Thursday, January 03, 2008

Glenn Brown (1854-1932)


Glenn Brown, architect, was the son of Dr. Bedford Brown (c.1823-1897) and the grandson of Senator Bedford Brown (1795-1870) of Caswell County, North Carolina. See William B. Bushong, "Glenn Brown, the White House, and the Urban Renaissance of Washington, D.C." in White House History, Vol. II, Summer 2002: 14-28.

Brown spent his early childhood in North Carolina. Following the Civil War he lived in Washington and Alexandria. He studied architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He returned to Washington and opened an office, where he remained in practice until about ten years ago. He was active in the organization of The American Federation of Art and the National Fine Arts Commission. During and after the World War most of his time was taken up with government work at Quantico, Virginia. He organized the Public Art League of America, and was elected corresponding member of the Royal Institute of Architects of Great Britain, and of French, Belgian and Italian architectural societies. He was a member of the Society of Arts and Letters, an associate of the National Academy of Design, and served from 1899 to 1912 as secretary of the American Institute of Architects. His last book was entitled "Memories" and was published in 1931.

Source: ArchInForm

Glenn Brown practiced architecture in both Washington, DC and Alexandria, serving as the first executive secretary of the AIA from 1898-1913. During Brown's tenure, the Institute was instrumental in developing the Senate Park Commission Plan which reasserted the open spaces of the eighteenth-century L'Enfant Plan. As a former assistant of Henry Hobson Richardson, he designed many local buildings and bridges in the Richardsonian Romanesque style. Interested in historic structures, he was involved with documenting and restoring many local structures and authored the first comprehensive history of the US Capitol.

Mayor William D. Euille of Alexandria will attend and present our chapter with a proclamation from the City of Alexandria proclaiming April 9-14 as Architecture Week. Addtional comments from Tony Wrenn, former archivist for AIA National. Cosponsored by the Lyceum.

At the Lyceum, 201 S Washington Street, Old Town Alexandria. Advance registration required.

Ongoing exhibition runs from February through April 2007.

Source: AIA Northern Virginia Chapter

2007 Glenn Brown Award

The Washington Chapter/AIA and the Washington Architectural Foundation are pleased to cosponsor the Glenn Brown Award to honor an individual who has raised public awareness of architecture and its benefits to society, and who has improved the quality of life in Washington, DC.

Glenn Brown was the founder of AIA|DC and the quiet force behind the resurrection of the L’Enfant Plan and the development of the McMillan Plan in 1900. Author, scholar, presidential advisor, and most of all, civic activist, Brown bestowed upon the Chapter a strong legacy of involvement by architects in city affairs.

The recipient is chosen annually by a jury that includes at least two members of the Chapter and two members of the Foundation appointed by the presidents and ratified by the boards of directors of the respective organizations. The award will be presented at the Chapter’s Annual Awards gala.

Source: AIA/DC

Glenn Brown, The development of Washington with special reference to the Lincoln Memorial. Address by Glenn Brown, secretary American institute of architects, before the Washington Chamber of commerce, December 13, 1910. Published by the CHAMBER OF COMMERCE OF WASHINGTON, D. C. PRESS OF BYRON S. ADAMS, WASH., D. C.

Joint Committee to co-operate with the American Institute of Architects in the plans of the Park Commission:

Glenn Brown, Chairman
Wm. E. Shannon, Vice-Chairman
Thos. Grant, Secretary

The Development of Washington, D.C.

Glenn Brown, a founding member of the Washington Chapter, was tapped to become executive secretary of the AIA when it moved to Washington. Brown was a strong administrator and had the connections to position the Institute as a major player in shaping the architectural landscape of this country. During Brown's tenure, the Institute was instrumental in consolidating the MacMillan Commission (also know as the Senate Park Commission) plan for Washington and ensuring that it became a reality. This plan reasserted the open spaces and planning concepts of the eighteenth-century L'Enfant plan. In addition, the commission envisioned complexes for government buildings in the Federal Triangle and around the Mall and Lafayette Square.

The Institute was also instrumental in the formation of and appointments to the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts, established in 1910. Today, this body continues to advise the federal government on matters of art and architecture that affect the appearance of the nation's capital.

The MacMillan Plan and the Fine Arts Commission were significant factors in the development of Washington during the twentieth century. In asserting its role on the national stage, the AIA played a key part in construction of the Lincoln Highway, advocacy for the Appalachian Trail, and support for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial designed by Maya Lin. Most recently, the AIA has lobbied for school construction funding, brownfields legislation, and state licensure issues, and has taken a leading role in combining security concerns with architectural aesthetics. Visit AIA Government Affairs.

Source: The American Institute of Architects

European and Japanese Gardens

The Relations of Railways to City Development

White House Historical Collection

Theodore Roosevelt and the AIA

1860 United States Federal Census
Name: Glenn Brown
Age in 1860: 6
Birth Year: abt 1854
Birthplace: North Carolina
Home in 1860: Yanceyville, Caswell, North Carolina
Gender: Male
Post Office: Yanceyville
Household Members: Name Age
B Brown 33
M Brown 27
M G Brown 8
Glenn Brown 6
Lucy Brown

1880 United States Federal Census
Name: Glenn Brown
Home in 1880: Alexandria, Alexandria, Virginia
Age: 24
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1856
Birthplace: Virginia
Relation to Head of Household: Son
Father's Name: Bedford
Father's birthplace: North Carolina
Mother's Name: Mary
Mother's birthplace: Maryland
Occupation: Architect
Marital Status: Married
Race: White
Gender: Male
Household Members: Name Age
Bedford Brown 56
Mary Brown 50
Glenn Brown 24
Lucy Brown 21
William B. Brown 15
Mary Brown 27
Madison Brown 3
Bedford Brown 1

1900 United States Federal Census
about Glenn H Brown
Home in 1900: Washington, Washington, District of Columbia
Age: 45
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1855
Birthplace: Virginia
Relationship to head-of-house: Head
Spouse's Name: Mary E
Race: White
Occupation: Architect
Household Members: Name Age
Glenn H Brown 45
Mary E Brown 34
George W Brown 20
Bedford Brown 21

1930 United States Federal Census
Name: Glenn Brown
Home in 1930: Washington, Washington, District of Columbia
Age: 75
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1855
Birthplace: Virginia
Relation to Head of House: Head
Race: White
Marital Status: Widowed

The 1900 US Census shows him born in Virginia.

Brown, Glenn. Memories: 1860-1930. Washington, D.C.: W. F. Roberts Company, 1931.

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