Henry Bacon

  • American

Bacon was born in Watseka, Illinois, and was sent to Boston to study at the Chauncey Hall School at the age of fifteen. He matriculated at the University of Illinois in 1884, but left within a year to launch an architectural career. He was hired as a draftsman at the Boston firm of Chamberlin and Whidden, but later moved to New York to work for McKim, Mead and White. While he worked there, he was awarded the Rotch Traveling Scholarship, which afforded him the honor of studying European architecture during two years of overseas travel, including study in Italy, Turkey, and Greece. While the influence of his European studies can readily be observed in many of his works, he appears to have been fond of Greek-influenced architecture, often applying the classical orders to his designs. He rejoined McKim, Mead and White upon his return in 1891. He formed a brief partnership with James Brite from 1897 to 1902, and worked independently thereafter.

Bacon became interested in monumental work early on in his career, designing the settings for statues and memorials and working with prominent sculptors such as Augustus St Gaudens and Daniel Chester French. Bacon designed the pedestals and architectural settings for more than fifty of French's monuments, including the General Hooker Monument at the Boston State House, the statue of Abraham Lincoln on the grounds of the Nebraska State Capitol, and the memorial to Lincoln in Washington, DC The latter was designed by Bacon in 1911, and eventually dedicated in May 1922. The memorial was designated a National Shrine, and Bacon was awarded the Gold Medal of the American Institute of Architects by President Warren Harding. The West Lawn Mausoleum was constructed in the midst of the Lincoln Memorial project, initiated in 1913 and completed in 1915. - NRHP, 15 November 2004

Notable Position Organization From To
Draftsman McKim, Mead and White
Draftsman Chamberlin and Whidden 1885

Timeline

Y/M/D Description Association Composition Place Locale Food Event
Y/M/D Description Association Composition Place Locale Food Event
Architect Chesterwood Stockbridge
Architect Masonboro Sound Historic District Wilmington, NC
Architect Linville Historic District Linville
Architect George H Bacon House Bellingham
Architect Danforth Memorial Library Paterson
Architect Halle Building Cleveland
Architect Lower Prospect-Huron Historic District Cleveland
Architect Naugatuck Center Historic District Naugatuck
1906/00/00 Marshall Field's memorial erected in 1906, bronze female figure by Daniel Chester French and base by Henry Bacon Architect Graceland Cemetery Chicago
1913/00/00 Henry Bacon designs the West Lawn mausoleum Architect West Lawn Mausoleum Omaha, NE
1920/00/00 The pink marble pedestal, cut to suggest a ship's prow and garlanded with swags, rises out of a semicircular reflecting pool at the Ruth Anne Dodge Memorial. Architect Ruth Anne Dodge Memorial Council Bluffs, IA
1922/00/00 Built 1914-1922 Architect Abraham Lincoln Memorial Sculpture Lincoln Memorial Washington, DC
1930/00/00 Titanic Memorial installed Architect of exedra, semi-circular base Titanic Memorial Washington, DC
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