John Hopper Coxhead: The Client Connections

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MA in Historic Preservation

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To view a complete copy of this thesis please contact Goucher College Special Collections & Archives at or (410) 337-6075.


John Hopper Coxhead practiced architecture in the United States from 1882 until 1934. This thesis examines this architect's links to his clients, analyzes the patterns found in those connections, and demonstrates that, during his thirty-three years of private practice from 1887 through 1920, Coxhead received most of his commissions from his religious and social ties, primarily through his Baptist and Catholic patrons. This thesis briefly examines the works of major contemporary architects and literature describing architectural trends to set a context for Coxhead's work. It also presents the results of research to confirm specific commissions, including the review of architectural journals and building permits, the search for building images, and investigations of Coxhead's clients. These results are presented in three chapters. The first summarizes the environment in Buffalo, New York, where Coxhead practiced for thirty-one years. The second presents the architect's background and that of his major clients, and analyzes his connections to several of the city's most influential men of their era as well as to his major client groups. The final chapter looks at the commissions arranged by client group, including photographs of each property when available. The appendix provides a list of Coxhead commissions as of May 2001 with the dollar value of the commission, its client connection and specific citation. John Hopper Coxhead's work spanned the most architecturally significant period in American history. This study provides not just information on Coxhead's commissions and client relationships, but also provides insights on how architects practiced during that time.