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Male, born 1859-04-22, died 1929-09-17

Associated with the firms network

Bugbee, Charles L., Architect; Bugbee, S.C., and Son, Architects; Marquis, John, Architect; Schmidt and Shea, Architects; Schmidt, Peter R., Architect; Shea and Lofquist, Architects; Shea and Shea, Architects; Shea, Frank T., Architect


Professional History

Résumé

Draftsman, S.C. Bugbee and Son, Architects, San Francisco, CA, 1877. (See San Francisco, California, City Directory, 1877, p. 781.) Draftsman, Charles L. Bugbee, Architect, San Francisco, CA, 1878. (See San Francisco, California, City Directory, 1878, p. 768.) Draftsman, John Marquis, Architect, San Francisco, CA, 1880; Draftsman, Peter R. Schmidt, Architect, San Francisco, CA, c. 1884; as late as 1887, Shea was still listed as a draftsman in the San Francisco CIty Directory. (See San Francisco CIty Directory, 1887, p. 1070.) It is possible that Shea spent 1887-1888 in Paris studying at the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts. When he returned, he became elevated to partner with his former boss, Peter Schmidt.

Partner, [Peter R.] Schmidt and Shea, Architects, San Francisco, CA, 1889-1890. Their office was located at 103 Post Street in 1889. The partnership lasted only one year or so, before Shea incorporated with his brother, William.

Partner, Shea and [William D.] Shea, Architects, San Francisco, CA, 1891-1905. (See the San Francisco Directory, 1891, p. 1247 and San Francisco, California, City Directory, 1905, p. 1681.) From at least 1900 until 1904, Shea and Shea maintained their offices in the building at 26 Montgomery Street. (See San Francisco, California, City Directory, 1900, p. 1570 and San Francisco, California, City Directory, 1904, p. 1681.)

Shea was the architect of "New City Hall" construction campaign in 1896, and had his office on the second floor of the building in that year. The New City Hall was designed in 1871, begun in 1878, and completed just in time for it to be destroyed by the 1906 Earthquake. (See Crocker-Langley San Francisco, California, City Directory, 1896, p. 1418.)

City Architect, City of San Francisco, c. 1906-1908; Partner, Shea and [J.O.] Lofquist, Architects, San Francisco, CA, c. 1908-1920. (See San Francisco, California, City Directory, 1908, p. 1610, and San Francisco, California, City Directory, 1911, p. 1495, San Francisco, California, City Directory, 1919, p. 1485, and San Francisco, California, City Directory, 1920, p. 1429.) In 1908, Shea and Lofquist had an office at 1425 Post Street in San Francisco. (This was Shea's home residence at about this time.) A year later, they occupied the top floor of the Bank of Italy Building at 550 Montgomery Street. In 1918, the firm occupied quarters at 742 Market Street. (See San Francisco, California, City Directory, 1918, p. 1538.)

Partner, Shea and Shea, Architects, San Francisco, CA, 1924-1928. (See San Francisco, California, City Directory, 1924, p. 1280 andSan Francisco, California, City Directory, 1928, p. 1365.)

Professional Activities

Member, American Institute of Architects (AIA), San Francisco Chapter, c. 1912.

Frank Shea was an admirer of the architect D.H. Burnham, who spent the early 1900s residing in San Francisco, working on a comprehensive city master plan. At his death in 1912, Shea wrote a resolution mourning his death adopted by the San Francisco Chapter of the AIA and adopted at its June 1912 meeting. A portion of the resolution read as follows: "And Whereas, Mr. Burnham, through his talent and genius, not only as an architect mastering the most monumental architectural problems of our times, but an invincible business man of superb qualifications, has cased his name to stand out, singly and alone, in a field of architectural exploitations." (See "D.H. Burnham Resolutions," Architect and Engineer, vol. 30, no. 1, August 1912, p. 112.)

The American Art Annual of 1930, summarized Shea's career: "An Architect, died in Ross, Calif., Sept. 16, 1929. A native of Bloomington, Ill., he went to San Francisco at an early age, and upon completing his eduction there attended L'Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris. For thirty years he was one of the leading architects of San Francisco, being city architect for two years following the fire when he designed and supervised the building of the City Hall of Justice. He was best known for the Catholic Churches he designed in all parts of Calif." (SeeAmerican Art Annual, 1930, p. 418.)

Shea was credited as being the last of eight architects who worked on Augustus Laver's design for the San Francisco City Hall #4. A document authored by the City of San Francisco stated: "The design of the City Hall was a composite hybrid overseen by eight architects. The initial plans, won in a competition by Augustus Laver, were in the Second Empire style then popular for American civic buildings including new city halls in Philadelphia and Baltimore and the old Executive Office Building next to the White House. They called for a 453 foot tower over the front entrance which was a source of controversy for the next twenty five years when it was finally finished by Frank Shea, a Beaux Arts trained architect, with a dome at 335 feet." (See San Francisco Planning Department, Historic Resource Survey Case Report Adoption of Civic Center Cultural Landscape Inventory, 10/01/2014, n.p.)

Education

College

Coursework, École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris, France; it appears that Shea may have attended the École c. 1886. He obtained a US Passport in 09/1886.

Personal

Relocation

Born in Bloomington, IL, Frank T. Shea operated an architectural practice in San Francisco, CA, for many years. Shea resided at 2609 Polk Street in Russian Hill from at least 1878 until 1880. (See the San Francisco, California, City Directory, 1877, p. 781 and San Francisco Directory for the year commencing April, 1880, p. 820.)

He lived at 2613 Polk Street in 1890. (See the San Francisco Directory, 1891, p. 1247.) The architect had moved to 773 Haight Street by 1896.(See Crocker-Langley San Francisco, California, City Directory, 1896, p. 1418.)

From at least 1899-1905, Shea and his wife and son lived at 1425 Post Street in San Francisco, in the Western Addition neighborhood. (See San Francisco, California, City Directory, 1899, p. 1567 andAncestry.com, Source Citation Year: 1900; Census Place: San Francisco, San Francisco, California; Roll: 105; Page: 12A; Enumeration District: 0204; FHL microfilm: 1240105, accessed 11/18/2016.)

Shea moved to Ross, CA, by at least 1908. (See San Francisco, California, City Directory, 1908, p. 1610.)According to the US Census of 1920, Shea resided on Redwood Road in Ross, CA, with his wife and two children. (See Ancestry.com, Source Citation Year: 1920; Census Place: San Rafael, Marin, California; Roll: T625_120; Page: 13A; Enumeration District: 85; Image: 658, accessed 11/18/2016.)

The San Francisco City Directory, 1913, did indicate, however, that Shea resided at 1400 Jones Street in the city, not in Ross. (See San Francisco City Directory, 1913, p. 1640.)

Spouse

He married Beatrice Shea (born 03/1873 in CA) c. 1893. Her family was also of Irish descent.

Children

He had two children: Raymond (born 02/1895 in CA) and Bernice (born c. 1908 in CA). In 1920, Raymond worked as a draftsman in his father's architectural office.

The 1900 US Census indicated that Frank and Beatrice Shea had had two children, only one of whom was still alive in that year.

Biographical Notes

Several different birthdates for Frank Shea have been listed. A US Passport application (no. 7868) gave his birthday as being 04/22/1859. Find a Grave listed his birthday as 07/18/1861. The US Census of 1900 listed it as 04/1860. The California Death Index stated that his birth was "about 1869" (accessed 11/18/2016). Because the passport document bears his signature, it is presumably the most authoritative. (See Ancestry.com, Source Citation National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington D.C.; NARA Series: Passport Applications, 1795-1905; Roll #: 285; Volume #: Roll 285 - 01 Aug 1886-30 Sep 1886, accessed 11/18/2016.)

Shea was very successful designing churches for the Catholic Church in and around San Francisco, CA.

At age 27, his US Passport Application stated that Frank Shea stood 5-feet, 8-inches tall, had "blue eyes and light brown hair, with an oval face, straight nose, small mouth, long, pointed chin, and fair complexion." (See Ancestry.com, Source Citation National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington D.C.; NARA Series: Passport Applications, 1795-1905; Roll #: 285; Volume #: Roll 285 - 01 Aug 1886-30 Sep 1886, accessed 11/18/2016.)



Associated Locations

PCAD id: 1177