The Almighty Wall
The Architecture of Henry Vaughan
The Gothic revival in America owes much to the works of Henry Vaughan, the Anglo-American architect whose highly original contribution consisted of dozens of churches, chapels, and school buildings in New England towns and on campuses. Vaughan also designed three chapels for St. John the Divine in New York and was appointed architect for the National Cathedral in Washington. This book presents Vaughan's life during his thirty-six years in America (1881-1917), and goes on to examine his small half-timber parish churches, the larger masonry churches, and the brick school buildings which so clearly expressed the temperament and aspirations of his high-church clients. Morgan's study reveals Vaughan as a solitary man for whom architecture and religion were inseparable. His sources were always English, whether drawn from the Gothicists Bodley and Garner (the firm where he trained), or from the Georgians, but were borrowed with an unerring sense of taste and restraint. Vaughan's approach to design encompassed all of a building's details which he personally oversaw or carried out. A founding member of the Boston Society of Architects, he worked in a small office where he spent most of his time drawing. Even when engaged in such a major project as his main work the Washington Cathedral, the office included only Vaughan, three draftsmen, and an office boy. Vaughan himself roughed out all of the Cathedral drawings. The book focuses in particular on Vaughan's masterpieces, the chapels at St. Paul's School and at Groton, as pure examples of English Gothic architecture, the formal and academic expression of the "almighty wall" of Anglican culture. In six chapters it covers Vaughan's life, his parish churches, city churches and cathedrals, collegiate chapels and school buildings, his Georgian work, and buildings he designed under the patronage of Edward Searles.