William Martin Aitken, Washington, d.c.
Supervising Architect of the Treasury Department, 1895 - 1897
(Born 1855, Charleston, South Carolina; died 1908)
After attending the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he worked in various Boston offices including the office of Henry Hobson Richardson. In 1885, he moved to Cincinnati, Ohio and continued in the architectural field. Appointed Supervising Architect of the Treasury in 1895.1 In 1897, he published an article detailing the design process and philosophy for the office of Supervising Architect of the Treasury. The Saginaw Post Office was featured as an example.2 Reflective of the institutional nature of the office and the number of designers employed, public buildings executed during his tenure vary greatly in style. When he resigned from the position in 1897, the American Architect stated that as Supervising Architect of the Treasury “he brought . . . high training and perfect integrity, and he labored earnestly and successfully to make the Government building-work a creditable feature in the artistic development of the country.”3
Representative Work as Supervising Architect of the Treasury:
United States Post Office, Saginaw, Michigan
United Sates Mint, Denver, Colorado
U.S. Mint, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
1 Lee, Antoinette J. Architects to the Nation: The Rise and Decline of the Supervising Architect’s Office. New York: Oxford UP, 2000.
2Aitken, William Martin: "The Architecture of Our Government Buildings." Engineering Magazine, Vol 12 October1896 - March 1897. 815-830.
3“Summary” American Architect and Builders News. 8 May 1897. pg 42 as quoted in Lee, Antoinette J., Architects to the Nation: The Rise and Decline of the Supervising Architect’s Office. New York: Oxford UP, 2000. 196.