William Halsey Wood
& his Smethport, Pennsylvania Triumph

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photo credit: "Memories of William Halsey Wood"
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1858 JC Hamlin Store
1891: Construction of St. Lukes

William Halsey Wood Architect

1892: St. Lukes at Consecration

 

"DEATH OF WM. H. WOOD
Newark's Noted Architect Expires in Philadelphia"
Newark Daily, 14 March 1897

William Halsey Wood, the well-known architect, died at the residence of his father-in-law, 2127 Locust street, Philadelphia, on Saturday last, from consumption, after a short illness. He was born in Newark in 1855, and was the son of Daniel Wood, who came of Revolutionary stock. He received his education in the public schools of this city, and while a very samll boy developed a remarkable talent for drawing. He entered the office of Thomas A. Roberts, architect, and on attainting his majority some twenty years ago, was admitted to partnership with his employer, under the fimr name of Roberts, Taylor & Wood. The firm was dissolved in a short time, and Mr. Wood embarked in business on his own account. Soon after thisw he made two trips to Europe where h acquired knowledge that was of great advantage to him in his profession in after years.

One of his earliest works o his own account was the house of William Clark, o Mount Prospect avenue. Mr. Wood's talents were such that he rapidly rose to the front rank in his profession, and he displayed remarkable ability as a church architect. He came conspicuously before the public in 1889, when his was one of the four plans selceted for elaboration in the international competition for the design of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. Fully one hundred architects were in the competition. Mr. Wood's plan, with two others, Robertson and Potter having withdrawn, was placed on exhibitoin in the See House, 29 Lafayette place, in 1891. His plan, of which "Jerusalem the Golden," was the underlying motive, was much admired. It was not chosen, however, the desing of Heins & La Farge being finally selected.

Among his other prominent works were the chapel of the University of the South, in Tennessee; St. Paul's, Chattanooga; St. Michael's and All Angels, Annisten, Albama; St. Luke'sSsmethport, Pa.; Zion and St. Timothy the church of the Redeemer, St. Paul's, St. Matthews and All Angels, in New York; the Peddie Memorial, First Congregational, Wickliffe Presbyterian, sixth Presbyterian, in this city; Christ Church, Bloomfield; St. Paul's, East Orange. Hes also the architect of the Carnegie Library, at Bellevue Hospital, New York, and the Carnegie Library, at Braddock,, Pa. In addition to this he was the architect of a large number of elegant residences in various parts of this county, as well as in other cities of the Unioin.

Mr. Wood was an active and devoted member of the House of Prayer, having been connected with the church since boyhood, when he served at the altar as an accolyte. He was for several years choirmaster of the church, and it was under his leadership the the choir of the House of Prayer attained a very high reputation for the excellence of it music. Under his direction the choir rendered some of the most elaborate and difficult compositions that have ever been given in Newark. Not only was he a very successful trainer of boys, but he took a warm interest in their welfare and was exceedingly liberal and kind to them as well as most generous in his gifts to his parish church to which he was always deeply attached. On of his last works wa the design of the beautiful memorial altar in the House of Prayer.
Personally, Mr. Wood was one of the gentlest and most loveable of men, and enthusiastic lover of his profession, with a very high standard of art which he persistently refused to lower for mere ends of gain. "He was an earnest and consistent Christian, a courteous and agreeable gentleman, a devoted and affectionate son, hsuband and father, and a true and loyal friend," said a relative this morning.

Mr. Wood was taken to the home of his father-in-law, in Philadelphia three weeks ago, in the hope that a change of scene and skilled medical treatment might effect a cure, but it was of no avail, and he continued to grow worse until death at length brought realease. His funeral will take place in the church of St. James the Less, in Philadelphia, on Wednesday morning, at 11 o' clock.

The church of St. James the Less was once celebrated all over the country as one of the choicest specimens of church architecure in the land. The family burial plot of Mr. Hemsley, Mr. Wood's father-in-law, is in the church yard, and it is there that the deceased will be buried in accordance with his aft-expressed desire.

 


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More William Halsey Wood Buildings

Bellevue Hospital Library-New York City, New York
Cathedral of St. Mary-Memphis, Tennessee
Carnegie Library- , Pennsylvania
Christ Church-Bloomfield,
Dominican Monastery-New Haven,
First Congregational Church-Newark, New Jersey
Peddie Memorial Baptist Church-Newark, New Jersey
Sixth Presbyterian Church
St. John's College-Shanghai, China
St. Paul's Church-Chattanooga, Tennessee
St. Paul's Church-Paterson,
St. Paul's Presbyterian Church-Newark, New Jersey
St. Peter's Episcopal Church-Newark, New Jersey
The Church of St. Michael's and All Angels-Anniston, Alabama
Theological Seminary-Nashotah, Wisconsin
University of the South Chapel-, Tennesse
Wickliffe Presbyterian Church-
Winmarleigh (his own home)-Newark, New Jersey
Yaddo Castle-