Born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Ware was educated at Phillips Exeter Academy and Harvard College, receiving a bachelor of arts degree in 1852. He later studied at Harvard’s Lawrence Scientific School before beginning his architectural career in 1859 working for Richard Morris Hunt, a prolific and esteemed architect who founded what later became known as the American Institute of Architects. In 1860, Ware went into partnership with engineer Edward S. Philbrick. He later formed a partnership with his Harvard classmate Henry Van Brunt. Ware & Van Brunt designed several buildings in the Boston area, including Memorial and Weld Halls on Harvard’s campus, the Ether Monument at the Boston Public Garden, and the Episcopal Divinity School. In 1865, Ware was the founding head of the school of architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the first program of its kind in America. Ware modeled his program after European architectural education, traveling widely to develop the curricula at MIT. In 1881, Ware left MIT and amicably dissolved his partnership with Van Brunt. He went on to establish a department of architecture at Columbia University before retiring in 1903. Ware died in 1915 in Milton, Massachusetts.