James Crawford Neilson (October 14, 1816 – December 21, 1900)
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|Born||October 14, 1816|
|Died||December 21, 1900|
|Buildings||Washington and Lee University|
James Crawford Neilson (October 14, 1816 – December 21, 1900), or J. Crawford Neilson, was aBaltimore, Maryland-based architect. He was born in Baltimore, Maryland in 1816. After the death of his father in 1822 the family moved to England and in 1824 to Brussels. In 1833, he returned to Baltimore and in 1835, became a member of the survey party working on theBaltimore and Port Deposit Railroad, (later merged into thePhiladelphia, Wilmington and Baltimore Railroad, then absorbed 1881 by thePennsylvania Railroad). His supervisor wasBenjamin Henry Latrobe, II, (1806-1878), later supervising engineer on theBaltimore and Ohio Railroad, (B. & O.), son of an equally famous architect,Benjamin Henry Latrobe, (1764-1820). It was at this time that he first became acquainted withJohn Rudolph Niernsee, (1814-1885), while helping to survey in the area ofMartinsburg, Virginia (laterWest Virginia), for theBaltimore and Ohio Railroad.
He and Niernsee entered partnership in the practice of architecture as Niernsee & Neilson in June 1848. Commissions included railroad stations for the B&O, commercial buildings, several churches, and both country homes and townhouses for the well-to-do, many of whom were in fact directors of the B&O Railroad. The firm disbanded in 1856, when Niernsee was made architect of the capitol of South Carolina. When Niernsee returned to Baltimore in 1865, the partnership was revived. It was at this time, that they took into their office a number of young interns who later became prominent themselves, includingR. Snowden Andrews, Eben Faxson,Bruce Price, and, briefly,E. Francis Baldwin. Nielson was a founding member of the Baltimore Chapter of theAmerican Institute of Architects at its charter in 1870. The firm disbanded again in 1875 at which time, through his friendship withGeorge Washington Custis Lee, he worked on several college buildings, the Mausoleum in theLee Chapel, and faculty residences atWashington and Lee University.
Neilson had married Rosa Williams in the 1830s, whose family owned farmland alongDeer Creek inHarford County at a place called Priestford. Among their children was Charles Neilson, who attained the rank of General and became Assistant Postmaster General of the United States. Neilson died in 1900, at Priestford and he is buried in the family cemetery.
- 1849-1850:Calvert Street Station (Baltimore, Maryland), terminal/depot for theBaltimore and Susquehanna Railroad (later theNorthern Central Railway, merged into thePennsylvania Railroad, (by Niernsee & Neilson), onNorth Calvert Street at Bath/East Franklin Streets, (alongside Orleans Street Viaduct of 1936, razed 1949 for the "Baltimore Sun" newspaper offices)
- Railroad Gazette. Railroad gazette. 1879-01-01.
- "Baltimore Architecture Foundation " J. Crawford Neilson". J. Crawford Neilson. Baltimore Architecture Foundation. 2009-03-17.