Archives of Maryland
(Biographical Series)

Laurence Hall Fowler (1876-1971)
MSA SC 3520-14895


Born on September 5, 1875, in Catonsville, Baltimore County, Maryland. Son of David Fowler (1836-1911), Judge of Baltimore County Circuit Court, 1882-1905, and Mary Brinkley. Graduated, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, 1898; Columbia University, New York, 1902; Ecole des Beaux Arts, Paris. Married Mary Joseph (1883-1980), 1926. Died in Baltimore City, Maryland, June 12, 1971.

Architect and designer of a number of private houses in the Baltimore region as well as a several public structures. In his early career, Fowler worked for several leading New York architects, including Bruce Price and Boring & Tilton. After a time studying classical architecture in Europe, Fowler returned to his native Baltimore, and worked with the firm Wyatt & Nolting. In 1906, he began to work independently; he continued until his retirement in 1945.

In 1921, Fowler proposal was selected in the design competition to build a War Memorial in Baltimore City. The memorial was the first of a number of public buildings and landmarks which Fowler designed. He planned and built several buildings in Annapolis for the State of Maryland, including the Memorial Hall of Records, built between 1934-1935, and the State Office Building, now known as the William S. James Senate Office Building, constructed 1938-1939. The Hall of Records and State Office Building were both carefully designed not only to blend into the Georgian-style architecture of Annapolis, but also to invoke and mirror elements of specific Annapolis buildings and landmarks. In that undertaking, Fowler also drew upon his training in classical architectural forms. Fowler also designed Hurd Memorial Hall, at Johns Hopkins University Hospital, and the John Work Garrett Library in Evergreen House.

Fowler was also a collector of historical architectural sources, including a large number of important Renaissance texts. In 1945, he donated this collection to the Johns Hopkins University, and it remains a significant source of influential material. It is housed in the Garrett Library that Fowler himself designed.

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