Friday, May 23, 2014

Mysteries of Our Lady of Vilnius: Architect Harrison G. Wiseman's Only Church

Why was our church designed and constructed by an architect best known for designing theatres?
Does anyone know anything about Mr. Wiseman's life and personality?  All I can find online is "Architect: Harrison G. Wiseman" for a succession of buildings.  The following is excerpted from Emilio Guerra's Flickr page for The Louis N. Jaffe Art Theater (Yiddish Art Theater/Yiddish Folks.  

The Architect and Design of the Theater Building..Harrison G. Wiseman (1878-1943), architect of the Louis N. Jaffe Art Theater Building, was bom in Springfield, Ohio, and is known to have practiced in New York City from around 1910 to 1939 had designed Our Lady of Vilna R.C. Church, 568-570 Broome Street, in 1910. Wiseman worked in association with a number of other architects, including Arthur G. Carlson, from around 1915 to 1926, and Hugo Taussig, in the mid-1920s and early 1930s; original Buildings Department drawings and application for Jaffe's building also list the names of [Hugo E.] Magnuson & [Edward W.] Kleinert. Wiseman designed the William Fox Motion Picture Studios (c. 1919-20) at 800 Tenth Avenue. All of Wiseman's other known commissions, over two dozen, were for theaters, many of them neighborhood movie theaters in Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx, including a number for the Loew's chain. ..His earliest known theater was the Penn (1910), a nickelodeon at 409 Eighth Avenue (demolished). Wiseman's other Manhattan theater commissions included the Union (1913), 505 West 42nd Street (demolished); the Bluebird (1920), 1763 Amsterdam Avenue; the Delancey (1922), 62 Delancey Street; the conversion of Oscar Hammers tcin's Manhattan Opera House (1906-07) into the Scottish Rite Temple (c. 1923), 311 West 34th Street; the Loew's Commodore (later the Fillmore East, 1925-26), 105 Second Avenue; the Hollywood (1926), 98 Avenue A; the first John Golden Theater (1926), 202 West 38th Street (demolished); and the Waverly (1937), 323 Sixth Avenue.".

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