Calvert Vaux
- A Chronology of Important Events in His Life
("Vaux" rhymes with "talks")
Olmsted & Vaux in Buffalo, NY


Born in London, England


Apprenticed under London architect Lewis Nockalls Cottingham and joins firm at conclusion of apprenticeship


Introduced to Andrew Jackson Downing, a well-known American designer and writer, who was an architect to join him in a design and architectural practice he was forming in Newburgh, New York.


Partnered with Downing


Downing was killed in a fire which destroyed a Hudson River steamboat


Vaux practices architecture in Newburgh for a total of 7 years, and then practices in New York City


Became U. S. citizen


Published "Villas and Cottages," an influential pattern book.


City of New York opened a contest to design a new park. Vaux offered to work with a then little known Frederick Law Olmsted, who was to be the Superintendent of the park. Eventually, their plan, entitled "Greensward," was chosen as the winner.

Much to chagrin of Vaux, the untrained Olmsted was subsequently named Architect-in-Chief of Central Park, while Vaux was his assistant, later being named Consulting Architect.


Vaux and Olmsted worked on the construction of the park 1858 to 1863,  and then again from 1865-1878


Vaux commissioned to design Prospect Park in Brooklyn. Vaux and Olmsted form Olmsted, Vaux and Company


Olmsted, Vaux and Company designs first suburbs of Chicago, Riverside, Illinois, regarded as the country's first major suburban residential community.


Olmsted, Vaux and Company designs a park system for Buffalo, NY.
It was the first plan for an interconnected park system to be implemented by an American city.

Vaux designs several structures for The Parade (now Martin Luther King, Jr. Park), The Park (Now Delaware Park), and The Front (now Front Park)


Olmsted, Vaux and Company design grounds of New York State Hospital for the Insane in Buffalo, NY


Olmsted, Vaux and Company dissolved


Vaux and architect George Kent Radford form a new firm


Samuel Parsons, Jr. joins Vaux and Radford as an associate (and later partner)

Calvert Vaux and Jacob Wrey Mold design the first Metropolitan Museum of Art


While visiting his son in Brooklyn, Vaux died of drowning

Sources of information:

Additional pages on Calvert Vaux:

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