George Snell was born in 1820 in London, England.
He died on February 23, 1893, in Boston.
George Snell was unmarried.
George Snell graduated from the Institute of Civil Engineering in London. He immigrated to Boston in 1849 and began practice as an architect almost immediately. In 1852, he designed the 2,000 seat Music Hall (later the Orpheum) Theater near the corner of Tremont and Winter Streets. Also in that year, he enlarged Christ Church in Cambridge. In 1858-1860 he designed the Chapel of St. Paul (the “Old Chapel”) at St. Paul’s School in Concord, New Hampshire.
In about 1862, he joined in partnership with James R. Gregerson in the firm of Snell and Gregerson. The firm continued until Snell’s death in 1893.
Bainbridge Bunting (Houses of Boston’s Back Bay) comments that the “work of Snell and Gregerson…possesses a stylistic consistency too strong to pass unnoticed. … While many of their contemporaries merely manipulated Classical forms, Snell and Gregerson, more perhaps than any other contemporary Boston firm, demonstrated a sympathy and understanding of orderly, Academic design. Although disciplined, their designs are not the rigid mechanical exercises which less gifted academicians so often produced in the name of Classicism. Usually they demonstrate a good deal of freedom and originality in handling Classical detail but these decorative variations never obscure the architectonic clarity of the composition. In their hands the French Academic formula is both dignified and adaptable.”
Snell also was associated with Henry Greenough (brother of the sculptor, Horatio Greenough), with whom he designed University Museum at Harvard in 1865, and added to it in 1871 (“plain and clean-cut, factory-like in its design,” according to Douglas Shand-Tucci in Built in Boston).
Back Bay Work