Clarence H. Blackall (1857-1942) was a leader in the Boston architecture scene at the beginning of the 20th century, leaving a particular mark in his designs for theaters across the region.
A graduate of the University of Illinois School of Architecture and the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, Blackall arrived in Boston in 1882. He was the first recipient of the BSA's Rotch Traveling Scholarship in 1884, and ten years later established himself as an innovator and master of detail with his Winthrop Building, the first steel frame structure in the city. The Tremont Temple followed, and then he focused principally on the booming demand for theaters, and became the foremost theater architect in the U.S. Many of his local projects have been demolished, but the Colonial, Wilbur, Modern and Metropolitan (now the Boch Center/Wang Theater) remain.
Blackall was a senior member of local firm Blackall, Clapp and Whittemore, established in 1915. In 1889, he helped establish the Boston Architectural College as a club for local architects and as a training program for draftsmen.
Image: Emerson College