Tag: Lee (Edward B.)

  • Americus Republican Club

    Americus Republican Club

    Edward B. Lee designed this clubhouse for the Americus Republican Club in a lush Georgian style. It was built in 1918, and it spans the whole (very short) block from the Boulevard of the Allies to Third Avenue. Since the club moved out, this has been known as the Pitt Building.

    Old Pa Pitt thinks the off-center pediment is an interesting choice for neo-Georgian architecture. It would not have occurred to him if he had been the architect, but the expected symmetry would probably have made a duller façade.

    Update: A correspondent points out that Second Avenue was widened into a boulevard in 1921, and it was done by trimming, moving, or demolishing buildings on the north side of the street. One large building was moved back forty feet. Forty feet would be just enough to account for the asymmetry of this façade. E. B. Lee would have been available to supervise the alterations, but the building’s current form would represent the best he could do under adverse circumstances, not his original grand vision for the Americus Club.

    Window
    Lunette
    Pitt Building
  • The Liberty Theater As It Was Built

    Update: Once in a while old Pa Pitt has a chance to boast about his architectural instincts, and here is one of those occasions. In the original article, he wrote that he suspected Edward B Lee of having designed the remodeling of the theater into an office building. He was right. Source: The American Contractor, December 15, 1923: “Store & Office Bldg. (remod. from theater): $150,000. 5 sty. & bas. H. tile. Liberty av. & Strawberry Alley. Archt. E. B. Lee, Chamber of Commerce bldg. Owner The Fidelity Title & Trust Co., Wilson A. Shaw, chrm. of bd., 343 Fourth av. Gen. contr. let to Cuthbert Bros., Bessemer bldg.”

    The original text of Father Pitt’s article follows.


    Edward B. Lee was the architect of the Liberty Theater—or Theatre, as theatrical people often insist on spelling it—when it was built in 1912. These pictures were published in The Brickbuilder in 1913, so they show the theater as it was when it was new. Either the theater failed or the owners decided it would be more profitable as an office building, because only eleven years later, in 1924,1 it was remodeled into the Baum Building, and it still stands today.

    The shell and outlines are the same, but quite a bit was changed externally. Old Pa Pitt suspects that Lee was the architect of these changes, too, and they were accomplished so elegantly that we would never know the building had not been planned that way from the beginning.

    These small drawings (orchestra, first balcony, second balcony) show the aggressive adaptations Mr. Lee had to make to the irregular shape of the lot—a common difficulty for buildings on the southeast side of Liberty Avenue, where the two grids of the irrationally rationalistic eighteenth-century street plan collide.

    Detail over the entrance. These decorations disappeared when the building was converted to offices.

    Corner detail. The cornice and pilasters survive, but the elaborate terra-cotta decoration between the pilasters vanished in 1924.

    1. In the original version of this article, Father Pitt had given the date as 1920, following a city architectural survey. The listing from the American Contractor proves that the date was actually no earlier than 1924. ↩︎
  • Clifford B. Connelley Trade School

    Now the home of the Energy Innovation Center, this grand old school on the brow of the Hill taught useful skills to generations of students. The architect was Edward B. Lee, who was a favorite school designer around here.