William Robert Ware was born on May 27, 1832, in Cambridge, the son of Henry Ware and his wife, Mary Lovell Picard.
He died on June 9, 1915, in Milton.
William Ware was unmarried.
William Ware graduated from Harvard College in 1852 and the Lawrence Scientific School in 1856. He became an apprentice with Edward Clarke Cabot and then, in 1859, entered the atelier of Richard Morris Hunt in New York, where he met Henry Van Brunt. In 1860, he began practice in Boston with Edward S. Philbrick, and in 1863 formed a partnership with Van Brunt, Ware and Van Brunt. Ware was the engineering specialist and Van Brunt the designer.
In 1865, Ware became head of the new architectural school at MIT, the first school of its type in the United States. He also continued to practice with Van Brunt, and the partnership remained until 1881, when Ware moved to New York to establish a school of architecture at Columbia University.
Ware and Van Brunt built numerous institutional, ecclesiastical, and residential buildings. Perhaps their best known is Memorial Hall at Harvard (designed between 1865 and 1871, and completed in 1878), which Douglass Shand-Tucci (Built in Boston) called “one of the great Ruskinian Gothic landmarks in America.” Other works included First Church of Boston (1865), St. John’s Chapel (1868) at the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Hotel Hamilton (1869, demolished) at the northwest corner of Commonwealth and Clarendon, Weld Hall at Harvard (1870), St. Stephen’s Church in Lynn (1880), Harvard Medical School (1881) on Boylston between Dartmouth and Exeter, and portions of Wellesley College.
Ware retired in about 1902.
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