Calvert Vaux, although chiefly known as a New York architect and landscape designer, did provide plans for the Main Building of the Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia (plans, 1873). He collaborated in this effort with engineer George Radford; however, their plans proved too costly; and the work of other architects was eventually employed.
Vaux was born in England and came to the United States after meeting Andrew Jackson Downing in London in 1850. Together the two changed the American approach to integrating buildings into the landscape, with Vaux providing designs for several of Downing's seminal publications. Following Downing's death in 1852, Vaux established other partnerships and then published Villas and Cottages in 1857. After his 1856 move to New York City, Vaux undertook several large residential commissions and also collaborated with Frederick Law Olmsted on designs for Central Park. With this major commission in hand, Vaux continued working in park design and eventually would be associated with several other city park systems, including those for Brooklyn and Chicago.
In 1876 Vaux established Vaux & Radford for his architectural work and Vaux & Company (with Samuel Parsons, Jr.) for his landscaping concerns.
Sandra L. Tatman.
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