Copy Myron Hunt, Architect [1868-1952]

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Myron Hunt

Myron Hunt, Architect [1868-1952]

Myron Hunt [†] was born in Sunderland, Massachusetts. His family moved to Chicago when he was very young. He graduated from Lake View High School in 1888 whereupon he went to Northwestern University for a couple of years and then transferred to the new architectural school at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, from which he received a degree in 1893.

He married Harriette Boardman, a graduate of Smith College, and after a long honeymoon in Europe during which Myron studied the architecture of the early Renaissance in Italy, the young couple settled in Evanston, Illinois, and built a house in the Shingle Style. Hunt became the Chicago representative of the Boston architectural firm of Shepley, Rutan and Coolidge which had inherited the practice of the renowned architect /people/henry-hobson-richardson.html">Henry Hobson Richardson. While he was in Chicago he attracted important friends: James Gamble Rogers (later to be the chief architect of the Yale campus), Richard Schmidt, Hugh Garden, Howard Van Doren Shaw, and Frank Lloyd Wright.

Hunt owed little to the Prairie School in the houses he built in and around Evanston. They lack its concern for horizontality. They have broad eaves and ranks of diamond-paned windows in the fashion of the Prairie School, but they are closer to the vaguely Tudor style favored by Gustav Stickley in his The Craftsman magazine. The roofs are generally of a high pitch and the exterior walls are usually shingled above and stuccoed below. The interiors are woodsy with paneling up to a frieze. Hunt's first commission in Pasadena (1903) at 295 Markham Place and his own house (1905) at 200 North Grand Avenue are both in this mode.

In 1904 Hunt formed a partnership with Elmer Grey that lasted until 1910. During this period Hunt's work turned strongly toward Beaux-Arts Neo-Classicism, but it did produce one monument of the local Arts and Crafts movement in the open-air classrooms of the Polytechnic School (1907). After breaking with Grey, all of Hunt's designs were in the period revivals of the times and Hunt ceased to be an Arts and Crafts architect.

† Lauren Bricker, Robert Winter, and Hanet Tearnan, Single-Family Residential Architecture of the Arts and Crafts Period in Pasadena, 1895-1918, nomination document, 1998, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.