Stevens, J. Walter (John Walter), 1856-1937.

Birth 1856
Death 1937

Biographical notes:

John Walter Stevens was born in Wakefield, Mass. and moved to St. Paul in 1879, to begin working as an architect. Stevens was active in the Minnesota Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, focusing on establishing professional standards for architects in the area. At one point, Stevens submitted his resignation to the AIA in protest of other members' conduct--his resignation was not accepted. In addition to maintaining a busy practice, Stevens served as architect for the Minnesota Board of Control, in which capacity he designed the St. Cloud Reformatory, the North Branch County Home and the Moorhead Normal School. Stevens' work includes several Massachusetts churches, residences in California and Minnesota (notably many houses in the Ramsey Hill and Crocus Hill districts and six houses on Summit Avenue), many commercial buildings in St. Paul, as well as Pattee Hall (U. of MN, Mpls campus) and the Astronomy Observatory at Carlton College (Northfield MN).

From the description of J. Walter Stevens collection, 1886, [188-?]. (University of Minnesota, Minneapolis). WorldCat record id: 63291695

John Walter Stevens was born in Wakefield, Massachusetts, on June 13, 1856. He came to St. Paul in 1897, at the age of 23, to begin practicing architecture. For the next 55 years, he remained in business and was responsible for the design of many of St. Paul's outstanding buildings during that time. Stevens retired from practice in 1935 and died in St. Paul on April 26, 1937.

J. Walter Stevens designed many residences in St. Paul and such commercial and institutional structures as the Germania Bank Building (now the St. Paul Building; 1888), the Wilder Public Baths (1914) and the Noyes Brothers & Cutler Wholesale Drug Warehouse (now Park Square Court; 1886). Other structures designed by Stevens include the Goodsell Observatory, Carleton College, (Northfield, MN; 1887); Pattee Hall, University of Minnesota (Minneapolis; 1889); Hughes High School (Cincinnati; n.d.); St. Cloud (Minnesota) Reformatory (1889) and several churches in Massachusetts.

From the guide to the J. Walter Stevens collection, 1880s, (University of Minnesota Libraries. Northwest Architectural Archives, Manuscripts Division [naa])


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  • Warehouses--Designs and plans
  • Commercial buildings--Minnesota--Saint Paul--Designs and plans
  • Warehouses--Minnesota--Saint Paul--Designs and plans
  • Commercial buildings--Designs and plans


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  • Minnesota--Saint Paul (as recorded)