Kimball, Francis Hatch

KIMBALL, Francis Hatch (1845-1919) of New York possessed considerable talent as a theatre designer and during his later career completed plans for several landmark skyscrapers in Manhattan. Born in Maine, Kimball trained in Boston with Louis P. Rogers then moved to London, England to study under William Burges, a master of neo-Gothic church design and scholar of medieval decoration. Kimball opened his own office in New York in 1879, at first in partnership with Thomas Wisedell (from 1879 to 1884) then later with G.K. Thompson (from 1892 to 1918). His major works there include Corbin Building (1889), the Manhattan Life Building (1893) and City Investing Co. Building (1906-08). In Canada his sole work is the sumptuous house built for Robert Thompson Jr., Sydney Street at Mecklenburg Street, SAINT JOHN, N.B., 1889-90 (Daily Sun [Saint John], 8 Nov. 1890, 4, descrip.). Strategically sited at the corner of Queen Square, the exterior of this Queen Anne style residence is unique in the city for its deep semi-circular projecting bay which dominates the front facade. Terra cotta decoration surrounding the front entrance and windows is among the finest to be found in New Brunswick. Kimball died in New York City on 25 December 1919 (obit. New York Tribune, 29 Dec. 1919, 4; American Architect, cxvii, 7 Jan. 1920, 24; biog. and port. in National Cyclopedia of American Biography, xv, 79-80; H. Withey, Biographical Dictionary of American Architects, 1956, 343-4)