George Edmund Street (1824–1881)
Born in Woodford, Essex. A principal shaper of the architectural style later called ‘High Victorian’, he was also one of the most thoughtful architectural writers of his day. In 1844, aged twenty, he joined the office of George Gilbert Scott, with fellow assistants George Frederick Bodley and William White. Together they played an important role in a swift reshaping of architectural taste.
In 1849, he established his own practice, first in London and then in Wantage, Berkshire. He served as Oxford diocesan architect from 1850 until his death, a post he also held in a number of other dioceses. In 1856, having begun to establish a national reputation, he returned to London, his principal residence for the rest of his life.
George Edmund Street is now less famous as an architect of the Gothic Revival than George Gilbert Scott, and less famous than Ruskin as a critic of continental Gothic, though he was arguably more talented than both”1
In his early use of
He died before its completion at his home, 14 Cavendish Place, London, on 18 December 1881, after suffering two strokes. His death at the age of fifty-seven was surely hastened by the physical and emotional strain of work.
G.E. Street received all the honours of his profession. He was elected an associate of the Royal Academy in 1866 and a full member in 1871. In 1874 he was awarded the gold medal of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), and in 1881, the year of his death, he served both as president of RIBA and as professor of architecture at the Royal Academy.2
- Butler, D. and Priest, S. The Man. In: J. Elliot and J. Pritchard, ed., George Edmund Street: a Victorian architect in Berkshire, pp.11–28, (Reading: Centre for Continuing Education, University of Reading, 1998). ↩
- This description is largely based
on:David B. Brownlee, ‘Street, George Edmund (1824–1881)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, Jan 2008 [http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/26659, accessed 7 Nov 2017]↩