Ogden Codman, Jr.

Personal Data

Ogden Codman, Jr., was born on January 19, 1863, in  Boston, the son of Ogden Codman and his wife Sarah Fletcher Bradlee (daughter of James Bowdoin Bradlee).

He married on October 5, 1904, to Leila Howard Griswold (b. 1856; d. 21Jan1910), daughter of John Augustus Griswold and widow of Henry Walter Webb.

Ogden Codman died on January 8, 1951, at Château de Grégy, near Brie-Compte-Robert, France.


From about 1872, Ogden Codman, Jr.,  lived with his family in Dinard, France.  In 1882, he was apprenticed to a German banking firm in Bonn.  He disliked the work and returned to Boston to live with his uncle, John Hubbard Sturgis, an architect and partner in Sturgis and Brigham.  Under his uncle’s direction, he enrolled at MIT, which he left after a year.  In 1886, he joined the staff of the newly formed Boston firm of Andrews and Jaques.  During this period, he began to record many important 18th century houses in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Washington, using photographs and measured drawings.  He became a friend of Arthur Little and Herbert W. C. Browne, and they became known collectively as the “colonial trinity” because of their devotion to colonial revival styles.

In September 1889, he received notice from Robert Andrews, who complained that his performance was marked by an “indifference to succeed.”  In 1890, Little and Browne formed their own firm, while Codman entered independent practice.  He developed a clientele in Boston and Newport, including (in 1893) Theodore and Edith Wharton, whose Land’s End in Newport he remodelled.  With her, he co-authored The Decoration of Houses in 1897, which extolled the “delicacy, harmony, and taste” of the eighteenth century French classical style.

Over the subsequent 30 years, he completed a number of architectural, remodelling, and interior decoration commissions, primarily in Boston, the Berkshires, Newport, and Manhattan.  In Boston, his work included designing the American Mutual Liability Insurance Co.’s building at 32 Beacon, remodelling (with Herbert W. C. Browne) the interiors of the Somerset Club, and remodelling the interiors (and occasionally the exteriors) of a number of residences.

In 1920, he retired and moved to France.  In 1926, he purchased and remodelled the Château de Grégy at Brie-Compte-Robert, southwest of Paris.  In 1929-1931, he built La Leopolda at Villefranche-sur-Mer on the Riviera, on an estate he purchased from King Leopold of Belgium.  The depression forced him to lease La Leopolda to others, and he returned to the Château de Grégy, where he died.

For more information, see: Ogden Codman and the Decoration of Houses, Pauline C. Metcalf,

Back Bay Work

1895 303 Berkeley (147 Beacon) (Interior)
1898 15 Commonwealth (Interior)
1901 170 Beacon (Remodeling)
1903 (ca.) 164 Marlborough (Interior)
1909 65 Marlborough (Interior)
1915 111 Commonwealth (Remodeling)