FULLER, Albert W. (1854-1934) of Albany, N.Y. was a leading figure in the New York state who sustained a professional career for nearly fifty years. Born in Clinton, N.Y. he trained under Ogden & Wright of Albany and began practise there under his own name in 1880, then as Fuller & Wheeler (1883-97), as Albert W. Fuller (1897-1900), as Fuller & Pitcher (1900-09) and as Fuller& Robinson (1910-23). When Fuller & Wheeler began their first Canadian commission in 1888, they became embroiled in controversy with members of the Canadian architectural profession who challenged their credentials to design the Montreal headquarters of the Young Men's Christian Association, who argued that many experienced Montreal architects were fully capable to handling the work. The lack of expertise of the American designers was affirmed when, during the early construction, a large exterior column and a portion of the foundation collapsed (Gazette [Montreal], 25 March 1891, 3).
Fuller had considerably more success with his residential designs, one of which still stands in Brockville, Ont. and has recently been listed as a national historic site. Commissioned by Senator George T. Fulford, the reserved and unprepossessing exterior of his mansion, built 1899-1900, encloses a sumptuous interior reminiscent of the great country houses in Newport, Rhode Island and Long Island, N.Y. Fuller's best known works in Albany include the YMCA (1886-87), Masonic Temple (1895-96), Albany Hospital (1898-99), and the Albany Institute of History & Art (1907). He was also author of a book of his own designs entitled Artistic Homes In City and Country, first published in 1882 and revised and enlarged through five editions. Fuller died in Albany on 3 October 1934 (obituary New York Times, 4 Oct. 1934, 23; Times-Union [Albany], 4 Oct. 1934; biog. & list of works Historic Albany Foundation, Albany Architects, 1978, 16-17; list of works in Diana S. Waite, Albany Architecture, 1993, 85-87, 102-04, 142, 161, 163-4, 208, 210, 213, 218, 225, illus. & descrip.)
FULLER & WHEELER
MONTREAL, QUE., Young Men's Christian Association, Dominion Square, 1889-91; demol. (Gazette [Montreal], 17 Oct. 1888, 3; 18 Jan. 1889, 2, illus. & descrip. but lacking attribution; 25 March 1891, 3)
BROCKVILLE, ONT., mansion for George T. Fulford, 1899-1900 (C.R., ix, 12 Oct. 1898, 2; C.A.B., xii, Feb. 1899, plate illus.; American Architect & Building News [New York], lxx, 13 Oct. 1900, plate illus. credited to 'Fuller & Pitcher'; City & Country Home [Toronto], Feb. 1988, 60-9, illus. & descrip.; Pierre du Prey et al, Ah, Wilderness! Resort Architecture in the Thousand Islands, 2004, 62-7, illus. & descrip.)