American architecture was also largely dependent on English design books, a few prestigious technical schools and master builders who had immigrated during the old and new wars. The only buildings that showcased great architectural designs where churches such as the Cambridge and kings chapel and private homes (Secler, 2006).
After the civil war America also underwent a transformation of the American life due to immigration and industrialization. It is this transformation that inspired a sense of historical consciousness in the American people which necessitated the development of architecture that would be unique to the Americans (Conn & Page, 2003). After the civil war, only two thirds of the Architects in America were native born. A large percentage of them came from Germany and Ireland. The designers and craftsmen during this period were foreign born. In the last half of the nineteenth century the Irish dominated the building industry. They had perfected their skills in carpentry and bricklaying. Most of the Irish in this sector later transformed themselves into builders and contractors.
In Chicago, half the population was foreign born with a large number of them being Germans who penetrated into almost all Chicago architectural firms as architects and draftsmen. The German architects are hailed for their technological contributions to American architecture. In New York German firms such as Werner and Windolph, Albert F Doench were among the most prominent architectural firms in the area. Other migrant architects included Jewish architects from Central Europe such as Dankmar Adler, Leopold Eidlitz and his brother Marc Eidlitz one of the most prominent builders in New York (Elliot, 2003).
In addition to these was also the immigration of new professional architects who being no longer inspired by the ancient historical designs in Europe were looking for inspiration for contemporary work in other countries. It is no wonder therefore