Nook Farm logo
Fingerpost Productions
 Fingerpost Productions
 Franklin Chamberlain House
The Franklin Chamberlain house, designed by Francis Kimball, was completed in 1884. Photo courtesy of the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center.

Francis Hatch Kimball
(1845 to 1919)

   --from the Biographical Dictionary of American Architects

"Active in practice during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Francis Hatch Kimball is credited with the design of several early churches and theaters in New York, as well as some of the first large office buildings. He was born at Kennebunk, Maine, and in his youth was apprenticed to a carpenter at Haverhill, Massachusetts. During the early part of the Civil War, he served for a year and a half in the U.S. Navy. Following his return to civilian life, Kimball entered the Boston office of architect Louis P. Rodgers as a student. A few years later, when Rodgers joined Gridley J. F. Bryant in partnership, Kimball was employed as draftsman in that office.

"In the early 1870s, Kimball was sent to Hartford to supervise the construction of the Charter Oak Insurance Building. After its completion, he was employed in the city on private commissions, some of which were for public buildings. In 1875, he was engaged as 'supervising architect' on buildings to be erected at Trinity College in Hartford, designed by William Burgess, a London architect visiting in this country. Before starting work, Kimball spent several months in London, studying noted examples of Gothic architecture.

"In 1879, Kimball moved to New York to begin practice in association with Thomas Wisedell, 'an architect of Gothic predilection and training.' During five years in that partnership, Kimball established a reputation in theater work. Wisedell and Kimball were chosen to design the Goodwin Building in Hartford and additional buildings at Trinity College.

"During the last phase of his career, Kimball was associated with George Kramer Thompson under the firm name of Kimball and Thompson. Their first important building, for the Manhattan Life Insurance Company, was won in a competition. That structure, built on Broadway between 64th and 66th Streets, was the first of New York's high office buildings and attracted much attention. Other important works, bringing wide recognition to the firm, followed it. Among these were the Standard Oil Building; the Empire Building; Broadway and Rector Street, completed in 1898; the City Investment Company Building; the Adams Express Company Building; and the Trust Company of America, later taken over by Chase National Bank."

Go to

© 2007 Fingerpost Productions, Inc. -- All Rights Reserved