Philadelphia-born Napoleon LeBrun (1821-1901) entered architecture at age 15, working in the office of Thomas Walter. He began his own practice just six years later, and designed several Philadelphia landmarks before moving to New York in 1864.
LeBrun is best known for churches and civic buildings; LeBrun and sons Pierre and Michel designed more than 40 buildings for the Fire Department of New York between 1880 and 1895. The firm also designed the landmark Metropolitan Life Building and the annex Tower, Home Life Insurance Company Building, and, further afield, upstate New York’s sprawling Mohonk Mountain House.
Napoleon LeBrun Representative Buildings
- Academy of Music (Philadelphia – 1857)
- Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul (Philadelphia – 1864)
- Saint John The Baptist (NY – 1872)
- Fire Department Headquarters (now Engine 39/Ladder 16) (NY – 1886)
- Engine Co. 54 (NY – 1888)
- Engine Co. 18 (NY – 1891)
- Metropolitan Life Building (NY – 1892)
- Home Life Insurance Company Building (NY – 1894)
- Engine Co. 14 (NY – 1895)
- Engine Co. 31 (NY – 1896)
Napoleon LeBrun Suggested Reading
- Wikipedia entry
- PhiladelphiaBuildings.org Biography from the American Architects and Buildings database
- Daytonian in Manhattan blog
- Evi “True Knowledge” What did Napoleon LeBrun design?
- NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission Engine Co. 54 designation report (see p. 3)