George Edmund Street

Now buried in Westminster Abbey, George Edmund Street always favoured the Gothic style in his working life. He was awarded the Royal Gold Medal in 1874

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Royal courts of Justice © Joe Low / RIBA Library Photographs Collection 1992

Royal courts of Justice © Joe Low / RIBA Library Photographs Collection 1992

Street was apprenticed firstly, to an architect in Winchester, and secondly, to Sir George Gilbert Scott in 1844. Just four years later, Street left to establish his own practice, initially in Wantage, Oxfordshire and eventually in London.

Scott’s influence is shown throughout Street’s work as Street tended to favour the Gothic style. His most famous building, the Law Courts in London, however, are a good example of Gothic reticence – but this may be because the Law Courts were completed after Street’s death by his son, A E Street, and Arthur Blomfield. Famously it has been suggested that there were 3,000 drawings for the Law Courts ready when Street died.

 

York minster © RIBA Library Photographs Collection 1818 Royal Courts of Justice © Edwin Smith / RIBA Library Photographs Collection 1957 Royal Courts of Justice © Edwin Smith / RIBA Library Photographs Collection 1970

 

Born: 1824 (-1881)
Nationality: British

Street was much in demand as an architect. He was Diocesan Architect to the cathedrals of Oxford, York, Winchester and Ripon, as well as undertaking a programme of restoration at Bristol cathedral and York Minster. Notable churches include Kingstone Church, Dorset; St Mary Magdalene, Paddington; and the Garrison Church, Portsmouth.

© RIBA Library Photographs Collection 1870

© RIBA Library Photographs Collection 1870

Considered by many to be one of the greatest Gothic architects in Europe. Street also undertook considerable commissions abroad, including building churches in Rome, Constantinople, Geneva, Lausanne and America.

The most eminent practical exponent of the art of architecture and an author of no mean eminence.


In addition to his design work, Street also published books, including 'Brick and Marble Architecture in Italy' (1855) and 'Some Account of Gothic Architecture in Spain' (1865).

For many years, Street was the responsible treasurer of the Royal Academy of Arts in London. He was also President of the RIBA at the time of his death in 1881. As a highly revered architect, he was awarded the rare status of being buried in Westminster Abbey. 

Awards:

  • Royal Gold Medal, 1874

Buildings by Street:

  • Restoration of Oxford, York, Winchester and Ripon Catherdrals, around 1851
  • Testoration of Bristol cathedral in 1864
  • Restoration of York Minster in 1871
  • Royal Courts of Justice, London, 1888
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