Ralph Adams Cram

  • American

Ralph Adams Cram was one of the best known architects of his time, achieving national renown through both the quality of his work and the extent of his philosophical writings. He was best known for his ecclesiastical commissions and as a passionate proponent of the Gothic Revival style. Cram was born in Hampton Falls, New Hampshire, was trained in New England, and opened his first architectural office in Boston at the age of 24 in partnership with Charles Wentworth. Bertram G Goodhue and Frank W Ferguson joined the firm soon thereafter. Goodhue remained a partner until 1910 when he established his own office in New York. Ferguson remained until his death in 1926. Three younger architects, Frank Cleveland, Chester Godfrey, and Alexander Hoyle, were in partnership with Cram at the time the Boston Federal Building was designed, although the firm retained the name of Cram and Ferguson. Cram went into semi-retirement in 1930, spending much of his time at his estate "Whitehall" in Sudbury, Mass. - US NRHP

Notable Position Organization From To
Architectect in Training Rotch and Tilden 1881 1884
Partner Cram and Wentworth 1890 1895
Partner Cram, Wentworth and Goodhue 1895 1899
Partner Cram, Goodhue and Ferguson 1899 1913
Partner Cram and Ferguson 1913 1942

Timeline

Y/M/D Description Association Composition Place Locale Food Event
Y/M/D Description Association Composition Place Locale Food Event
Architect First Presbyterian Church, Utica Utica, NY
Architect St Paul's Protestant Episcopal Church New York City
Architect Holy Cross Monastery West Park
Architect Academy Hill Historic District Greensburg
Architect St Paul's Parish Church Malden
Architect All Saints' Church Boston
Architect Chapel of St Anne Arlington
Architect Southern Thames Historic District Newport, RI
Architect Richmond Court Brookline, MA
Architect Little Chapel St George's School-Church of St George and Memorial Schoolhouse Middletown, RI
Architect First Universalist Church Somerville, MA
Architect Greensburg Downtown Historic District Greensburg
Architect St Andrews Episcopal Church Denver
Architect Bryn Athyn Cathedral Bryn Athyn
Architect Julia Ideson Building Houston, TX
Architect Trinity Church Houston, TX
Architect Cleveland Harding Sewall House Houston, TX
Architect St Florian Historic District Hamtramck
Architect Cathedral Church of St Paul Complex Detroit, MI
Architect Blacksburg Historic District Blacksburg
Architect Gibson Memorial Chapel and Martha Bagby Battle House at Blue Ridge School Dyke
Architect Sweet Briar College Historic District Amherst
Architect All Saints' Church Peterborough
Architect West End Historic District Winston-Salem, NC
Architect Knowles Memorial Chapel Winter Park
Architect Brookings Central Residential Historic District Brookings
Architect St Mary's Academy Glens Falls
Architect The Birches Philipstown
Architect Garden District Montgomery, AL
Architect All Saints Episcopal Church Winter Park
Architect Rehoboth Chappaqua, NY
1863/12/16 Ralph Adams Cram is born in Hampton Falls, New Hampshire, the son of William Augustine Cram, a Unitarian minister, and Sarah Elizabeth Blake. Born Unitarian Church Hampton Falls, NH
1876/00/00 Ralph Cram reads "The Stones of Venice", a three-volume treatise on Venetian art and architecture by English art historian John Ruskin, first published from 1851 to 1853. Life
1884/00/00 Ralph Cram quits Rotch and Tilden and takes a summer Tour of Europe: England, France Germany and Italy. Cram becomes the art Critic with Boston Transcript and saves Copley Square from development. Life
1885/00/00 Ralph Cram spends nine months touring Italy, including three months in Sicily with Maryland architect, T Henry Randall. Life
1887/12/25 While attending midnight mass in the church of San Luigi dei Francesi in Rome, Ralph Adams Cram undergoes a dramatic religious conversion to Anglo-Catholicism on Christmas Eve. Faith San Luigi dei Francesi, Rome Rome
1889/00/00 Ralph A Cram and Charles F Wentworth open their architectural office at Number 1 Park Square, Boston. Work
1893/00/00 Designed by Ralph Adams Cram, construction begins on Christ Church in Hyde Park, Boston. Architect Christ Church, Hyde Park Boston
1895/00/00 "Black Spirits and White: A Book of Ghost Stories" by architect Ralph Adams Cram is published by Stone and Kimball of Chicago. Author Black Spirits and White: A Book of Ghost Stories
1895/00/00 "The Dead Valley" by Ralph Adams Cram is included in "Black Spirits and White". Author The Dead Valley (Short Story)
1895/00/00 "No 252 Rue M Le Prince" by Ralph Adams Cram is included in "Black Spirits and White". Author No 252 Rue M Le Prince (Short Story)
1895/00/00 Ralph Adams Cram's "In Kropfsberg Keep" is included in his story collection, "Black Spirits and White". Author In Kropfsberg Keep (Short Story)
1895/00/00 Ralph A Cram's "The White Villa" is included in his story collection, "Black Spirits and White". Author The White Villa (Short Story)
1895/00/00 "Sister Maddelena" by Ralph A Cram is cloistered in his short story collection, "Black Spirits and White". Author Sister Maddelena (Short Story)
1895/00/00 "Notre Dame des Eaux" by Ralph A Cram is cloistered in his short story collection, "Black Spirits and White". Author Notre Dame des Eaux (Short Story)
1900/09/20 Elizabeth "Bess" Carrington Read marries Ralph Adams Cram at New Bedford, Massachusetts. Bess, a former school teacher, is well educated possessed a keen intellect and displayed a high sense of personal and family honor. Groom
1904/00/00 Ralph and Bess Cram move from their Brookline apartment to 52 Chestnut Street on the south slope of Boston's Beacon Hill neighborhood. Home Ralph A Cram Residence, Boston Boston
1905/00/00 Ralph Cram reads stories from Uncle Remus and Mallory's Morte d'Arthur to his children, Mary and Ralph. Often he dramatizes the stories by lowering or increasing the gaslights, before they had electricity. Home Told by Uncle Remus: New Stories of the Old Plantation (short story collection) Ralph A Cram Residence, Boston Boston
1906/00/00 Calvary Episcopal Church acquires a new property in 1904 and builds a Gothic Revival-style edifice designed by Ralph Adams Cram. Architect Calvary Episcopal Church, Pittsburgh Pittsburgh
1906/12/24 Looking to entertain her party guests, Mrs Cram suggest that everyone go outside and sing Christmas songs. With much timidity and deep misgivings, they sing Adeste Fideles beneath neighbors' windows on Chestnut Street, then run home very frightened. Life Beacon Hill Historic District Boston
1907/00/00 Chapel of the Nativity is built at the west end of the south aisle. The red tile flooring and other details give evidence to Ralph Adams Cram attention to detail and his close working relationship with craftsmen. Architect Christ Church Hartford
1911/00/00 Ralph A Cram is appointed Consulting Architect of the Cathedral of St John the Divine, NY. Architect Cathedral of Saint John the Divine New York City
1911/00/00 The Crams buy a rundown farmhouse and 140 acres of land to be used as a family seasonal and spiritual retreat from their primary residence in Boston. Home Ralph Adams Cram House Sudbury, MA
1912/00/00 With no working plans for the construction of the chapel until it was practically finished, construction begins on a private, stone, Chapel of St Elizabeth of Hungary for the Cram family. Architect St Elizabeth's Chapel, Sudbury Sudbury, MA
1912/10/00 St Paul's is dedicated as the Episcopal Cathedral Church for the Boston Diocese. Chancel was remodeled with a coffered and gilded half-dome, elaborately carved wood reredos, a chancel organ and choir benches. Architect Cathedral Church of St Paul Boston
1913/00/00 Ralph Cram accepts a commission from the trustees of the Cathedral of St John the Divine to become cathedral architect. Cram proposes a radical transformation of the partially built cathedral from Romanesque-Byzantine to a English Gothic style. Architect Cathedral of Saint John the Divine New York City
1914/05/00 Fourth Presbyterian Church is dedicated, the cornerstone was laid in 1912. Architect Fourth Presbyterian Church of Chicago Chicago
1915/09/15 According to a newspaper article, Ralph Cram has spent nearly 7 months on the plans for the Sacred Heart Cathedral. It was said that the pastor, Father Handly, had performed a personal favor for Cram so the design was repayment of that favor. Architect Sacred Heart Cathedral Dodge City
1919/00/00 Led by Rev Charles Tyner, St Mark's Episcopal is designed by Ralph A Cram using elements of the English Gothic church, which emphasizes length, stone construction, stepped rectangular-shaped apses, moderately pitched roofs and a tower over the crossing. Architect St Mark's Episcopal Pro-Catherdral Hastings
1920/03/00 St John the Divine's board of trustees pass a resolution to proceed with construction of the nave in the style designed by architect Cram, his heroic Gothic cathedral of his dreams. Architect Cathedral of Saint John the Divine New York City
1922/02/00 Cram spends his winter vacation in Spain, it is his first awareness of Spanish Gothic architecture. The retablo at St Elizabeth's is a 16th century Spanish triptych (3 paneled paintings on wood) brought back by the family from one of their trips to Spain. Designer St Elizabeth's Chapel, Sudbury Sudbury, MA
1926/12/13 Ralph Adams Cram is feature ion the cover of TIME magazine. Life
1928/00/00 Guesthouse is built 1924-1928 as the original Monastery building until Cram designed the Chapel and the rest of the monastic complex. Architect Conventual Church of St Mary and St John, Cambridge Cambridge, MA
1935/00/00 Monastery Chapel, built in the French Romanesque style, features classic pillars and arches made from Indiana limestone, marble floors in the choir and sanctuary and stained glass windows designed by Charles J Connick. Architect Conventual Church of St Mary and St John, Cambridge Cambridge, MA
1940/00/00 After selling 52 Chestnut St, Cram lives at 171 Mt Vernon Street, then at the Lincolnshire Hotel on Charles Street, but still retains Whitewall in Sudbury. Home Beacon Hill Historic District Boston
1942/09/22 Ralph Adams Cram dies in Boston, Massachusetts. Died
1942/09/24 Funeral is held for Ralph Adams Cram at Church of St John the Evangelist in Boston where he had been a parishioner for many years. In Memoriam St John the Evangelist Church and Rectory Boston
1942/09/24 Ralph Adams Cram is buried at the St Elizabeth's Memorial Churchyard in Sudbury, MA. The head and footstones are of blue slate. In Memoriam St Elizabeth's Chapel, Sudbury Sudbury, MA

7 Creative Works by Ralph Adams Cram »

Title Type Association Y/M/D Moniker
Title Type Association Y/M/D Moniker
Black Spirits and White: A Book of Ghost Stories Author Short Story Collection 1895/00/00
The White Villa (Short Story) Author Short Story 1895/00/00
The Dead Valley (Short Story) Author Short Story 1895/00/00
  • 1001 Notable Short Stories, True Tales and Mezzobulas
Sister Maddelena (Short Story) Author Short Story 1895/00/00
Notre Dame des Eaux (Short Story) Author Short Story 1895/00/00
No 252 Rue M Le Prince (Short Story) Author Short Story 1895/00/00
In Kropfsberg Keep (Short Story) Author Short Story 1895/00/00

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