view all images ( of 9 shown)

Male, UK/US, born 1863-10-01, died 1933-03-27

Associated with the firms network

Coxhead and Coxhead, Architects; Coxhead, Ernest, Architect


Professional History

Résumé

Apprentice, George Wallis, Civil Engineer-Architect, Eastbourne, UK, 1878-1883; of this period with Wallis in the seaside town of Eastbourne, Longstreth has indicated: "In 1878, when Coxhead entered the office, Wallis also listed himself as an architect and was designing villas for the town's burgeoning summer population. Over the next five years, the young apprentice worked on both engineering projects and residential commissions, receiving a thorough introduction to the technical aspects of his future calling." (See Richard Longstreth, On the Edge of the World, [New York: Architectural History Foundation] and Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1983], p.41.)

Building Supervisor, Frederic Chancellor, Architect, London, UK, 1883-1886.

Principal, Ernest A. Coxhead, Architect, Los Angeles, CA, 01/1887-1890; the entry in the Los Angeles City Directory, 1888, called the firm: "Coxhead, Ernest A., 75 North Spring." (See Los Angeles, California, City Directory, 1888, p. 768.) The Los Angeles, CA, City Directory, 1890,noted that the firm of Ernest A. Coxhead had its offices in Room #36 of the California Bank Building. (See Ancestry.com, Source Information: Los Angeles, California City Directories, 1888-90 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2000, accessed 12/21/2016.)

Partner, Coxhead and Coxhead, Architects, San Francisco, CA, 1891-1928. Ernest and Almeric Coxhead both resided in San Francisco, according to the Crocker-Langley San Francisco City Directories of 1896 and 1898, (see p. 452 and 462, respectively), maintaining an office at 120 Sutter Street in the Financial District. The 1896 directory indicated that it was in Room #45.

The Crocker-Langley San Francisco City Directoriesof 1900and 1903 indicated that the firm was called "Coxhead and Coxhead." In the former year, Almeric continued to reside in Los Angeles; by 1903, he had moved to San Francisco to work in the firm's office at 120 Sutter Street (See Crocker-Langley San Francisco City Directory, 1900, p. 471 and Crocker-Langley San Francisco City Directory, 1903, p. 497.) As of 1905, Coxhead and Coxhead's office was located at 731 Sutter Street. (See Crocker-Langley San Francisco City Directory, 1905, p. 510.) The Coxhead and Coxhead office operated at 333 Grant Avenue in 1910. (See Crocker-Langley San Francisco City Directory, 1910, p. 1846.)

Professional Activities

Coxhead was made a member of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) in 11/1886.

Member, Board of Directors, San Francisco Society of Architects, San Francisco, CA, 1917.

Coxhead had a long professional relationship with the Episcopal Church in California, having designed at least six of its churches in the state. In 10/1921, he served as a juror for an architectural competition at Saint John's Episcopal Church, Los Angeles.

Professional Awards

Silver Medal, Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), 1885, awarded for measured drawings of the Church of Ottery Saint Mary in Devon, England.

Archives

According to architectural historian Richard Longstreth, the office records of Coxhead and Coxhead were destroyed. (See Richard Longstreth, On the Edge of the World, [New York: Architectural History Foundation, and Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1983], p. 394.)

Education

College

Coursework, Royal Academy of Fine Arts, London, UK, 07/1883-1886; attended evening classes at the Architectural Association, London, UK, c. 1883-1886.

Personal

Relocation

For his first eight years, Ernest Coxhead's family lived an itinerant life in boarding houses before being able to buy a small house in the Sussex town of Eastbourne in 1871. He apprenticed here between 1878-1883, and then moved to London where he entered the employ of Frederic Chancellor, an architect adept at restoring old churches.

Coxhead traveled from Liverpool, England, to New York, NY, arriving in the latter on 09/14/1886. (See Ancestry.com, Source Citation National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington, D.C.; Naturalization Records in the Superior Court of Los Angeles, California, 1876-1915; Microfilm Roll: 7; Microfilm Serial: M1614, accessed 12/21/2016.) A later passport application from 1918, indicated that Coxhead left England for the US in 11/1885 aboard the R.M.S. Lucania, although this could not have been correct. The Cunard liner, Lucania, was not launched until 02/02/1893, and earlier naturalization documents closer to the time of departure indicated a travel date in 09/1886. (See Ancestry.com, Source Citation National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington D.C.; NARA Series: Passport Applications, January 2, 1906 - March 31, 1925; Roll #: 585; Volume #: Roll 0585 - Certificates: 34500-34749, 12 Sep 1918-14 Sep 1918, accessed 12/21/2016.)

By 01/1887, he had opened an architectural office in Los Angeles with his brother, Almeric. (Almeric looked after the accounting side of the office.) Why he left England is not known. Longstreth hyposthesized: "The only clues to Coxhead's motivation for moving to so distant and provincial a place are circumstantial. The most likely factor was a promise of work from the Episcopal diocese. Between 1887 and 1889, Coxhead designed the great majority of southern California's new Episcopal churches." (See Richard Longstreth, On the Edge of the World, [New York: Architectural History Foundation] and Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1983], p.47.)

In 1887, Ernest and his brother, Sylvester (Almeric), resided at Fort Street (now Broadway) in the city's downtown. Another possible relation, William S. Coxhead, worked as a carpenter at the Mechanics' Mill at this time and, according to the city directory lived at 23 South Fort Street. This may have been a mistake, and the three may have lived together. (See Los Angeles, California, City Directory, 1887, p. 150.)

He resettled in Northern California in late 1889 or early 1890, and stayed here for the remainder of his life. He roomed with his brother Almeric according to the Crocker-Langley San Francisco City Directories of 1896 and 1898, (see p. 452 and 462, respectively), at 2421 Green Street.

In 1900, he continued to reside at 2421 Green Street in San Francisco. (See Crocker-Langley San Francisco City Directory, 1900, p. 471.) Three years later, he had given up this apartment at 2421 Green to his brother, Almeric, and had moved to a residence in San Mateo, CA.(See Crocker-Langley San Francisco City Directory, 1903, p. 497.) He continued to live in San Mateo in 1905. (See Crocker-Langley San Francisco City Directory, 1905, p. 510.)

Parents

His father, William Palmer Coxhead, worked as a schoolmaster and innkeeper in Hampstead and Eastbourne, Sussex, England. His family had a relatively unstable existence, moving frequently from boarding house to boarding house. The Coxheads had six children, Ernest being the fourth. Ernest worked with an older brother, Almeric (1861-1928), for his entire career until the latter's death in 1928. (See Richard Longstreth, On the Edge of the World, [New York: Architectural History Foundation] and Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1983], p.41.)

The 1871 English Census recorded that William P. and his wife, Mary M, managed a lodging house in Eastbourne. The family consisted of the parents and their children Mary L.J. (born c. 1851 in Putney, Surrey), Ernestine (born c. 1861 in Westcott, Surrey), Almeric (born c. 1862 in Eastbourne, Sussex), Ernest, Gertrude (born c. 1867 in Eastbourne, Sussex), and Ada (born c. 1870 in Eastbourne, Sussex). In 1871, only Mary L.J had a job, that of a shopkeeper's assistant. The household also included three, live-in servants: Mary Thomas, a cook, (born c. 1845 in Eastbourne, Sussex), Hannah Haggett, a housemaid, (born c. 1849 in Eastbourne, Sussex), and Annie Lowe, a nursemaid, (born perhaps 1857 in Eastbourne, Sussex).

Spouse

Ernest married Helen Coxhead (born 02/1869 in MA) c 1897.

Children

He and Helen had one son, John, (born 06/1898 in San Francisco, CA).

Biographical Notes

Coxhead declared his intention to become a naturalized US citizen on 07/18/1889 in the Superior Court of Los Angeles, CA. See Ancestry.com, Source Citation National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington, D.C.; Naturalization Records in the Superior Court of Los Angeles, California, 1876-1915; Microfilm Roll: 7; Microfilm Serial: M1614, accessed 12/21/2016.) He was naturalized in San Francisco Superior Court in 1895. (See Ancestry.com, Source Citation California State Library, California History Section; Great Registers, 1866-1898; Collection Number: 4 - 2A; CSL Roll Number: 103; FHL Roll Number: 977259, accessed 12/21/2016.)

Traveling on the S.S. Britannia, Ernest arrived from a trip between Liverpool and New York on 03/10/1894. (See Ancestry.com, Source Citation Year: 1894; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: M237, 1820-1897; Microfilm Roll: Roll 623; Line: 14; Page Number: 5, accessed 12/21/2016.)

According to the San Francisco voter registration logs for 1896, Ernest Coxhead stood 5-feet, 11-and-3/4-inches tall, with a light complexion, green eyes and dark hair. (See Ancestry.com, Source Citation California State Library, California History Section; Great Registers, 1866-1898; Collection Number: 4 - 2A; CSL Roll Number: 103; FHL Roll Number: 977259, accessed 12/21/2016.)


PCAD id: 646


NameDateCityState
1st Congregational Church #3, Los Angeles, CA 1889Los AngelesCA
1st English Lutheran Church, Downtown, Los Angeles, CA 1888Los AngelesCA
Beta Theta Pi Fraternity House #1, Northside, Berkeley, CA1893-1894BerkeleyCA
Bixby Ranch House, Long Beach, CA1890Long BeachCA
Carrigan, Andrew, Sr., and Eliza G. Harris, House, San Anselmo, CA1892San AnselmoCA
Chamberlain, W.E., House, Berkeley, CA1892BerkeleyCA
Chapel of the Holy Innocents, San Francisco, CA1890San FranciscoCA
Continental Hotel, San Francisco, CA1907San FranciscoCA
Coxhead, Ernest and Almeric, House, San Mateo, CA1893San MateoCA
Earl, Edwin T., House, Los Angeles, CA1897-1898Los AngelesCA
Episcopal Diocese of California, All Saints' Episcopal Church #1, Pasadena, CA 1888-1889PasadenaCA
Episcopal Diocese of California, Church of Saint John the Evangelist, San Francisco, CA 1889-1891San FranciscoCA
Episcopal Diocese of California, Church of the Angels, Highland Park, Pasadena, CA1889-1889PasadenaCA
Episcopal Diocese of California, Church of the Ascension, Sierra Madre, CA1887-1888Sierra MadreCA
Episcopal Diocese of Northern California, Christ Church Episcopal #1, Los Altos, CA1913Los AltosCA
Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin, Saint John's Episcopal Church, Guild Hall, Stockton, CA1889StocktonCA
Harker's, Miss, School, Palo Alto, CAPalo AltoCA
Porter, Bruce, House, San Francisco, CA1903-1904San FranciscoCA
Scott, Irving, Apartment House, Alamo Square, San Francisco, CA1900San FranciscoCA
Sturgis House, Los Angeles, CA1889-1890Los AngelesCA
Whittell, George, House, Sam Francisco, CA1893San FranciscoCA
"All Saints' Episcopal Church, Pasadena, CA", American Architect, 03/30/1889. "Church of the Ascension, Sierra Madre, Cal., Mr. E.A. Coxhead, Architect, Los Angeles, Cal.", American Architect and Building News, XXIV: 679, 300, 12/29/1888. Whiffen, Marcus, American Architecture since 1780; Guide to the Styles, 313, 1969. "San Francisco Honor Roll, First World War", Architect and Engineer, 114, 11/1918. "Eulogy Resolution of Northern California Chapter, American Institute of Architects", Architect and Engineer, 57, 04/1933. "Christ Church Episcopal, Los Altos ", Architect and Engineer, 93, 02/1915. "All Saints' Church, Pasadena", Arrowhead, 11, 04/1908. "Save Ellsworth St Home Plea", Berkeley Gazette, 02/12/1968. "Earl, Edwin T., House construction, 1898", Builder and Contractor, 1, 01/05/1898. "Three Houses in Berkeley designed by Ernest Coxhead", California Arts and Architecture, 41-45, 03/1929. Kirker, Harold, California's Architectural Frontier: Style and Tradition in the Nineteenth Century, 119, 1986. Gebhard, David, Winter, Robert, Guide to Architecture in San Francisco and Northern California, 132, 1976. Gebhard, David, Winter, Robert, Los Angeles An Architectural Guide, 300, 1994. Gebhard, David, Winter, Robert, Los Angeles An Architectural Guide, 299, 1994. Longstreth, Richard W., On the Edge of the World, 50, 1998. Longstreth, Richard W., On the Edge of the World, 96-100, 1998. Longstreth, Richard W., On the Edge of the World, 48-48, 1998. Longstreth, Richard, On the Edge of the World, 422, 1983. "Personal Glimpses", Pacific Coast Architect, 53, 09/1926. "Coxhead serves as juror", Southwest Contractor and Manufacturer, 14, col 2, 10/28/1921.