|Name Wilson Eyre|
|Born October 30, 1858Florence, Italy|
Buildings Charles Lang Freer House University of Pennsylvania Museum (with Frank Miles Day and Cope & Stewardson) Swann Memorial Fountain (Eyre & McIlvaine, architects; Alexander Stirling Calder, sculptor)
Died October 23, 1944, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Education Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Structures The Anglecot, Charles Lang Freer House, Mask and Wig Club of the Unive, Church of St Luke and The, Sally Watson House
Similar People Frank Miles Day, Frank Furness, Charles Klauder, Charles Lang Freer
Wilson Eyre, Jr. (October 30, 1858 – October 23, 1944) was an American architect, teacher and writer who practiced in the Philadelphia area. He is known for his deliberately informal and welcoming country houses, and for being an innovator in the Shingle Style.
Architect and author
The son of Americans living abroad, he was born in Florence, Italy, and educated in Europe, Newport, Rhode Island, and Canada. He studied architecture briefly at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, joined the Philadelphia offices of James Peacock Sims in 1877, and took over the firm on Sims’s death in 1882. In 1911, he entered into partnership with John Gilbert McIlvaine, and opened a second office in New York City. The firm of Eyre & McIlvaine continued until 1939.
For his most important early houses, "Anglecot" (1883) and "Farwood" (1884–85), he used a simple plan: a line of asymmetrical public rooms stretching along a single axis, extending even outside to a piazza. Like many Shingle Style architects, he employed the open "living hall" as an organizing element: all of the main first floor rooms connecting to the hall, often through large openings. In addition, he used staircases to extend the space of the hall to the second floor. According to architectural-historian Vincent Scully: "This sense of extended horizontal plane and intensified "positive" scale evident in Eyre's work becomes later a basic component in the work of [Frank Lloyd] Wright..." Eyre collaborated with artists such as Alexander Stirling Calder and Louis Comfort Tiffany.
Following his early success, Eyre became a leader in the international country life movement, lecturing in England, and corresponding with British and German architects. He was one of the first U.S. architects to be featured in the Arts & Crafts magazine International Studio, and he was published by Hermann Muthesius, the chronicler of the so-called "English" house of the turn of the century. Prior to Frank Lloyd Wright's rise to prominence, Eyre was arguably the best-known domestic architect in the U.S. among foreign designers. His post-1890 country houses, such as "Allgates" (1910, expanded by Eyre & McIlvaine 1917) are among the most accomplished American essays in the restrained stucco cottage idiom popularized by C.F.A. Voysey and Ernest Newton in England.
He was one of the founders and editors of House & Garden magazine. He designed many distinctive gardens with his residences, and wrote extensively of the need for interaction between rooms and outdoor spaces.
He was also renowned for his distinctive artistic drawings, often in watercolor. His extant drawings are now housed in the Architectural Archives of the University of Pennsylvania. He was elected a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects in 1893. In August 1914 Eyre was stranded in Europe along with thousands of Americans attempting to escape the fighting that erupted in World War I. Eyre returned to the United States in late September and shared a cabin with Augustus P. Gardner, a member of the House of Representatives from Massachusetts.
In 1917, he was awarded the Gold Medal of the Philadelphia Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. He taught at the University of Pennsylvania, and was one of the founders of the T Square Club of Philadelphia in 1883. In 1910, he was elected into the National Academy of Design as an Associate Academician.