The Life and Work of Harvey Ellis

Harvey Ellis.
Portrait of Harvey Ellis


Harvey Ellis is considered by many authorities to have been one of the United States' most talented and influential architects. In addition, he was known for his illustration work, his painting and his furniture designs for the Stickley firm. However, the private nature of the man has proved a difficult barrier for researchers to surmount in documenting his work. Harvey Ellis seems to have been the type of individual for whom the desire for fame and fortune came in a distant second to his desire for creative expression.

In the words of author Eileen Manning, "In order to approach the work of Harvey Ellis, it is necessary to examine the relationships that existed between draftsmen and architects during the latter part of the nineteenth century. Harvey Ellis typifies the journeyman draftsman." Journeymen draftsmen often moved from city to city and from firm to firm. Ellis himself worked in Rochester, Utica and areas of the Midwest. Much of Ellis' work was credited to the supervising architects of the projects with which he was associated, although the designs were his. Ellis himself seemed uninterested in promoting his own name. In addition, personal problems, including alcoholism, dogged him throughout his life.

Today, Ellis' work is recognized and celebrated, not only in Rochester but also throughout the world.

Early Life and Schooling

Rochester 1877-1885: Life and Work

The Move to Utica in 1885

Rochester 1894-1903

Death in Syracuse, 1904

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