Emmanuel Louis Masqueray

Emmanuel Louis Masqueray (1861-1917)


He was born in Dieppe, France, on September 10, 1861 to Charles-Emmanuel and Henriette-Marie-Louise Masqueray, née de Lamare. He was educated in Rouen and Paris. Having decided to become an architect, he studied at the École des Beaux Arts, Paris, as a pupil of Charles Laisné and Léon Ginain, and was awarded the Deschaumes Prize by the Institute of France. He also received the Chandesaigues Prize. While in Paris, he also served on the Commission des Monuments Historiques.


New York

He came to the United States in 1887 to work for the firm of Carrère and Hastings in New York City; both John Mervin Carrère (November 9, 1858 – March 1, 1911) and Thomas Hastings (1860–1929) had been fellow students with Masqueray at the École des Beaux Arts.


While in their employ, Masqueray created the watercolor elevation of the Ponce de Leon Hotel in St. Augustine, Florida. Other important work on the boards during his time with the firm included the Hotel Alcazar, St. Augustine, Florida, 1887, now the Lightner Museum, The Commonwealth Club, Richmond, Virginia, 1891, and the Edison Building, New York City, 1891 (razed).


Five years later, he joined the office of Richard Morris Hunt (1827–1895), the first American architect to attend the École des Beaux Arts; in Hunt's firm he helped design many notable buildings including the Elbridge Gerry residence in Marblehead, MA, the William Astor house on Fifth Avenue in New York City, and Ochre Court in Newport, Rhode Island.


It is likely that he made major contributions to the design of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. He also contributed to the design of The Breakers for Cornelius Vanderbilt II in Newport, Rhode Island.


In 1893, Masqueray opened the Atelier Masqueray, for the study of architecture according to French methods; architect Walter B. Chambers shared in this enterprise. Located at 123 E. 23rd Street, this was the first wholly independent atelier opened in the United States. A colorful, dynamic teacher, Masqueray pleaded with his students to make things simple.


Beginning in 1899, Masqueray made special provision for women to number among his architectural students by establishing a second atelier especially for women at 37–40 West 22nd Street in New York. As was said at the time, "...he has unbounded faith in women's ability to succeed in architecture...provided they go about it seriously."


In 1897, Masqueray left the Hunt office to work for Warren & Wetmore, also in New York City, Whitney Warren having been his fellow student at the École des Beaux Arts, Paris.


St. Louis


His reputation became international in 1901 when the commissioner of architects of the St. Louis Exposition selected him to be Chief of Design. Masqueray in turn employed some of his former students including Frank Swales and George Nagle.


As Chief of Design of the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, a position he held for three years, Masqueray had architectural oversight of the entire Fair and personally designed the following Fair buildings:


  • Palace of Agriculture

  • The Cascades and Colonnades

  • Palace of Forestry, Fish, and Game

  • Palace of Horticulture

  • Palace of Transportation


Design ideas from all of these were widely emulated in civic projects across the United States as part of the City Beautiful Movement. Masqueray resigned shortly after the fair opened in 1904, having been invited by Archbishop John Ireland of St. Paul to come to Minnesota and design the new Cathedral of Saint Paul in Saint Paul for the city.




Masqueray arrived in St. Paul in 1905 and remained there until his death. He designed about two dozen parish churches for Catholic and Protestant congregations in the upper Midwest, including:


  • Cathedral of Saint Paul in Saint Paul

  • Basilica of Saint Mary, Minneapolis (1908)

  • St. Paul's Episcopal Church on the Hill, St. Paul (1912)

  • Bethlehem Lutheran Church, 655 Forest Street, St. Paul[8]

  • University Hall at the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul

  • Chapel of St. Thomas Aquinas, 121 Cleveland Ave., St. Paul (1918)[9]


Masqueray designed several small churches in what is now the Diocese of New Ulm.


  • The Church of the Holy Redeemer, Marshall, Minnesota (1915)

  • Church of St. Peter, St. Peter, Minnesota (1911) The Church was destroyed by a tornado that struck St. Peter on March 29, 1998, a new church-school complex was built at a new location west of the city at 1801 West Broadway. The St. Peter Community Center and Public Library occupy the site of the former church.

  • Church of St. Edward, Minneota, Minnesota

  • Church of St. Francis, Benson, Minnesota

  • Sacred Heart Church, Murdock, Minnesota


And in the Diocese of Dubuque in Iowa.


  • Church of St. Patrick, Cedar Falls, Iowa


He also designed three more cathedrals, of which two were built:


  • The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Wichita, Kansas

  • St. Joseph Cathedral, Sioux Falls, South Dakota


Masqueray also designed important residences in and around St. Paul (one of which, a 1915 home at 427 Portland Avenue, has been owned by radio personality Garrison Keillor) and "Wind's Eye" in Dellwood MN, as well as several parochial schools for the Catholic Archdiocese of St. Paul.


In St. Paul in 1906, Masqueray founded an atelier which continued his Beaux Arts method of architectural training, among his students who trained there, perhaps the best known is Edwin Lundie(1886–1972). Other architects associated with Masqueray in St. Paul were Fred Slifer and Frank Abrahamson.


Masqueray was a charter member of the Society of Beaux-Arts Architects (now the Van Alen Institute) and the Architectural League of New York, the New York Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, as well as the national organization.


Masqueray died in St. Paul on May 26, 1917. His body was buried in Calvary Cemetery in St. Paul.

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