Frank Wills (architect)

Frank Wills (architect)

Infobox Architect

image_size =
caption = Christ Church Cathedral in Fredericton, New Brunswick.
name = Frank Wills
nationality =
birth_date = December 1822
birth_place = Exeter, England
death_date = 22 April 1857
death_place = Montreal, Quebec
practice_name =
significant_buildings= -Christ Church Cathedral
-Episcopal Church
of the Nativity

-Christ Church Cathedral
significant_projects =
significant_design =
awards =

Frank Wills was a British-born architect who is associated with the design of early Gothic Revival churches in North America.


Frank Wills was born in Exeter, England in 1822. He was a member of the Exeter Architectural Society and his first known work is a canopied tomb in Gothic style beside the high altar in St. Thomas’ Church in Exeter. In 1842 Wills exhibited at the Royal Academy of Arts in London.cite web|title="Wills, Frank"|work="Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online"|url=|accessdate=2008-03-02] He emigrated to New Brunswick in 1845 to work on Christ Church Cathedral in Fredericton. He modeled it on St. Mary's Church in Snettisham, Norfolk. He moved to New York City and began an architectural firm in late 1847 and married Emily Coster in 1848.cite web|title="Wills, Frank (1822 - 1856)"|work="Philidelphia Architects and Buildings"|url=| accessdate=2008-03-02] He became associated with the New York Ecclesiology Society and soon was the official architect for that group. In 1850 he published "Ancient Ecclesiastical Architecture and Its Principles, Applied to the Wants of the Church at the Present Day".citation|title=PDFlink| [ National Landmark Nomination: Episcopal Church of the Nativity] |537 KB|date=July 21, 1989 |author=R. Gamble, Harvie Jones, and Frances Roberts |publisher=National Park Service and PDFlink| [ Accompanying 7 photos, exterior and interior, from 1989.] |1.59 MB] Emily died in that same year. In 1851 he took a partner into his firm, Henry Dudley. He remarried to Almy Warne Casey in November 1853, she was the daughter of the Philadelphia iron merchant James Casey. They had one son, Charles James Wills. Frank Wills died suddenly in Montreal in 1857, where he was working on Christ Church Cathedral.


Some works by him or his firm:
* Christ Church Cathedral (1845-53) in Fredericton, New Brunswick.
* St. Anne's Chapel (1846-47) in Fredericton, New Brunswick.
* The House of Prayer (1849-53) in Newark, New Jersey.
* Anglican Church (1850) in Burton, New Brunswick.
* St. Peter's Church (1850-51) in Milford, Connecticut.
* St. Mary's Church (1851) in Abingdon, Maryland.
* Holy Trinity Episcopal Church (1852-53) in Nashville, Tennessee.
* Trinity Episcopal Church (1853-57) in Mobile, Alabama.
* Christ Church (1853) in Napoleonville, Louisiana.
* Holy Trinity Church (1853) in Claremont, New Hampshire.
* St. George's Church (1853-54) in Flushing, New York.
* St. John's Church (1853-58) in Troy, New York.
* Chapel of the Cross (1854) in Madison, Mississippi.
* St. John's Episcopal Church (1854-55) in Montgomery, Alabama.
* Christ Church (1855-59) in Oberlin, Ohio
* Episcopal Church of the Nativity (1857-59) in Huntsville, Alabama.
* Christ Church Cathedral (1857-59) in Montreal, Quebec.

Also, based on similarities, two other churches are believed to be from his firm:
* Church of the Nativity (1856-59) in Union, South Carolina.
* Trinity Church (1857-60) in Natchitoches, Louisiana.


External links

* [ Biography at the "Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online"]

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