Amos J. Boyden was born in East Foxboro, MA, and received his degree in architecture from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1875. For several years he was a draftsman with Cabot & Chandler in Boston, and in their employ he came to Philadelphia to supervise construction of the Insurance Co. of North America Building. Cabot & Chandler first appear in the Philadelphia city directories in 1881, but the Boyden's obituary from the January 1904 AIA Quarterly states that he arrived in Philadelphia in 1879.) When Cabot & Chandler closed their office in Philadelphia at the completion of the Imperial Building at 411-13 Walnut Street, around 1884, Boyden remained, establishing his own practice in the same offices.
Although Boyden maintained a general practice in the Philadelphia area, by 1898 he had been appointed Superintendent of Construction under the Supervising Architect of the U.S. Treasury Department, James Knox Taylor, his former partner in the firm of Boyden & Taylor, 1893-1898. In this capacity, he supervised the construction of the U.S. Post Office in Camden, NJ, and the U.S. Mint Building in Philadelphia. In 1902 Boyden moved to Indianapolis, IN, to work on the U.S. Court House and Post Office Building, which had been designed by the Philadelphia firm of Rankin & Kellogg. He was engaged in Indianapolis at the time of his death in 1903.
The 1903/04 Annual Exhibition catalog for the T-Square Club was dedicated to Boyden and began with this note: "Holding toward his profession the noblest traditions and highest ideals, he ever followed them in sunshine and in shadow." On 7 December 1903 a special meeting of the T-Square Club had been convened to mark Boyden's death, and he was eulogized for his years of service both to the profession and to Philadelphia architecture in general. In fact, Boyden did have a long relationship with the club. He had been nominated as a member of the T-Square Club in 1883 by Walter Cope. By 1885 he was elected to the Executive Committee, where he remained through 1889. He was equally active in the Philadelphia Chapter of the AlA, serving as secretary for that organization for nearly 15 years, traveling to London to report on dwellings for the Chapter in 1897 with the support of the Joseph Koecker legacy. In 1889 he became a Fellow of the national AlA. He was a charter member of the Philadelphia Art Club and a staff lecturer for the architectural classes of the University of Pennsylvania. He also served as a member of the Publication Committee for the Journal of Architecture and as a judge for the architectural drawing competitions at Spring Garden Institute (1889/90).
Sandra L. Tatman.
Clubs and Membership Organizations
- Philadelphia Art Club
- American Institute of Architects (AIA)
- Philadelphia Chapter, AIA
- T-Square Club
- University of Pennsylvania
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
- Spring Garden Institute
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