(b Woodford, Essex, June 20, 1824; d London, Dec 18, 1881).
English architect. Widely regarded as the greatest British architect of his time, he played a crucial role in the development of the Gothic Revival between A. W. N. Pugin in the 1840s and its High Victorian climax. Street brought earnest conviction and great self-confidence to his work and won admiration even when his ideals were no longer considered fashionable. His concern for detail was prodigious: the Fellows of Magdalen College, Oxford, for example, were assured in 1879 that if they accepted his design for new buildings, ‘every detail, even the smallest, would, as his custom is, be drawn by him’, although this meant that his assistants and pupils had no opportunity to make independent designs. Through his many articles, books on Italian and Spanish architecture and lectures at the Royal Academy, Street wielded enormous influence and his buildings were greatly admired.
His father was a London solicitor, who retired in ...