Brooks Cavin

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William Cavin
Personal information
Name William Brooks Cavin
Nationality United States
Born September 3, 1914; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Died December 19, 2002; Vermont, United States
Practice name Brooks Cavin Architect (1946-1959), Faculty at University of Minnesota School of Architecture (1947-1967), Cavin/Page Architects (1959-1969) ,Cavin/Rova Architects (1980-1986)
Significant buildings Veterans Service Building
Significant projects Reconstruction efforts at Fort Snelling, Restoration efforts at the Governor Ramsey Carriage House, Headed a committee to save the old federal courthouse in St. Paul from demolition (currently the Landmark Center), Preservation efforts in homes on Milwaukee Avenue, the Grove Street Flats on Nicollet Island in Minneapolis, and the Owatonna Bank designed by Louis Sullivan
Awards and prizes International Design Competition for the Veterans Service Building at St. Paul, MN (1946), College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects (1975), Outstanding Service Award from the Minnesota Society of Architects, Charter member of Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission, Member of Minnesota Historic Sites Advisory Committee, on the State Review Panel for the National Registry of Historic Buildings, and an Officer of the Minnesota and Ramsey County HIstorical Societies


William Brooks Cavin, Jr. was a modernist architect in Vermont, Washington, D.C. and Minnesota. He was a leader of historic preservation and contributed to public and private architecture in St. Paul. He earned his master’s degree in architecture at Harvard University while studying under Walter Gropius. He then moved to Washington, D.C., to work for Eero Saarinen.

In 1946, St. Paul held an international design competition for the Veterans Service Building. Cavin won this honor to design an addition to the Capitol and moved to Minnesota. In 1954, Ralph Rapson hired Cavin to teach at the University of Minnesota’s school of architecture. Cavin taught for 20 years while Rapson was the dean of the School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture. Rapson said “Cavin was always very active in community affairs, very interested in people, and a constant source of inspiration and confidence for all sorts of people, he was always a good, hard, diligent worker who gave the maximum amount of effort, time and dedication to almost any project he got involved with.” Rapson also said he “had a very high regard for Brooks. He was a wonderful person, both as an architect and as a human being.”

Cavin was an important contributor to the preservation movement of Minnesota with his design efforts and participation in committees. He was a charter member of the Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission. He participated as a member of the Minnesota Historic Sites Advisory Committee as well as a state review panel for the National Registry of Historic Buildings. He was also an officer of the Minnesota and Ramsey County historical societies. Cavin’s preservation and restoration work extended across Minnesota and included the following well known sites: 1. Fort Snelling 2. Governor Ramsey carriage house 3. Working-class homes on Milwaukee Avenue 4. Grove Street Flats on Nicollet Island 5. Owatonna bank by Louis Sullivan 6. Old Science Museum of Minnesota


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Related Links

Veterans Service Building

Fort Snelling

4038 Valentine Court Residence




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