Emmanuel Louis Masqueray

Emmanuel Louis Masqueray (1861–1917) was a Franco-American preeminent figure in the history of American architecture, both as a gifted designer of landmark buildings and as an influential teacher of the profession of architecture.


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 Ecole des Beaux Arts, Paris, as a pupil of Jean-Claude Laisné and Paul-René-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 Historiques.

New York

He came to the United States in 1887 to work for the firm of Carrère and Hastings in New York City. 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).  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 Ecole des Beaux Arts, Paris. He was responsible for the design of the Long Island College Hospital in Brooklyn.

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 Fair buildings.

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) and Chapel of St. Thomas Aquinas, 121 Cleveland Ave., St. Paul (1918)

He also designed three more cathedrals, of which two were built, The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Wichita, Kansas and St. Joseph Cathedral, Sioux Falls, South Dakota

In St. Paul in 1906, Masqueray founded an atelier which continued his Beaux Arts method of architectural training. Masqueray died in St. Paul on May 26, 1917. His body was buried in Calvary Cemetery in St. Paul.

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