Landmarks Association of St. Louis

J. Hal. Lynch (1860-1953)

by Michael R. Allen, Former Assistant Director

James Hallowell Lynch  was a St. Louis architect who practiced as J. Hal. Lynch.  Lynch's letterhead listed his specialties as "special work" and hospitals.  Few identified Lynch buildings stand.  Lynch was born in Green Castle, Indiana, and traveled to Mexico as a young man.  He practiced architecture and opened a factory in Chihuahua before moving to El Paso, Texas.[1]  In El Paso, he married Clara Hurlbut.  The couple lived in Witchita, Kansas for a few years after that; their son was born there in 1890 and Lynch is listed in the 1892 city directory.  He first appears in a St. Louis city directory in 1893 in practice with the firm Lynch, Roberts & Evans.  In the 1895 city directory, he appears as a principal in the firm Cann and Lynch with offices in the Union Trust Building.  William A. Cann was his partner in this firm.  From 1896 until 1917, he is listed in independent practice under the name J. Hal Lynch Architect Company.  In 1901, the St. Louis chapter of the American Institute of Architects accepted Lynch as a member.  He moved to Clayton in 1905 and became active in politics, serving as an officer of the Clean Election League of St. Louis County.[2]

In 1917, Lynch joined his son Hallowell H.H. Lynch to form J. Hal Lynch and Son Architects, a firm that continued until 1931 with offices in the Dolph Building in downtown St. Louis.  The final residential directory listing for Lynch is in 1929.  Lynch designed at least three churches, two of which were for Disciples of Christ congregations:  the Tuxedo Park Christian Church sanctuary in Webster Groves (1908); the Kingshighway Christian Church (1917) at 3000 N. Kingshighway in St. Louis; and the Salem Methodist Episcopal Church (1924) at 1920 N. Kingshighway in St. Louis.  Lynch's other known architectural works include the Blind Girl's Home at 5253 Page Boulevard in St. Louis, built in 1908 (NR 08/23/1984), a Georgian Revival institutional building; a 1917 grade school in Manhattan, Kansas; the Epworth Hotel on Washington Boulevard in St. Louis; and two houses built in the 1920's in University City, Missouri.[3]  Lynch seems to have had personal interest in charitable institutions as well as in public health; from 1906-1922 Lynch served as secretary of the St. Louis Tenement House Association, an organization dedicated to giving workers housing "at low rents, clean healthy rooms and a high standard of living conditions."[4]  He was also a founder of the St. Louis Tuberculosis and Health Society and was once appointed to the Missouri Tuberculosis Commission. 


Known Buildings Designed by Lynch


Blind Girls' Home (NR 08/23/84)

5253 Page Boulevard

St. Louis, Missouri

Date: 1908

Style: Georgian Revival

Attribution: J. Hal. Lynch


Duke-Cook House

7068 Maryland Avenue

University City, Missouri

Date: 1922

Style: Colonial Revival

Attribution: J. Hal. Lynch & Sons

Eugene Field Grade School

Manhattan, Kansas

Date: 1917

Attribution: J. Hal. Lynch


Kingshighway Christian Church

(later Memorial Boulevard Christian Church)

3000 North Kingshighway

St. Louis, Missouri

Date: 1917

Attribution: J. Hal Lynch


Majestic Manufacturing Company

(NR 12/31/98)

2014 Delmar Boulevard

St. Louis, Missouri

Date: 1895

Attribution: Barnett, Haynes and Barnett with J.H. Lynch


Frank Messina House

6934 Waterman Avenue

University City, Missouri

Date: 1926

Style: Period Revival

Attribution: J. Hal Lynch and Sons

St. Louis Provident Association Building

(NR 06/20/01)

2221 Locust Street

Date: 1909

Attribution: J. Hal. Lynch


Salem Methodist Episcopal Church

(Now St. John AME)

1910 North Kingshighway

St. Louis, Missouri

Date: 1924

Attribution: J. Hal Lynch & Sons


Tuxedo Park Christian Church Sanctuary

(NR 12/15/2006)

700 Tuxedo Boulevard

Webster Groves, Missouri

Date: 1908

Style: Shingle Style

Attribution: J. Hal. Lynch


Women's Dormitory

Culver-Stockton College


Date: 1924

Attribution: J. Hal. Lynch & Sons


[1] "J.H. Lynch, Veteran St. Louis Architect, Dies at Son's Home" (St. Louis Post-Dispatch, February 3, 1935).

[2] Ibid.

[3] (February 2, 2006).  Manhattan, Kansas Survey;  (February 2, 2006),  University City Historic Buildings Survey; (February 2, 2006).  University City Historic Buildings Survey; Landmarks Association File: J. Hal Lynch.

[4] Jacob Riis, "The Plight of St. Louis,"  St. Louis.  (Glen E. Holt and Selwyn K. Troen, eds.; New York: New Viewpoints, 1977), p. 118-121.