Arthur Rotch was born on May 13, 1850, in Boston, the son of Benjamin Smith Rotch and his wife Annie Bigelow (Lawrence) Rotch.
He married on November 16, 1892, in Bristol, Rhode Island, to Elisa (Lisette) deWolf Colt (b. 11Nov1867 in Bristol RI; d. 28Mar1933 in Jean-Cap-Ferrat, France), daughter of George Colt and his wife, Eleanor Brown. After his death, she married again, in June of 1897, to Ralph Wormeley Curtis (b. 1854; d. 1922), an artist.
Arthur Rotch died on August 15, 1894, in Beverly.
Arthur Rotch graduated from Harvard in 1871 and then studied architecture at MIT for two years. He worked briefly in the offices of Ware and Van Brunt, and then travelled and studied in Europe from 1874 to 1880, including time at the Atelier Vaudremer at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris. On his return to Boston, he went into partnership with George T. Tilden, who also had worked in the Ware and Van Brunt offices and at the Atelier Vaudremer. The partnership continued until Rotch’s death in 1894.
Rotch and Tilden undertook churches, suburban and town residences, libraries, and similar projects. Among their works were the Churches of the Messiah and the Ascension in Boston; the gymnasium at Phillips Exeter Academy; libraries at Bridgewater and Groton; Milton Town Hall; Blue Hill Observatory; and Farnsworth Art Museum at Wellesley College (1887-1889; demolished in 1958).
In October of 1883, Arthur Rotch and his siblings established and endowed the Rotch Travelling Fellowship of the Boston Society of Architects, in memory of their father, Benjamin S. Rotch, who died in August of 1882. The Fellowship provides grants to young architects, enabling them to travel in Europe and further their knowledge of the field.
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