LeRoy S. Buffington (1847-1931)


Buffington, LeRoy S.

Personal Information

Occupation:    American architect
Location (state):    MN

This record has not been verified for accuracy.

AIA Affiliation

Fellow of the Western Association of Architects 1884-1889
Member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) 1889-1890; 1926-decease
Fellow of the American Institute of Architects (FAIA) 1889. (On the merger of the Western Association of Architects with The American Institute of Architects in 1889, all AIA members were made Fellows because WAA members were known as Fellows.)

Biographical Sources

Biographical Directories:
Entry in Henry F. Withey, A.I.A., and Elsie Rathburn Withey, Biographical Dictionary of American Architects (Deceased) (Los Angeles: New Age Publishing Company, 1956. Facsimile edition, Hennessey & Ingalls, Inc., 1970)
Entry in Macmillan Encyclopedia of Architects (New York: Macmillan, 1982)
Entry in Biographical Dictionary of Cincinnati Architects, 1788-1940.
Biographical Information:
Contributed by Northwest Architectural Archives, University of Minnesota Libraries, Minneapolis
Leroy Sunderland Buffington was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1847 and received all of his formal education there. His first employment was with the architectural firm of Hannaford and Anderson, whom he left in 1871 to move with his wife of two years to St. Paul. He entered partnership with Abraham Radcliffe, an established architect, which lasted until 1874 when he moved to Minneapolis and opened an office that he continued to maintain until 1931. He had no partners.
In 1880, he was appointed the official architect of the St. Paul, Minneapolis and Manitoba Railway Company, and by 1885 he had one of the largest practices in the Twin Cities. Near the end of his life, he credited himself with designing $20 million' worth of structures throughout the United States. He applied for and received a patent in 1887 for the steel skeleton method of construction for high-rise buildings, the basis upon which all modern skyscrapers are built. However, his claim was challenged in a court suit which he eventually lost.

Related Records

Archival Holdings

The American Institute of Architects Archives
      Membership file may contain membership-related correspondence, although there are few written records concerning 19th-century members. Contact the AIA Archives at archives@aia.org for further information.
Northwest Architectural Archives, University of Minnesota Libraries, Minneapolis      L.S. Buffington Papers (N 2)
       The collection includes plans, specifications, sketches, renderings, scrapbook and photos from the practice of a prominent Minneapolis architect.
       For more information https://www.lib.umn.edu/naa