Isaiah Rogers

Isaiah Rogers bigraphy, stories - American architect

Isaiah Rogers : biography

August 17, 1800 – April 13, 1869

[[Merchant’s Exchange, Boston (1852)]] The [[Captain Robert Bennet Forbes House]]

Isaiah Rogers (August 17, 1800—April 13, 1869) was a US architect who practiced in Mobile, Alabama, Boston, Massachusetts, New York City, and Cincinnati, Ohio.

Selected architectural works

Tremont House, Boston, Massachusetts.]]

  • old Tremont Theatre, Boston (1827), later rebuilt as Tremont Temple (1896)
  • 1829 Tremont House, Boston
  • 1830 Old State House, Boston, redesign (with William Washburn) in the Classical Revival style to serve as a City Hall until 1841
  • 1832-33 Commercial Wharf, Boston
  • 1833 Bangor House, Bangor, Maine
  • 1833 Captain Robert Bennet Forbes House, Milton, Massachusetts
  • 1836 John Jacob Astor House, a hotel on the site of Astor’s home in New York City that lasted 80 years until city officials announced in 1913 that "the southern half of the hotel was to be torn down to accommodate construction of the Brooklyn Rapid Transit Company subway (now the N and R lines). Two years later, 217 Broadway was built" was first called the Astor House Building and then as the Astor Building.David W. Dunlap July 7, 1999 New York Times
  • 1836 Merchants Exchange building, Wall Street
  • 1840 Egyptian revival gate for Old Granary Burying Ground in Boston
  • 1841 Merchants Exchange (Boston, Massachusetts)
  • 1842 New York Merchants Exchange, later the New York Customs House, New York City
  • 1843 Egyptian Revival gate and fence for Touro Cemetery in Newport, Rhode Island
  • 1846 Howard Athenaeum, Boston
  • 1850s Thomas Gaff House, Aurora, Indiana
  • 1852 Cathedral of the Assumption in Louisville, Kentucky was designed by William Keeley and Rogers
  • 1859 Oliver House, Toledo, Ohio
  • 1858-1861 Ohio Statehouse, Columbus, Ohio
  • Maxwell House Hotel, Nashville, Tennessee (destroyed by fire Christmas 1961)

File:Thomas Gaff House (Hillforest).jpg|Thomas Gaff House (Hillforest) Image:Columbus, OH Statehouse.jpg|Ohio Statehouse


Rogers was born in Marshfield, Massachusetts to Isaac Rogers, a farmer and shipwright, and Hannah Ford. In 1823 he married Emily Wesley Tobey of Portland, Maine. The couple had eight children, four of whom survived infancy. Two of his sons followed him into the profession of architecture.

Rogers was a student of Solomon Willard. He became one of the country’s foremost hotel architects and was renowned for Boston’s Tremont House (the first hotel with indoor plumbing), the Astor House in New York City and the Exchange Hotel in Richmond, Virginia. He designed the Burnett House in Cincinnati, then the largest and most elegant hotel in the Midwest. He also designed New York’s Astor Opera House.

The Cathedral of the Assumption, Louisville, Kentucky was designed in the Neo-Gothic style by William Keeley and Rogers. Upon its completion in 1852, the 287-foot spire was North America’s tallest.

His design for the fourth Hamilton County, Ohio Hamilton County Courthouse was for a massive three-story building, measuring 190 feet square. The building bore a close resemblance to Rogers’ Merchants Exchange building, Wall Street in New York City. He also designed the Boston Merchants Exchange.

Rogers was the supervising architect, the last of five, who worked upon the Ohio Statehouse. He completed the building in 1861.

From 1863 to 1865, due to his friendship with fellow Cincinnatian Salmon P. Chase, Secretary of the Treasury, he was Office of the Supervising Architect’s Supervising Architect of the United States. In this role he designed and patented four burglar-proof vaults built in the northwest corner of the U.S. Treasury Building in 1864. Their lining consisted of two layers of cast iron balls interposed between the traditional alternating plates of wrought iron and hardened steel. The balls, held loosely in specially formed cavities, were designed to rotate freely upon contact with a drill, or any other tool, thereby preventing a burglar from penetrating. The design was first used for two vaults built in the New York Sub-Treasury, now Federal Hall, in 1862. Similar vaults were built in custom houses in Detroit, Cincinnati, and Chicago.