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Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue (1869-1924) was an architect and designer originally from Connecticut who spent a formative part of his career in Boston. His architectural projects included the Los Angeles Central Library, campus buildings at Yale, West Point, and other universities, Saint Thomas Church and the Church of the Intercession in New York, and the Nebraska State Capital. However his most familiar legacy may be the Cheltenham typeface that he co-designed, now used for headlines by The New York Times.
Goodhue began his architectural career in New York with an apprenticeship at the firm of James Renwick, Jr., who designed St. Patrick’s Cathedral. In 1890 Goodhue won a competition to design a cathedral in Dallas, Texas. Looking to complete the project as part of a younger firm, he chose the newly-formed Cram & Ferguson in Boston.
He and Ralph Adams Cram became collaborators and friends. Cram later wrote “his pen-and-ink renderings were the wonder and the admiration of the whole profession, while he had a creative imagination, exquisite in the beauty of its manifestations, sometimes elflike in its fantasy, that actually left one breathless. His personality was as baffling to any powers of description as was his artistic facility Exuberantly enthusiastic, with an abounding and fantastic sense of humour, he flung gaiety and abandon widely around whenever he was in the temper to do so.”
Goodhue and Cram were core members of the Visionists, and Goodhue contributed designs to several of their publications, including the cover art for the Knight Errant journal. During this period he also worked as a designer for other small presses. In 1896 he co-designed the Cheltenham font (initially known as “Boston Old Style”) with Ingalls Kimball, director of the Cheltenham Press in New York. (A native of W. Newton, MA, Kimball also co-founded Stone & Kimball press in Boston.)
Goodhue was a partner in Cram, Wentworth, & Goodhue (later Cram, Goodhue & Ferguson) from 1891 until 1914. He collaborated on the neo-Gothic churches that made a name for the firm in New England, as well as the project that brought them national recognition– the master plan and key campus buildings for the US Military Academy at West Point. After moving on to his own firm in 1914, he explored other styes including Spanish Colonial Revival and Romanesque.
Architectural sculptor Lee Lawrie worked with Cram, Wentworth & Goodhue and continued to collaborate with Goodhue through his life. Lawrie is probably best known for the statue of Atlas in Rockefeller Center opposite St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York. He also designed a Gothic tomb for Goodhue within the Church of the Intercession.
My Life in Architecture by Ralph Adams Cram
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Above: Portrait of Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue by fellow Visionist F. Holland Day. 1892. Platinum print in the Library of Congress.
Above Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue (left) and Ralph Adams Cram (center) in their architectural office at 1 Park Sq., Boston, with a client (and a dog). Courtesy of Cram & Ferguson archives.
Below: Sculpture of Goodhue by long-time collaborator Lee Lawrie. Photo by Wikimedia user Einar Einarsson Kvaran.