Story of an American Architect

Updated: May 5

By Nancy Albright


A few years ago, the South Haven Center for the Arts discovered that the South Haven Carnegie Library, home of the art center, was designed by a renowned American architect named Albert Randolph Ross (1869–1948).

Rendering of the South Haven Carnegie Library illustrated by its architect Albert Randolph Ross, circa 1905. Ross produced many such renderings for the buildings he designed.

Postcard from the SHCA historical archive

Ross was a native of Westfield, Massachusetts. He studied at the Ècole des Beaux Arts in Paris, trained as a draftsman with his father ,John Ross, in Davenport Iowa from 1884 to 1887, and with architect Charles D. Swan in Buffalo, New York from 1889 to 1890. In 1891, Ross joined the prominent New York City architectural firm of McKim, Mead & White as a junior architect, and in 1898 formed the firm of Ackerman & Ross with William Ackerman. After he and Ackerman dissolved their partnership, Ross went on to design Carnegie libraries and many other public buildings throughout the U.S. Learn some