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A Guide to the Edward T. Potter Architectural Drawings

Finding aid prepared by John R. Nemmers

University of Florida Smathers Libraries - Special and Area Studies Collections

December 2005

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Potter, Edward Tuckerman, 1831-1904.
Title: Edward T. Potter Architectural Drawings
Dates: circa Early 1870s
Abstract: Water color and pen and ink drawings of Potter's design for St. John's Church, Jacksonville, Florida.
Extent: 3 Linear feet. 15 items.
Identification: MS Group 186
Language(s): English
Online ContentItems from this collection have been digitized and are available online in the UF Digital Collections. For more information please see the note below.

Biographical/Historical Note

Edward Tuckerman Potter was born on September 25, 1831 in Schenectady, New York, the son of Bishop Alonzo Potter. He began his college education in Philadelphia and, in 1851, transferred to Union College in Schenectady, where his father taught as a professor. After his graduation in 1853, he studied architecture under Richard Upjohn, one of the foremost church architects in the United States at the time. He worked for Upjohn from 1854 to 1856, when he opened his own practice in Schenectady.

An ecclesiastical specialist, Potter designed churches, particularly Episcopalian churches, in New York, New England, Florida, and other regions of the country. Among his important churches were the First Dutch Reformed Church in Schenectady, the Harvard Street Congregational Church in Boston, the Church of the Good Shepherd in Hartford, and St. John's Church in Yonkers, New York. Other well-known projects include the Union College's Nott Memorial (Graduates' Hall) in Schenectady, the Colt Parish House in Hartford, and Mark Twain's residence in Hartford. Potter retired in 1877, but resumed work in order to design the Colt Parish House.

In the early 1870s, Potter designed St. John's Episcopal Church in Jacksonville, Florida. This church was dedicated in 1877 and later burned in Jacksonville's Great Fire of 1901. In 1902 the Vestry of St. John's approved the design drawings for a new church building submitted by the firm Snelling and Potter. The cornerstone for the present Gothic Revival church, St. John's Cathedral, was laid in 1903 and the church was completed in 1906.

Potter died on October 24, 1904.

Sources: George, Carl, and Robert Uzzo, "Decoding the Nott Memorial," Union College Magazine, Winter 1999: Volume 91, Number 3. Henry F. and Elsie Rathburn Withey, Biographical Dictionary of American Architects (Deceased) (Los Angeles: Hennessey and Ingalls, Inc. 1970). Landau, Sarah Bradford. Edward T. and William A. Potter: American Victorian Architects (New York: Garland, 1979). Wodehouse, Lawrence. "Edward Tuckerman Potter" in American National Biography, v. 17, pp. 744-745 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999).

Scope and Content

Water color and pen and ink drawings of E.T. Potter's design for St. John's Episcopal Church, Jacksonville, Florida (Circa early 1870s). The fifteen drawings include front, side, and rear elevations; foundation and roof plans; transverse and longitudinal sections; and details of the principle doorway, the porch, windows for the gables, the chimney top and finial, and furniture such as the pews and altar. Each drawing is numbered and labeled.

Access or Use Restrictions


The collection is open for research.

Administrative Information

Alternate Form of Material

Digital reproductions of items in the Potter collection are available online via the University of Florida Digital Collections (UFDC). Please read the Permissions for Use statement for information on copyright, fair use, and use of UFDC digital objects.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Edward T. Potter Architectural Drawings, Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.

Selected Subjects and Access Terms

Architecture -- Designs and plans.
Church architecture.
Church buildings.
Florida -- Jacksonville.
St. John's Church (Jacksonville, Fla.).

For further information, please contact: Special Collections Access Services.

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