Richard Polton has now made available a vast amount of information on Wentworth at Fred Wesley Wentworth: The Life and Times of an American Architect Based in Paterson, New Jersey.

Information Sought

Architect Fred Wesley Wentworth (1864-1943)
Paterson, New Jersey


F.W. Wentworth was born 22 August 1864 in Roxboro, Massachusetts. His family moved to Dover, New Hampshire when Wentworth was young and he attended Dover High School. Wentworth graduated from the Chandler Scientific Department of Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire in 1887 with a Bachelor of Science degree. While in college Wentworth was a member of the scientific-school fraternity Phi Zeta Mu (founded 1857, now known as Tabard). Wentworth was also a founding member of the Casque & Gauntlet senior society and designed the society's pin.

About 1893 Wentworth set up his practice in Paterson, where he would continue for forty years and become one of the leading architects of the city. Wentworth lived at 630 East 27th Street, probably the house he designed for himself. Wentworth gained prominence during the city's rebuilding after the great fire 1902. The architect's early work was mainly residential, including elaborate houses for Atwood, Griggs and Hobort; later he turned to public buildings, gaining considerable wealth. Among these latter projects were the sanitarium, the Broadway Baptist Church, Temple Emanuel, the Welfare Home, and the YMCA. Wentworth became known for his Art-Deco movie houses. Though Wentworth ran a "one-man-shop," Frederick J. Vreeland was his head draftsman for many years and in 1923 became an equal partner in the firm. Wentworth was elected a Fellow in the American Institute of Architects ca. 1926.

A Universalist and a Republican, Wentworth was a member of a number of societies: Scottish Rite Freemasonry and the Shriners; the Hamilton Club of Paterson; the North Jersey Country Club; the Sons of the Revolution; and Rotary (a charter member). Professionally, Wentworth was President of the New Jersey AIA and member of the New Jersey State board of architects. Wentworth retired in 1933 and died on 3 October 1943.

Some Buildings

Jersey City, New Jersey
Stanley Theater
Newark, New Jersey
Branford Theater
Paterson, New Jersey
Alexander Hamilton Hotel
Fabian Theater
Masonic Temple
A Ham Garage
Paterson General Hospital
Public School #10
Hobart Country Mansion
Valley View Sanitarium
Fred Wesley Wentworth House
    presumably at 630 East 27th Street
Passaic County Tuberculosis Sanitarium
Paterson Post Office
Broadway Baptist Church
Temple Emanuel (1929)
    Art Deco synagogue funded by Warner Bros. exec. Jacob Fabian
Passaic County Welfare Home
    400 beds
YMCA Building
Kimball C. Atwood House
    for president of Preferred Accident Insurance Company
John W. Griggs House
    for ex-Attorney-General
Garret A. Hobort, Jr., House
    for Vice President of the U.S.
Liberty, New York
St Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church (1908)
Poughkeepsie, New York
Addition to Nelson House
Hanover, New Hampshire
Addition and alterations to Casque & Gauntlet House (ca. 1905)
Psi Upsilon Fraternity House (ca. 1912)
    also attributed to Homer Eaton Keyes


Ann Friedman, N.Y. Landmarks Conservancy, to Scott Meacham, 7 February 2002. Information on St. Paul's in Liberty, N.Y.
Mark Gordon, "Sanctuary Threatened" Jewish Heritage Report 2, Nos. 1-2 (Spring-Summer 1998) [http://www.isjm.org/jhr/IInos1-2/paterson.htm].
Stanley Johnson, "Fred Wesley Wentworth," Dartmouth Alumni Magazine (November 1943).
New York Herald Tribune (5 October 1943).
Paterson Evening News (13 May 1926).
[Paterson New Jersey] Call (4 October 1943).
Fred Wesley Wentworth, "Recent Work of Fred Wesley Wentworth, Architect" (Paterson N.J., 1929).
Source not consulted, but a copy exists in the Paterson Free Public Library according to patersonhistory.com.
Fred Wesley Wentworth 1887 Alumni File, Special Collections, Dartmouth College Library.
Contains newspaper and magazine obituaries listed here.


© 2001 Scott Meacham

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