Charles Bulfinch


Quick Reference


Boston-born, he was one of the USA's first native-born professional architects. His work tended to combine Colonial Georgian and Adam styles in a frugal Neo-Classicism, prompted by his tour of Europe (1785–7). He designed the old State House, Hartford, CT (1793–6), followed by the Massachusetts State House, Boston (1795–7), clearly influenced by Chambers's Somerset House, London (1776–86). He also designed several unified groups of terrace houses and some churches (including the Church of Christ, Lancaster, MA (1816), but much has been demolished. From 1818 he was architect to the Federal Capitol in Washington, DC, completing his work there in 1830.

Bulfinch (1973);Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, xxix/2 (May 1970), 124–31;Kirker (1969);P&J (1970–86);Place (1968);Jane Turner (1996);W&K (1983)

Subjects: Art.

Reference entries

See all related reference entries in Oxford Index »