Andrew Hepburn Pencil Sketches

Dublin Core


Andrew Hepburn Pencil Sketches


Hepburn, Andrew, 1880-1967
Architectural drawings - Virginia - Williamsburg
Sketches - Virginia - Williamsburg
Historic buildings - Virginia - Williamsburg


Biographical Sketch

Andrew Hopewell Hepburn was born in Catasauqua, Pennsylvania on March 6, 1880 to Robert Hopewell Hepburn and Elizabeth Hunt. After attending primary schools in New Jersey and Maryland, he undertook study to prepare for entrance into the Naval Academy at Annapolis but did not receive an appointment. He turned his interests towards architecture and gained admittance to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he graduated with an architectural degree in 1904. While at M.I.T., he met Robert E. Lee Taylor, a native of Norfolk, Virginia and a graduate of the University of Virginia. The two worked as colleagues in the office of Harry Morse in Philadelphia. After marrying Beatrice Outram Sturgis in 1907, Hepburn formed a partnership with Taylor in Norfolk, Virginia, where a building boom was predicted to coincide with the Jamestown Tercentennial. The pair collaborated on such projects as the reconstruction of a hospital in Ghent and the Auslow Gallery Building.

When the predicted building boom in Norfolk did not materialize, Hepburn relocated to New York City to join the office of Herbert Hale. He later transferred to the firm of Henry F. Bigelow in Boston and then moved on to work for Guy Lowell until 1914. With the start of the First World War, Hepburn received an appointment from the U. S. Housing Administration to serve as architect for Seaside Village, a housing community in Bridgeport, Massachusetts. During this project, he met Arthur Shurcliff, who served as the landscape architect and would later join him in Williamsburg, Virginia. The end of the war led him to his next project with Albert Farwell Bemis to design inexpensive, prefabricated houses for workmen. After that he formed a partnership with Thomas Mott Shaw, with whom he worked from 1919-1922, and then the two added a third partner, William Graves Perry, to form the firm of Perry, Shaw & Hepburn. Hepburn helped to prepare and deliver some of the firm’s first concept drawings for the restoration of Williamsburg to show to Dr. W.A.R. Goodwin and Dr. Lyon G. Tyler. He helped lead the effort to develop a master plan for restoring Williamsburg, Virginia to its colonial appearance.

Scope and Content Note

Andrew Hepburn’s pencil sketches, created between 1927 and 1948, are primarily rapid concept drawings he prepared as a member of the architectural team for various projects that were part of Colonial Williamsburg’s restoration. They encompass perspective sketches, bird’s-eye views, plans, elevations, and details relating to such 18th-century buildings as the Governor’s Palace and St. George Tucker House, and modern structures such as the Williamsburg Inn and the Business Block, later known as Merchants Square.

Reconstruction of the Governor's Palace involved educated guesswork on the part of the architects as they examined archaeological and documentary evidence and then tried to fill in the gaps through study of architectural precedents. One of Hepburn's drawings of the front elevation of the Palace reflects how the architectural team thought it might have appeared prior to the discovery of the Bodleian plate, a copperplate found at the Bodleian Library which included a depiction of the Palace complex. Hepburn also finished studies for the Ballroom Wing and the outbuildings and stable complex.

One of Hepburn's major responsibilities involved creating the original concept sketches for structures that would be part of a new business block at the west end of Duke of Gloucester Street. In order to restore Williamsburg to its eighteenth-century appearance, many business, civic, residential and religious buildings along Duke of Gloucester, Francis, and Nicholson streets had to be re-located. The architects suggested concentrating business activity in a new park and shop complex designed to blend harmoniously with the architectural styles of the buildings being restored. The eleven sketches relating to Merchants Square document his evolving ideas for the complex and range from bird's-eye views of blocks of shops to details of multi-bay windows, doorways, and elevations.

Between 1937-1938, Hepburn traveled to Williamsburg every other week to oversee construction progress on the Williamsburg Inn. His involvement with the project is reflected in ten sketches of both exterior and interior architectural features ranging from fireplaces, doors and windows to the proposed bath house, pediments, colonnades, and entrances.

Together, the set of thirty pencil sketches by Hepburn offer insight into the design process for major eighteenth-century and modern structures that are iconic architectural landmarks for Colonial Williamsburg today.


Hepburn, Andrew


Circa 1929-1934

Collection Items

Nivison, Frank 1931-11-25

Hepburn, Andrew H. 061927

Hepburn, Andrew H. 19330427

Hepburn, Andrew H.

Hepburn, Andrew H.

Hepburn, Andrew H.

Hepburn, Andrew H.

Hepburn, Andrew H. circa 1930

Hepburn, Andrew H. 193212

Hepburn, Andrew H. 19390707

Hepburn, Andrew H.

Hepburn, Andrew H.

Hepburn, Andrew H. 19411231

Hepburn, Andrew H. 19481231

Hepburn, Andrew H. 19481231

Hepburn, Andrew H. 19481025

Hepburn, Andrew H. 192809
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