William Lawrence Bottomley

William Lawrence Bottomley

William Lawrence Bottomley, born February 24, 1883 in New York, New York, was a noted architect in twentieth-century New York, New York, Middleburg, Virginia and Richmond, Virginia. He is admired as one of the preeminent Colonial Revival designers of residential buildings in the United States.


Educated at the prestigious Horace Mann School in New York, Bottomley graduated from Columbia University in 1906 with a bachelor of science degree in architecture. In 1907 he studied at the American Academy in Rome, where he had received the McKim Fellowship in Architecture. In 1908 he entered the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris where he studied until he returned to the US to practice formally as an architect in 1909. [Frazer, Susan Hume. The Architecture of William Lawrence Bottomley. New York: Acanthus Press, 2007.]

Personal Life

William Lawrence married Harriet Townsend, a sculptor and writer, on August 26, 1909 at Beech Hill in Westport, New York. Harriet's love for gardening no doubt influenced William's strong alliance with landscape architect Charles Gillette. William and Harriet had three daughters: Harriet, Susan and Virginia.


In his 40-year career, William designed 186 commissions, the majority of which (40%) were in Virginia. "Bottomley's clients...while well-to-do, didn't have names with the lofty status of Rockefeller, Whitney, or Widener." [Calder Loth, Senior Architectural Historian, Virginia Department of Historic Resources] Eleven of Bottomley's commissions are currently listed individually on the National Register of Historic Places. Eight of these are in Virginia. [http://www.nr.nps.gov/iwisapi/explorer.dll?IWS_SCHEMA=NRIS1&IWS_LOGIN=1&IWS_REPORT=100000084]


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