Asher Benjamin


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Massachusetts-born American architect who published The Country Builder's Assistant (1797) and The American Builder's Companion (1806), among other works, the sources of the design of countless buildings in New England. Five other titles followed, and Benjamin's books went into many editions: they were clear, practical, and well-illustrated volumes containing examples of various architectural styles from late-Georgian to Greek Revival. Benjamin thought highly of the Federal-style architecture of Charles Bulfinch. He practised as an architect in Boston from 1803, and several of his buildings may still be seen there, including the African Meeting House (1805), West Church (1806), and Charles Street Meeting House (1807). He was responsible for the reticent and handsome 54–5 and 70–5 Beacon Street. Benjamin was the architect for many buildings in MA, VT, CT, RI, and NH, while his Practical House Carpenter (1830) was the most popular architectural book in C19 USA, and the source for an enormous range of buildings and street-furniture. He also published Elements of Architecture (1843), which includes technological information, including notes on the uses of cast iron. Most of his writings have been reprinted.

Benjamin (1838, 1854, 1972, 1972a, 1976, 1976ac);Embury (1917)

Subjects: Architecture — Art.

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