A young architect, Ward Wellington Ward, moved from New York
City to Syracuse, New York, in 1908 to practice architecture. During the
next eighteen years, he designed over 200 private residences in upstate New
York. Most of these works stand today as eloquent testimony to Ward's
talent and show him to be a figure of historical importance within the Arts and
Crafts movement in America.
Ward was born in Chicago in 1875, son of William D. and Emma
Hart Ward who were natives of England. Ward grew up in Detroit where he
attended public schools. From 1894 to 1897 he studied architecture at the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology but did not receive a degree. During
these years he met his future wife, Maude Moyer, of Syracuse, who was a student
at the Boston Conservatory of Music. The Wards married in 1900 and moved
to New York City where he practiced architecture. His only known design
from these years was a residence and stables for Mrs. H. G. Curry, built at
Magnolia, Massachusetts in 1905 and destroyed by fire in recent years.
The couple finally settled in Maude Ward's hometown, Syracuse,
in 1908. Her father, Harvey Moyer, the manufacturer of carriages and the
Moyer automobile, was a prominent businessman and social figure whose influence
probably helped Ward obtain his earliest commissions. Soon, however, Ward
was flourishing on his own. In 1914, after designing residences for more
than ninety clients, Ward built his home and studio, Lemoyne Manor, on land
across from his father-in-law's estate, Moyerdale, in Liverpool, a suburb of
Syracuse. There the Wards lived, worked, and raised their only child,
Peggy. Remnants of Ward's Lemoyne Manor can still be seen near the
entrance of the large motel-restaurant complex of the same name constructed
around the original building after World War II.
Two-thirds of Ward's houses are in the City of Syracuse, most of
them on scattered sites, but some concentrated in certain areas developed in the
1920's, notably those of the Scottholm, Sedgwick Farms, Berkeley Park, and
Onondaga Park. Occasionally Ward designed a house in such other upstate
towns as Ilion, Watertown, Gouverneur, Baldwinsville, Liverpool, and Manlius.
In 1912, he was called upon by three Oneida Community Ltd. executives to design
their new residences in Sherrill. Freely based on the Colonial and Shingle
styles of the previous century, these houses offer a strong contrast to the
large imposing nineteenth century Oneida Community Ltd. administration building
next to which they stand. The house of Gerard Wayland-Smith is one of
Ward presented his ideas to his clients in very attractive pen
and watercolor sketches. These architectural renderings and perspectives
are drawn with great skill and command attention in their own right as works of
art. Ward had a virtuoso talent for producing these studies quickly and in
In the early 1920's, Houston Barnard, a land developer, opened
up new streets off East Avenue in Rochester, New York, and also in nearby
Pittsford and Brighton. Ward became involved in this development by
preparing a large number of watercolors illustrating a rich variety of styles
for one of Barnard's enterprising salesmen, Irving Hames, who used them to win
commissions for Ward in Rochester. Hames' energetic efforts, and Ward's
highly attractive designs, resulted in at least thirty-eight known houses in
Rochester. Others probably exist and are yet to be identified.
Though Ward mainly designed private residences, he occasionally
worked in other genres. In Syracuse, he designed an addition to the Henry
Schmeer Box Factory in 1911 (since demolished) and "Sherbrook," an apartment
building for George Wilson on Walnut Avenue in 1914. He also extensively
remodeled several historic houses and their interiors in Syracuse, most notably
a Greek revival house of the 1830's at Salt Springs Road and East Genesee Street
for Harry Burhans in 1916, and an Italianate house on Highland Avenue for Donald
Dey in 1919. In 1916, he remodeled the Romanesque St. Paul's Paris House,
built in Oswego in 1871 (demolished in 1978). Ward's sensitivity to the
challenges of remodeling nineteenth century houses produced results that are
always individualistic and up-to-date but do not conflict with the integrity of
the original style.
Ward's last known design, dated 1926, was for Dr. F. K. Holzworth
in Rochester. In that year his career ended abruptly. He became ill
and was hospitalized for six years before he died at the age of 57 in 1932.
elevation, William W. Wiard Residence, James Street, Syracuse, 1914
(Excerpted from The Arts & Crafts Ideal: The Ward House, an Architect &
His craftsmen by Cleota Reed. The institute for the Development of Evolutive Architecture, Inc., Syracuse, New York.