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Ammi B. Young

Supervising Architect of the Treasury and his 1858 Alexandria Post Office and Customhouse

Published in the Summer 1994 issue of the The Alexandria Chronicle, by the Alexandria Historical Society, Inc.

Ammi B. Young, Supervising Architect of the Treasury and his 1858 Alexandria Post Office and Customhouse, page 12 of 16

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2. Young received honorary degrees from the University of Vermont in 1838 and Dartmouth in 1841; Wodehouse, "ABY, 1798-1874," 269, 273; Harris E. Starr, ed. Dictionary of American Bioara~hv Sup 1, (New York: Charles Scribner and Sons, 1944): 716. Wodehouse speaks of three phases in Young's work: the early one using pattern books such as Asher Benjamin's The Countrv Builder's Assistant, 1797; the second, "Boston phase," training under Alexander Parris, and the final phase, adapting Italiante designs from England; Lawrence Wodehouse, "Architectural Projects in the Greek Revival Style by Ammi Burnham Young" (hereafter "Projects in Greek Style"), Old Time New Enqland LX (January-March 1970) 73-75.

3. The Dartmouth buildings attributedto Young are Wentworth Hall built in 1828, and Thornton Hall in 1829. Bryant Franklin Tolles, Jr., "Ammi Burnham Young and the Gilmanton Theological Seminary," Old Time New Enqland LX (January-March 1970) : 47. It is also reported that Young rebuilt the Kimball Union Academy building in Meriden, New Hampshire in 1825; Lawrence Wodehouse, "Ammi Young's Architecture in Northern New England" (hereafter "ABY in Northern New England"), Vermont History. XXXVI (Spring 1968):56

4. According to Craig, Young was an "architectural advisor" from 1842 to 1852. Lois Craig et al., The Federal Presence: Architecture, Politics, and National Desisn (Cambridge: MIT Press, [1978]): 195.

5. Good coverage of Charleston project in Wodehouse," ABY, 1798-1874," 274-5; Lee, Chp. 2, 2; on New Orleans controversy, Bluestone, 134-135; on Bangor Customhouse of 1851, Ibid. 132.

6. Chief Engineer Wm. Franklin to Asst. Secy of the Treasury, March 1861, Vol. 4, entry 6, Record Group 121, (hereafter cited as RG), National Archives, Washington, D.C. (hereafter cited as NA): 212; Wodehouse, "ABY, 1798-1874", 275. One of the draughtsman was J. Goldsborough Bruff, a well-known artist in his own right whose 56 drawings were sent out by Bowman. See: Lee 11.

7. Lee, 13.

8. The Office of Construction would notify the lithographers after printing a set of plans for one site, to change only the place name on the next set. Examples of identical or nearly identical buildings are: Galena, IL and Georgetown, DC; Indianapolis and Portsmouth, NH; Toledo, OH and Burlington, VT ( as well as Sandusky, OH and Gloucester, MA); Wheeling, VA and Cleveland, OH; Oswego, NY, Buffalo, NY and Detroit, MI; and Windsor and Rutland, VT; or adapt a plan by compressing it or enlarging it: eg. Chicago and Milwaukee; Bluestone, 143-146; Lee, 14.

9. Most of Alexander Bowman's reports and letters are to be found in various record groups in the National Archives and have been quoted extensively in the articles referenced here. An interesting topic for further research would be the relationship between Bowman, the engineer, and Young, the architect.

10. Bluestone, 150-151.

11. S.M. Clark, Office of Construction, U.S. Treasury (hereafter SMC) to J. Y. Norton and Co., 12 February 1862, vol. 4, entry 6, RG 121, NA, 373; SMC to Wood and Perot, nd, vol. 4, entry 5, RG 121, NA, 414, 436; SMC to J.J.R. Randall, 10 October 1957, vol. 7, entry 2, RG 121, NA, 194. In 1857 the Secretary asked all 52 construction superintendents to send photographs (or daguerreotypes) of their sites with their annual reports in order to check their accuracy and inspect the details of workmanship; Lee, 16.

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