Herbert Augustine Claiborne (1886-1957) Builder of the Eighteenth Century in Virginia

Johnston III, Francis Claiborne, Architectural History - School of Architecture, University of Virginia
Wilson, Richard, University of Virginia
Nelson, Louis, PV-Ofc of Exec VP & Provost, University of Virginia
Crane, Sheila, University of Virginia

This thesis will examine the influence of engineers, contractors and master builders on the visual and technical components of construction during the “American Renaissance” or “Colonial Revival” of the early American architectural style in the first half of the twentieth century; yet have hitherto received scant attention. In a period largely defined by its association with professional designers, research related to the role of engineering is limited. One example is Herbert Augustine Claiborne (1886-1957), a civil engineer, active between 1908 and 1957, in the mid-Atlantic United States, primarily in Virginia. Claiborne’s attitudes and opinions influenced many decisions bearing on the treatment or recording of early American buildings. For this reason, a review of his career is necessary to understanding not only his professional works but also our current perceptions of the early architecture of Virginia. This thesis will include works supervised by Claiborne, such as the restoration of Wilton 1932-1936, and those under the formal supervision of professionally trained architects, such as William Lawrence Bottomley or Fiske Kimball, which reveal Claiborne’s skills and limitations as a professional. Many of the structures investigated for this thesis survive and in certain cases retain significant authenticity related to the original form and materials of construction. At least thirty-five of his works reviewed for this thesis are associated with the National Register of Historic Places.

MARH (Master of Architectural History)
Claiborne & Taylor, Restoration Contractors, Inc., Taylor & Parrish, Inc. , Colonial Revival, American Renaissance, Restoration , Contractor , Architecture , Virginia , Fiske Kimball, William Lawrence Bottomley
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