Minard Lefever
B. 1798
D. 1854

Born near Morristown, New Jersey, Minard Lefever was an American architect of churches and houses.  He was a carpenter by trade and never formally trained as an architect.  Yet, four of his buildings were designated National Historic Landmarks.  They include the first Presbyterian Church (Sag Harbor, NY); St. Ann and the Holy Trinity Church; Old Merchant’s House (considered New York City’s prime example of a Greek Revival home); and Sailors Snug Harbor. Lefever’s work included Egyptian Revival and Gothic Revival styles. He worked in the Classical style until the 1840s, when he began to promote the Gothic style and is considered one of the leading masters of the Gothic Revival in America.


Minard Lefever's impact on American architecture of the nineteenth century was profound, mostly due to the wide dissemination of his publications and designs.  He wrote a series of books on architecture that showed how Greek Revival architecture should be built, enabling carpenters in communities without architects to construct their own Greek Revival buildings.  Lefever wrote five pattern books that were influential in spreading his Greek Revival style, including The Modern Builder's Guide (1833) and The Beauties of Modern Architecture (1839). His many New York City churches popularized various other revival styles, notably Gothic.


[View site]