Charles Hercules Rutan

Personal Data

Charles Hercules Rutan was born on March 28, 1851, in Newark, New Jersey, the son of Nicholas Warren Rutan and his wife, Sarah Elizabeth Marsh.

He married to Sarah Ellen Brower (b. Oct1852 in Bloomfield NJ).

Charles Rutan died on December 14, 1914, in Brookline.


Charles Rutan apprenticed in the New York office of Gambrill and Richardson in 1868. When Henry Hobson Richardson moved to Brookline, Rutan came with him and served as one of his chief designers.

in June of 1886 (shortly after Richardson’s death), Rutan joined with George Foster Shepley (Richardson’s son-in-law) and Charles Allerton Coolidge (Shepley’s brother-in-law) to form Shepley, Rutan, and Coolidge, successors to Richardson’s firm. Both Shepley and Coolidge had worked in Richardson’s office.

Shepley died in 1903. After Rutan’s death in 1914, Charles Coolidge took into partnership George Shattuck, who had been with the firm for many years, and the firm became Coolidge and Shattuck.

Shepley, Rutan, and Coolidge designed numerous buildings of note, among them the Stanford University’s Quadrangle in Palo Alto (1888-1891); Bell Telephone Building in St. Louis (1889); the Chicago Public Library (1892); South Station in Boston (1892); the Ames Building (1893) in Boston; completion of Trinity Church in Boston, including refining the two west towers and adding the tripartite porch (1894-1897); Conant Hall at Harvard (1894); the John Carter Brown library at Brown University (1904); the Harvard Medical School (1906); and Langdell Hall at Harvard Law School (1907).

Back Bay Work

1899 15 Commonwealth (Remodeling) [Shepley, Rutan, and Coolidge]
1901 403 Commonwealth [Shepley, Rutan, and Coolidge]