Roycroft Campus - Table of Contents .............. Arts & Crafts - Table of Contents

Roycroft Blacksmith and Copper Shop
Roycroft Restoration Corp. - Home Page

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Terra cotta roof shingles with ridge crest

Coursed rubble - local field stones

Half-timbering

A wing was added to the right side of this building to accommodate the expanding art metal finishing department

In the 1910's a rusticated cement-block addition was added to the rear of this building to facilitate the emerging, hammered copper product line


In order to obtain the quantity of rusticated building materials required to fabricate the Chapel, Elbert Hubbard advertised in the village newspaper for unwanted boulders from local farmers' fields. As word of Hubbard's offer spread, rock-laden wagons began arriving from every direction. As a result Hubbard instructed his Roycroft handyman, Ali Baba, to sit at the corner of South Grove and Main Streets and pay one silver dollar for each approved load. Over time, Ali Baba paid out over fifteen hundred of the silver coins in exchange for boulders that eventually built not only the Chapel, but the Print Shop and the Blacksmith Shop as well.

Blacksmith Shop

This Roycroft Blacksmith Shop was built in 1902 as a replacement for the original obtrusive wooden shop located to the left of the Roycroft Chapel. It was in these buildings that Jerome Connor, Peter Robage and Ernest Standeven practiced their blacksmithing craft and produced fanciful medieval inspired ironwork. This trade gradually diminished as campus construction slowed and copper became the metal of choice over iron for furniture, lighting fixtures and hardware.

Cement-block addition

In the 1910's a rusticated cement-block addition was added to the rear of this building to facilitate the emerging, hammered copper product line. Dard Hunter defined early Roycroft copper forms through the introduction of Viennese Secession and Glasgow School designs to fellow Roycroft artisans. Under the direction of Karl Kipp and Walter Jennings and later with master coppersmiths such as Art Cole, Ernest Fuchs, Roy Johnson, Victor Toothaker, Henry Unverdorf, Leon Varley and George Willson, this department produced the last major craft enterprise, the successful Roycroft art metal product line.

Wing

A wing was added to the right side of this building to accommodate the expanding art metal finishing department where the Aurora Brown, Blue Bronze, Italian Polychrome, Roycroft Sheffield, Verde Green, Acid Etched and Old English Brass finishes on Roycroft metals were produced. The building addition began as a frame structure that was eventually converted to a rusticated cement block addition circa 1920.

In later years, this space was used as a bottling operation for local maple syrup and honey that was then sold in stoneware crocks and jugs at the Roycroft Shop.

Elbert Hubbard Bank

The original stone portion of the building became the Elbert Hubbard Bank in 1912. The bank was previously founded in May of 1904 and, for a time, was housed in the original Roycroft Shop (present day Roycroft Inn) circa 1905. It was later moved to the Print Shop and ultimately relocated to this site. The Bank utilized employees that served other departments at various times including Clayton Fattey, Elbert Hubbard II, Cecil Jackson and Victor Toothaker.

The modeled leather department moved to this building in 1923 and continued here until it was phased out in the mid 1920's.

In the late 1920's, Roycroft wood carver Charles Hall occupied a workspace in the front portion of the shop.

Currently the Roycroft Gift Shop. Along with contemporary craftsman-produced gifts, original Roycroft books and antiques are sold there.

The entire Roycroft campus has the highest possible historic designation: National Historic Landmark.

The nomination for listing on the National Register of Historic Places, containing text and illustrations, is online. Go to Document Imaging for National Register. Click on "Basic Criteria" and scroll down to "County - Erie." Then, click on "Results."


Special thanks to Christine Peters of the Roycroft Restoration Corp. and Susan Scholterer of the Buffalo Niagara Convention & Visitors Bureau for making research material available in 2006
Photos and their arrangement © 2007 Chuck LaChiusa
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