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Luther Briggs, Jr. architectural collection

AR002 (RS660)


The Luther Briggs, Jr. Architectural Collection consists of designs for over 50 projects. Dating from the late 1840s to the 1850s, most of the plans are for modest dwellings in Boston, Roxbury, and Dorchester. The drawings also include a smaller number of business blocks, monuments, and public buildings, among them Liberia College in Monrovia, Liberia.

These plans are examples of a conventional architectural practice intended to meet middle-class tastes, and are particularly distinguished by the charm of their meticulous and frequently colored rendering. Several of the residences Briggs designed in Roxbury and Dorchester are still standing.

Source: Guide to the Library and Archives, 25.


Collection Name
Luther Briggs, Jr. architectural collection
Collection Code
Date Notes
Acquisition Type
Collection Type
Architectural and Cartographic Materials
Description Level
Reference Code

Historical/Biographical Note

Luther Briggs, Jr., born at Pembroke, Massachusetts, in 1822, worked in the Boston office of the well-known architect and engineer, Captain Alexander Parris, whose wife was Luther's aunt. Young Briggs left the Parris office about 1842 and had gone to work as a draftsman for Gridley J. F. Bryant, who would later establish his reputation among Boston's commercial architects. Briggs lived in Dorchester and his suburban architecture was very influenced by the picturesque styles and ornamental landscape designs featured in the books of Andrew Jackson Downing. He designed a variety of structures, including modest dwellings, business blocks, monuments, and public buildings.

Sources: Cummings, Abbott Lowell and Roger Reed. Drawing Toward Home exhibition catalogue entries; Guide to the Library and Archives, 25.

Record details

Briggs, Luther, 1822-1905 (Architect)
Descriptive Terms
colleges (buildings)
commercial buildings
public buildings
Material Type
architectural drawings (visual works)
architectural records
Boston (Suffolk county, Massachusetts)
Roxbury (Boston, Suffolk county, Massachusetts) [neighborhood]
Dorchester (Boston, Suffolk county, Massachusetts) [neighborhood]
Monrovia (Montserrado, Liberia)
Places (Buildings)
Liberia College
Related Items
Luther Briggs and the Picturesque Pattern Books

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