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Born: 1827

Generally associated with Chicago, where he established a practice in 1857, Theodore V. Wadskier was born on the Island of St. Croix and educated at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Copenhagen, Denmark. In 1850 he migrated to the United States and by 1851 appears in the Philadelphia city directories as an architect at 146 Walnut Street. One intriguing reference in the 1 November 1850 issue of the Public Ledger suggests that Wadskier was in Philadelphia by that date and in association with Samuel Sloan as joint propietors of a Drawing Academy where they taught "everything connected with Carpenters and Builders, Ornamenters in Painting and Stucco, Stone and Wood Carvers...." In 1852 he formed a brief partnership (1852-1853) with Peter A. Nicholson with offices at 103 Walnut Street. The same year, Nicholson & Wadskier published The Practical Sculptor, Comprising a Series of Original Designs for Monuments, Mantles, Balustrades, & Adapted to the Present Taste and Style of Architecture (Philadelphia: 1852).

According to the Bulletin of the Illinois Society of Architects, Wadskier moved to Chicago in 1857--his last Philadelphia directory listing is for 1856--"where he set up as an architect and prospered, designing and carrying out churches, business blocks and residences. The savings accumulated through the years were wiped out by the Chicago Fire of 1871, and Wadskier, undaunted, continued to practice in Chicago. At least one of his buildings still exists at 32 South Wells Street."

Late in his career, Wadskier was joined in Chicago by Philadelphia-born Henry P. Harned (1849-1934) who moved there in 1872. Harned succeeded to the practice when Wadskier retired.

Written by Roger W. Moss.

 

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