Cram & Ferguson, Architects

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Boston, Massachusetts


Ralph Adams Cram (1863-1942), Architect

Frank W. Ferguson 1861-1926), Architect

Ralph Adams Cram was born in Hampton Falls, New Hampshire, in 1863. After studying at Phillips Exeter Academy and touring Europe, Cram wrote art criticism for the Boston Transcript, and, as a result, apprenticed with the Boston architectural firm of Arthur Rotch and George Tilden from 1881-1885. Cram was a finalist in the Boston Court House competition of 1886 and placed second in the Massachusetts State House competition of the same year, proving his competence and worth as an architect. Subsequently, Cram opened his own Boston practice in conjunction with Charles Wentworth, in 1890. Cram became known as a leading proponent of the Gothic Revival style.[4]

Cram’s experience and knowledge of ecclesiastical art and architectural subjects, which he had garnered through his earlier European study tour, made him widely popular among church commissions. He was so popular that he designed over seventy cathedrals and churches. In 1891, Cram became business partners with Bertram G. Goodhue, and together they won the competition to rebuild the United State Military Academy at West Point, New York, in 1903. After winning additional competitions, including the Saint Thomas Church commission in 1906, and West Point’s Cadet Chapel in 1910, the firm received national recognition and praise. Cram died in 1942.[4]

This page is a contribution to the publication, Place Makers of Nebraska: The Architects. See the format and contents of Nebraska architect entries page for more information on the compilation and page organization.

First Presbyterian Church, 1925-1927, Lincoln (D. Murphy)

Nebraska Buildings & Projects

St. Marks Episcopal Pro-Cathedral (1919-1922), Hastings, Nebraska.[2][3] (AD04-035)

First Presbyterian Church (1925-1927), 840 S. 17th, Lincoln, Nebraska.[1][3][a] (LC13:D07-013)


a. Davis & Wilson were the local associates.[1]


Ralph Adams Cram, American Churches (New York: The American Architect, 1915).

_____, Church Building, Third Ed. (Boston: Marshall Jones Co., 1924).

_____, Convictions & Controversies (Boston: Marshall Jones Co., 1935).

_____, English Country Churches (Boston: Bates & Guild Co., 1898).

_____, “Have I a Philosophy of Design?” Pencil Points 13 (November 1932), 729.

_____, The Ministry of Art (Boston & New York: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1914).

_____, My Life in Architecture (Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 1936).

_____, "Retrogression, Ugliness," Architectural Forum 59 (July 1933).

_____, Six Lectures on Architecture (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1917).

_____, The Substance of Gothic (Boston: Marshall Jones Co., 1925).

Additional Bibliography

Allen, George H., "Cram--The Yankee Mediaevalist," Architectural Forum 55 (July, 1931), 79-80.

Cram, Ralph, and Frank Ferguson, “Gothic Architecture in Churches,” Architectural Forum (January 1936), 49.

“Ralph Adams Cram,” Architectural Forum 55 (July 1931), 79.

Schuyler, Montgomery, “Works of Cram, Goodhue and Ferguson,” Architectural Record 29 (January 1911), 1-112.

Spelman, Roger, “Chancels: Their Arrangement and Furniture,” American Architect 105 (February 18, 1914), 65.

Withey, Henry F., and Elsie Rathburn Withey. Biographical Dictionary of American Architects (Deceased). Los Angeles: Hennessey & Ingalls, Inc., 1970, 145-47.


1. Cram & Ferguson (Davis & Wilson, Associated), Architects, “First Presbyterian Church,” architectural working drawings, 1926; in Davis Fenton Stange Darling Collection, Nebraska State Historical Society, RG3748AM.

2. Dorothy Weyer Creigh, Adams County: A Story of the Great Plains (Hastings: Adams County-Hastings Centennial Committee, 1972), 621.

3. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

4. David Gebhard and Deborah Nevins, 200 years of American Architectural Drawing (New York: Watson-Guptill Publications, 1977), 156.

Page Citation

D. Murphy, “Cram & Ferguson, Architects,” in David Murphy, Edward F. Zimmer, and Lynn Meyer, comps. Place Makers of Nebraska: The Architects. Lincoln: Nebraska State Historical Society, November 18, 2014. Accessed, September 29, 2022.

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