Chapter President John P. Margolis
with SBRA President Carole Wedge
New England chapter members and their guests gathered on Friday evening, Dec. 4, for an exhibition cum holiday party at the headquarters of Shepley Bulfinch Richardson and Abbott, across Boston’s harbor from downtown. On display were items from the firm’s historical collections selected by archivist Robert J. Roche, including charcoal drawings of early 20th Century projects by Shepley Bulfinch, other drawings by Richardson from his days at L’Ecole des Beaux Arts, and books from the firm’s impressive architectural library.
Providence Journal Architectural Critic & Chapter Board Member
David Brussat, Chapter Executive Vice President of Education & Co-Founder
Sheldon Richard Kostelecky and Chapter President John P. Margolis
Mr. Roche kindly circulated among the guests, describing the considerable challenge of curating the firm’s extensive and delicate collection. The items were naturally of sublime interest to the classicists assembled. Hung on the walls or laid on tables were sketches by the firm’s founder, Henry Hobson Richardson, while he was a student at L’Ecole des Beaux Arts; drawings of Richardson’s Trinity Church (1877) at Copley Square, including a tower sketched by Stanford White and a color rendering by George F. Shepley; drawings of Richardson’s Allegheny County Courthouse and Jail (1888); a study from the firm’s 1922 Harvard University Master Plan; “Strawberry Hill,” residence in Dover, Mass., designed by the firm for Henry B. Cabot Jr. in 1935. From the library were the first annual sketch book of the Architectural Association of Boston (1883); the 1913, 1916 and 1929 yearbooks of the Boston Architectural Club; A Book of Architecture by James Gibbs; Architectural Studies from Budapest, by Hermann Ruckwardt; Oeuvres choisies de J.-B. Piranesi; Vitruvius Britannicus or the British Architect, Vol. 3, by Colen Campbell, and other treasured page turners. (Plastic surgical gloves were in order, more to protect the treasures from those germ colonies known as our fingers than to protect our darling fingers from itchy archival dust.)
Chapter Board Member Oliver
Bouchier inspects a rare book
After a period of scholarly snooping, visitors were welcomed by the firm’s design principal emeritus, Jean-Paul Carlhian, FAIA, among whose accomplishments was to mentor New England chapter President John P. Margolis during his prior tenure at the firm. Mr. Margolis then added his welcome on behalf of the chapter. He noted that the residential work of chapter board member John Tittmann’s firm is the subject of a new book, New Classic American Houses: The Architecture of Albert Righter & Tittmann (December 2009), by Dan Cooper. He then directed any guests already sated by the sumptuous meal for the mind set by Mr. Roche to further please their palates with a spread of hors d’oeurves.
Chapter Vice President & Senior Preservation
Planner for the City of Boston William S. Young,
Architect Beth Niemi, and Chapter Co-Founder
& past President Eric I. Daum