He was a son of William Silsbee and Charlotte Lyman. His mother died giving birth to him.
An architect who was trained at Harvard and M.I.T. (the first such architectural school in the country), he settled in Syracuse NY where he was a Professor of Architecture (1873-8) at Syracuse University, and designed both the Syracuse Savings Bank (1875) and the White Memorial Building (1876) in a Gothic Revival style. In addition to these public buildings he designed homes locally and for Henry Ward Beecher, the abolitionist. He had an influence on the early work of Frank Lloyd Wright who worked in Silsbee's office in Chicago and who credited Silsbee in his autobiography.
Silsbee also designed the Oakwood Cemetery Mortuary Chapel (pictured at left), used for the storage of remains during severe winter weather in central New York, one of the few examples of his religious architecture. Contractor William Dickison built the chapel and worked on several projects with Silsbee. In fact he is buried behind the chapel, over the hill.
Additional child: Anna Rosenfeld (1887-?)
Anna Baldwin Sedgwick Silsbee
1848–1921 (m. 1875)
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