Clarence Howard Blackall

Personal Data

Clarence Howard Blackall was born on February 3, 1857, in New York, the son of Rev. Christopher Rubey Blackall and his wife, Eliza Davis.

He married on December 5, 1883, in Boston, to Emma Lucretia Murray (b. 26Feb1861 in Boston), daughter of Richard F. Murray and Anna C. (LNU).

Clarence Blackall died on March 5, 1942.


Clarence Blackall was educated at the University of Illinois and the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris.  In 1884, he received the first Rotch Travelling Scholarship from the Boston Society of Architects.  He subsequently became chief draftsman for Peabody and Stearns, and started his own practice in 1888.

In about 1915, Blackall took two members of his office into partnership, James Ford Clapp and Charles A. Whittemore, forming the firm of Blackall, Clapp, and Whittemore.  In about 1931, Davis W. Clark, Jr., joined the partnership (he previously had worked as an architect in the firm for a number of years) and it became Blackall, Clapp, Whittemore, and Clark.

In his Built in Boston, Douglass Shand-Tucci describes Blackall as “widely regarded as the most experienced theater architect in the United States.” In Boston, he designed the Colonial (1899-1900), Modern (1913), Wilbur (1914), Scollay Square Olympia (1915), and Metropolitan (1924, later the Music Hall and then the Wang).

Blackall also designed a wide range of ecclesiastical and commercial buildings, including Our Savior Episcopal Church in Roslindale (1889); the Carter (later the Winthrop) Building (1893-1894) at 7 Water Street, Boston’s first entirely steel-framed building; the Baptist Tremont Temple (1895-1896); Temple Israel on Commonwealth (1907); the Copley Plaza Hotel (1912, in association with Henry Hardenberg); Hotel Kenmore (1915); the Little Building at Boylston and Tremont (1916); and Temple Ohabei Shalom (1928) in Brookline.  He also designed numerous apartment buildings.

Back Bay Work

1914 26 Exeter (Remodeling)