Tower Grove Park, St. Louis, MO
1815 - 1898

George Ingraham Barnett

Born in Nottingham, England, Barnett trained with prominent architect Sir Thomas Hine and worked as an apprentice to an architectural firm in London before immigrating to America in 1839 and settling in St. Louis, Missouri. Barnett’s designs in St. Louis evoke his training in Neoclassical, Palladian, and Renaissance Revival styles, and quickly became popular with the city’s elite. His public and commercial projects include a renovation of the Old Courthouse (1864), the Southern Hotel (1865, demolished 1934), the Missouri Governor’s Mansion (1871), and the Grand Water Tower (1871), an elaborate piece of public infrastructure inspired by Byzantine columns. He also completed residential projects, including an Italianate villa (now Tower Grove House) designed for Henry Shaw in 1849, with Roman arches, Tuscan pilasters, and a campanile. He later designed the Shaw Mausoleum which just stands north of the Tower Grove House (1899).  

Barnett worked again with Shaw and draftsman Isaac Taylor on designs for structures in Tower Grove Park, including the Palm House (1878) and the South Gate Lodge (1889). Barnett established a notable design lineage, with several architects who worked in his St. Louis office going on to successful careers of their own, including Alfred Piquenard, William Kirchner, and George Mills. His own sons, Tom and George, and son-in-law John Haynes together formed the successful architectural firm Barnett, Haynes, and Barnett. George Barnett died in St. Louis on December 29, 1898.