Orange County, New York. The main house was built about 1860 and is a two-story brick dwelling in the Second Empire style. It features sweeping concave mansard-type roofs. Also on the property is a cluster of mid-19th-century service buildings, an early 20th-century formal garden, and a substantial set of Arts and Crafts inspired gateposts and stone walls.
The W. E. Warren House is a historic house located at 196 Montgomery Street in Newburgh, New York. It is a focal point of the Montgomery—Grand—Liberty Streets Historic District, one of several houses in the area built by Calvert Vaux. A historical marker for Vaux's friend and partner Andrew Jackson Downing is located outside the house.
The Joel T. Headley House is a historic mansion in New Windsor, New York, built for historian and writer Joel T. Headley (1813–1897), who later served as a New York State Assemblyman for Orange County and the New York Secretary of State (1856–1857). Headley commissioned the house and grounds from local architectural theorist and landscape designer Andrew Jackson Downing with assistance from his partner, English architect Calvert Vaux. Subsequent owners were unaware of the house's significance until the 1990s, and fervor for Downing and Vaux in neighboring Newburgh often neglects its existence. The design, No. 14 "A Cottage in the Rhine style" featured in a later edition of his book Cottage Residences, also inspired the William G. DeLuc House in Minnesota, considered a rare example of Gothic-inspired architecture there.
Thornton MacNess Niven (1806—1895) was a Scottish American architect and master stonecutter who worked primarily in Newburgh, New York, but also in several locations along the Hudson River and Southern United States. Although Niven considered himself more of a stonecutter than an architect, he acquainted himself with several men working to establish Gothic Revival and Italianate styles within American architectural practice—Andrew Jackson Downing, Alexander Jackson Davis, and Calvin Pollard. In his early career as a granite stonecutter, Niven gained national acclaim.
The Halsey Stevens House is a historic house located at 182 Grand Street in Newburgh, New York. It is one of the first residences designed by the architects Calvert Vaux and Frederick Clarke Withers after the death of their mentor Andrew Jackson Downing the previous year. Listed as part of the Montgomery—Grand—Liberty Streets Historic District in Newburgh, the house has been well-preserved and demonstrates how both worked with Gothic Revival and Italianate styles. Halsey R. Stevens, their client, was a lumber dealer and Biblical scholar.