Russell Sturgis (1836-1909), architect, art historian and writer, was born in Baltimore, Maryland. After graduating from the Free Academy (later the College of the City of New York) in 1856, he studied with New York City architect Leopold Eidlitz and received further architectural education in Munich, Germany. He returned to New York City in 1863 to begin his career as an architect and resided there until his death in 1909.
Among his best-known buildings are the Farnam, Durfee, and Lawrence dormitories and the Battell Chapel at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut; the Flower Hospital in New York City; and the Mechanics' and Farmers' Bank in Albany, New York.
Sturgis' legacy remains, however, more closely tied to his role as an art and architectural historian, writer, and lecturer. In fact, he virtually abandoned the practice of architecture for these other activities after the early 1880s.