|Birth: ||Dec. 22, 1830|
|Death: ||Mar. 5, 1909|
Public Buildings Designer. He was America's most prolific architect of public structures. Elijah E. Myers major design creations consist of three state capitol buildings, Michigan, Texas and Colorado. His first was the Michigan edifice located in Lansing which Myers modeled after the U.S. Capitol. This assignment in 1872 was awarded just after Myers had established his first architectural firm in Springfield, Illinois. Its successful completion established him as the countries premiere architect of public buildings. The edifice became a model for construction of Capitol buildings in the rest of the states. It was fireproof and built to house state governments not only in the present but for long range use in the future. An extensive historical restoration was begun in 1987 and completed in 1992 which returned both the interior and exterior to their original appearance while continuing the structures status as Michigan's permanent capitol. The only portrait of the architect hangs in one of the most important rooms in the building known as the Elijah Myers Room, near the Senate chamber and is used for Majority Caucuses. Eight years later, Myers was commissioned to design the immense Texas State Capitol which is the masterpiece of his career and was completed in 1888. The building is the largest of all state capitols. It surpasses the National Capitol in height, rising 15 feet above its counterpart. In 1995, an interior and exterior restoration was completed. The Myers designed Colorado capitol building was constructed in the 1890's and is the architectural jewel of Denver. The dome towers 180 feet above and contains stained glass dedicated to the 16 initial founders of the city of Denver. Twenty-four karat gold was used to plate the dome which commemorates Colorado's Gold Rush days and its early pioneers and miners. After completion of the building, the career of Myers continued to be successful. He completed drawings for both Utah and Idaho capitol buildings but they were never utilized. The Federal Government hired him to design the Columbia Buildings for the Chicago World's Fair of 1893. He was recognized internationally and was awarded the commission for the Brazilian Parliament Building in Rio de Janeiro. Elijah Myers received his early training at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. Upon completion, he attempted a career in law but his tenure in the Civil War changed his career direction and Union forces used him as an engineer to construct bridges and fortifications. In the postwar, he launched a career in public architecture and set up an office in Springfield, Illinois, later moving to Detroit. His final days were spent pursuing lawsuits against various fellow architects whom he deemed had plagiarized his works. He would die intestate and obscure at age 78. Before his death, dementia had robbed him of his identity. Elijah E. Myers could not remember his own name or recognize his family nor recall his legacy as one of the greatest architect's in American history. Legacy...Myer's designs dot the landscape of America, some remain, but many have been allowed to fall into disrepair and were demolished. The list is endless and all construction was done in the latter half of the 19th century: County Court Houses; Macoupin County, Carlinville, Illinois, Grant County, Marion, Indiana, Knox County, Galesburg, Illinois, Seneca County, Tiffin, Ohio, San Joaquin County, Stockton, California, Luzerne County, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, McDonough County, Illinois, Stephenson County, Freeport, Illinois. Churches; lst Presbyterian, Albion, Michigan, Plymouth Congregational, Plymouth, Michigan. City Buildings; (old) Richmond City Hall, Richmond, Virginia, Grand Rapids City Hall, Grand Rapids, Michigan. (bio by: Donald Greyfield (inactive))
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Originally Created by: Donald Greyfield (inacti...
Record added: Jul 16, 2006
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