Architecture for Kids

Christopher Wren
1632-1723

Sir Christopher Wren was an English architect, astronomer, and mathematician. After the great London fire in 1666, he produced a master plan for the rebuilding of London, which was never executed because rebuilting started immediately and before his plan could be considered. He designed many new buildings, however, most notably St. Paul's Cathedral. From 1670 to 1711, he executed 52 London churches, noted for their varied and original designs and fine spires. One is St. Mary-le-Bow.

Among his secular works were the Sheldonian Theatre in Oxford, Trinity College Library in Cambridge, and Chelsea Hospital in London. His buildings exhibit great elegance, clarity, and dignity.

His work had tremendous influence on American architects, especially Francis Nicholas who used Wren's plan for London to design the city of Williamsburg in Virginia. The public buildings, including the Governor's Palace and the College of William and Mary, were greatly influenced by Wren.