John Calvin Stevens

John Calvin Stevens

Architect
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John Calvin Stevens

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John Calvin Stevens (October 8, 1855 – January 25, 1940) was an American architect who worked in two related styles — the Shingle Style, in which he was a major innovator, and the Colonial Revival style, which dominated national domestic architecture for the first half of the 20th century. He designed more than 1,000 buildings in the state of Maine.

Life and career

He was the son of Maria Wingate and Leander Stevens, a cabinet maker and builder of fancy carriages. He was born in Boston, Massachusetts, but at the age of two moved with his family to Portland, Maine.

Stevens wanted to study architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, but lacked the money to attend. Instead, he apprenticed in the Portland office of architect Francis H. Fassett, who in 1880 made him a junior partner to open the firm's new Boston office. Another architect working in the same building was William Ralph Emerson, whose historicist aesthetic in the Queen Anne Style had a profound effect on him.

In 1877, he married Martha Louise Waldron, who bore him four children. Stevens opened his own office at Portland in 1884. In 1888 he formed a partnership with Albert Winslow Cobb, who wrote the text and Stevens provided the illustrations for an early study of the Shingle Style: Examples of American Domestic Architecture (1889). Some sources list the firm as Cobb & Stevens, and others as Stevens & Cobb, but the partnership was...
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