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Gideon Shyrock Papers, 1802-1880

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Gideon Shyrock Papers




Kentucky Historical Society. Special Collections & Archives. Frankfort, Kentucky 40601-1931

Conditions Governing Access note

Access at KHS only. Use microfilm, transcriptions or images when available.

Preferred Citation Note

[Identification of item], Gideon Shyrock Papers, 1802-1880, 84M11,Library Special Collections and Archives, Kentucky Historical Society, Frankfort.


2 boxes, 1 c.f.


Shryock was born in Lexington, Kentucky in 1802. His parents were Mathias and Mary Elizabeth Shryock. Gideon Shryock apprenticed with his father, who was a contractor and builder, then studied for a year in Philadelphia with the famous architect, William Strickland.

In 1824 Shryock returned to Kentucky and opened an office in Lexington. The following year, the state's second Capitol building went up in flames just as its predecessor had and plans were requested for a new building. Shryock originally did not plan to compete for the award due to his youth and inexperience but eventually did so and won the commission.

He moved to Frankfort in 1827 and remained three years to supervise its construction of the capitol. In 1829 he married Elizabeth P. Bacon of Frankfort. After completing the state house, Shryock returned to Lexington where he designed and supervised construction of Morrison Hall (or "Old Morrison") on the campus of Transylvania University. The Doric-style building was finished in 1833, delayed by the cholera epidemic that claimed the life of the architect's father. It burned in 1863.

Among other noteworthy Shryock projects were the Arkansas state house; the Franklin County Courthouse; the Orlando Brown house; and the Jefferson County Courthouse. Shryock moved to Louisville in 1835 and remained there until his death in 1880.

Scope and Content

This collection contains original letters by Gideon Shryock, noted nineteenth-century architect who designed the Old State Capitol. Also included are clippings, letters, and other writings about Shryock originally compiled in a scrapbook by his niece, Elizabeth Shryock Field.

Among the letters by Shryock is a description of the Kentucky capitol written in 1833 to Robert Scott. Other materials include some poetry by his sister, Sophia Shryock Oliver and letters concerning research on Shryock and his work conducted by Field.

Arrangement: Original order.

County: Fayette, Franklin, Jefferson

Occupation: Architect, designer.


  • Shryock, Gideon, 1802-1880 -- Correspondence
  • Architects -- Kentucky -- Correspondence
  • Old State Capitol (Frankfort, Ky.)
  • Greek Revival (Architecture) -- Kentucky -- Franklin County
  • Scrapbooks -- Kentucky
  • Field, Elizabeth Shryock

User Restrictions

Permission for commercial use must be requested from the Kentucky Historical Society. Special Collections.

Collection Inventory

Correspondence, 1823 - 1877
[box: 1, folder: 1]
Letters and deed, 1827 - 1835
[box: 1, folder: 2]
Miscellaneous papers
[box: 1, folder: 3]
Miscellaneous papers
[box: 1, folder: 4]
Newspaper clippings
[box: 1, folder: 5]
Newspaper clippings
[box: 1, folder: 6]
Newspaper clippings
[box: 1, folder: 7]
Newspaper clippings
[box: 1, folder: 8]
Newspaper clippings
[box: 1, folder: 9]
Miscellaneous papers
[box: 1, folder: 10]
[box: 1, folder: 11]
New Testament
[box: 1, folder: 12]
Shryock genealogy papers
[box: 1, folder: 13]
Item # 2 Scrapbooks
[box: 1, folder: 13]
Transcriptions / Images
[box: 1, folder: 13]

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