George Ferrenz (February 18, 1904-September 30, 1989) and William Taylor (May 20, 1912-January 19, 1992) founded their firm after having worked together for several years at the Office of John Russell Pope, the firm of Shaw, Naess & Murphy, and most notably at the Kellex Corporation . Kellex was a secret subsidiary formed during World War III to design the K-25 facility in Oak Ridge, Tennessee for the production of enriched uranium as part of the Atomic Bomb Project. The facility was the world’s largest building when completed. By October 1944, still in the midst of war, Ferrenz & Taylor, had formed their firm.
Ferrenz was born and went to school in Ohio before coming to New York. Taylor was originally from Liverpool, England, and came to the United States to attend Syracuse University on a scholarship. His obituary says he worked on the design of the National Gallery of Art’s central rotunda, one of the Office of John Russell Pope’s most well known commissions .
The firm of Ferrenz and Taylor however focused on hospital designs and religious structures. They were responsible for at least a dozen medical facilities in New York and New Jersey through the early 1970s. This work continued for Taylor, who moved to Bermuda at some point, designing medical sites there as well, before his death in 1992.
They also designed approximately a dozen religious structures. Unlike many of their contemporaries, they did not design for one particular Christian denomination; but rather completed projects for Catholic, Episcopalian, Methodist, and Community congregations. This is unusual and shows their versatility at understanding the needs of each group.
One of the firm’s earliest buildings, Packanack Community Church of , received an award for best design of a small church edifice by the Church Architects Guild of America and North American Conference of Church Architects . Subsequently, they also received Queens Chamber of Commerce Awards for two projects of religious focus, St. Gabriel Episcopal Church, a historicist Gothic design in Hollis; and St. Augustine Library, the library and focal point of St. John’s University in Jamaica. The massive, four-story, 315 foot-long building uses modern construction techniques with a facade design of modern Gothic details.
Many local architects in Queens apprenticed for Ferrenz & Taylor at their peak. In later years they became Ferrenz, Taylor & Clark; and then Taylor & Clark before closing sometime in the late 20th century.
St. Vincent Ferrer School, NYC, 1948
Packanack Community Church, Packanack NJ, 1950
Dobbs Ferry Elementary School, 1955
Housman Wing at Monmouth Memorial Hospital, Long Branch NJ, 1956
John S. Roberts Junior High School, NYC, 1956-57
Yorktown School, Yorktown NY, 1956-58
St. Nicholas of Tolentine High School and Rectory, Bronx, NY, 1958
Fitkin Hospital , Neptune, NJ, 1958
St. Barnabas Medical Center, Livingston NJ, 1958
Memorial Methodist Church, White Plains NY, 1958
Greenville Community Reformed Church, Scarsdale NY, 1958
Middlesex Hospital Addition, New Brunswick NJ, 1959
Harlem Hospital Medical Center, NYC, 1959-62
Perth Amboy Hospital, Perth Amboy, NJ, 1960
St. Gabriel’s Episcopal Church , Hollis NY, 1960
North Wing, Montclair Community Hospital, Montclair NJ, 1961
US Time Corporation, Irvington NY, 1961
Mount St. Mary College, Newburgh NY, 1961
Monsignor McKenna Memorial High School for Boys, Bronx NY, 1962
Newark Hospital Expansion, Newark NJ, 1963
St. Augustine Library, St. John’s University, Jamaica NY, 1965
St. PHilip Neri Church, Northport NY, 1967
Cardinal Spellman Pavilion, Benedictine Hospital, Kingston NY, 1968
St. John the Evangelist Church, Cathedral High School for Girls and Office Building, NYC, 1969
Mary Manning Walsh Home, NYC, 1969
Jersey Shore Medical Center, Neptune NJ, 1969
Somerset Hospital, Somerville NJ, 1969
- George Hils Ferrenz American Institute of Architects membership application. 30 July 1946. American Institute of Architects Archives.
- “Architect of KEMH and extended care wing dies.” Royal Gazette. Bermuda. 5 February 1992.
- King, Preston Sheldon. “20 Speakers Listed for Church Forum.” The New York Times. 7 October 1950. Web.