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Walter T. Downing letter and travel article

Identifier: ahc.MSS689f

Scope and Content

This collection contains two textual items related to the design of the Fine Arts Building for the Cotton States and International Exposition of 1895. The first is a two-page letter from Horace Bradley, head of the Fine Arts Department at the 1895 Cotton States Exposition, to Walter T. Downing praising his design work on the Fine Arts Building. The second item is a page from a montly society and travel newspaper, The Chicago 400, with a picture of the Fine Arts Building designed by Downing.


  • 1895, undated


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use

Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright. All requests to publish, quote, or reproduce must be submitted through the Kenan Research Center.

Administrative/Biographical History

Walter T. Downing (1865-1918) was born in Boston, Massachusetts, and moved to Atlanta, Georgia, with his mother in 1876. He worked as a draftsman for Hannibal I. Kimball from 1884-1885 and then as an apprentice at the architectural firm, L. B. Wheeler and Company. Downing formed the firm W. T. Downing, Architect, in 1890. He won the design award for the Fine Arts Building for the Cotton States and International Exposition of 1895. He was responsible for designing several of Atlanta's oldest extant churches including Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (1898), Trinity United Methodist Church (1918), and First Presbyterian Chruch (1919). Downing designed office buildings for the Fairlie Poplar District in Atlanta with architect Thomas Morgan. He also designed buildings at Oglethorpe University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Shorter University in Rome, Georgia, and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Downing changed his focus to residences, and in 1897 he published Domestic Architecture. He is best known for is designs of private residences in Atlanta including the Wimbish House (1898); the Frank Ellis House (1910-1914); the John Grant House (1921); and the Dodson House (1915-1918). He died in 1918 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, after being struck by an automobile.


1 folder(s)



Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift, 1977

Related Archival Materials

Walter T. Downing visual arts material, VIS 200, James G. Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center.

Description Control

Collection processed in 2011.
Walter T. Downing letter and travel article
Paul Crater
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center Repository

130 West Paces Ferry Road
Atlanta GA 30305