Placeography:Featured place/2011-12

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[Clarence Johnston]

Although born in rural Minnesota, Johnston spent the bulk of his life and career in St. Paul. He was educated in the city's public schools and began his career in the office of local architect, Abraham M. Radcliffe, in 1874 while still a student at St. Paul High School. There he met and befriended fellow-apprentice Cass Gilbert. In 1878 the friends both entered the new MIT Department of Architecture. With good local connections through James Power, an associate of Railroad magnate James J. Hill, Johnston soon gained a number of important commissions to build homes for prominent Minnesotans, including Power, William R. Merriam, Chauncey Griggs, and Addison Foster. Starting in the late 1890s this led to a long association between Johnston and the State of Minnesota, which saw the architect design many buildings for state institutions, particularly state hospitals, the state university system and the University of Minnesota. One of the buildings Johnston designed was for the Minnesota Historical Society.
Gracious Spaces Clarence H. Johnston
Life and Work of Clarence Johnston
St. Paul’s Architecture
The Minnesota Historical Society

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