Building Syracuse: Archimedes Russell’s Lasting Impression

Archimedes Russell

Archimedes Russell was born in Andover, Massachusetts in June of 1840. He moved to Syracuse in 1862 and found a job in the office of respected architect Horatio Nelson White. White’s office designed many fixtures of Syracuse’s landscape, including downtown’s Gridely Building and Syracuse University’s Hall of Languages.

Russell established his own practice in 1868, taking advantage of the development boom of late 19th century Syracuse. He went on to work on over 800 commissions over the course of his life. Some of his work include the McCarthy Building, Dey Brothers, the Yates Hotel, Crouse College, Central High School, The Charles E. Lipe Machine Shop (today’s Gear Factory), and the fourth Onondaga County Court House.

In a 1979 paper by Evamaria Hardin at Syracuse University, “The very fact that a structure such as the Yates Hotel was build in Syracuse ‘gave ton to its domestic economy, confidence in its business prosperity, and evidence that life is lively and progressive…’ suggested the Syracuse Daily Standard with pride.”

He was also professor of Architecture at Syracuse University from 1873-1881.

When Russell died in 1915, at age 75, partner Melvin King took over. Today, the firm is known as King & King Architects and is the oldest operating architectural firm in New York State and the fourth-oldest in the country.