Henry Hobson Richardson executed his first commission in 1867 and sprang to fame with Boston's Trinity Church, designed in 1872 and completed in 1877. Richardson's genius included the ability to animate masses of masonry by mixing textures and shades of stone and drawing contrasting horizontal lines with cornices and bands of windows. His most iconic buildings, which mixed Romanesque arches, rough-faced masonry, and elaborate carved patterns, were constructed on the scale of medieval castles and monastaries.
By its creator's death at age 47 in 1886, "Richardson Romanesque" had become the dominant style for large public buildings in the northeast. The New York State Capitol (in collaboration, 1875) and Albany City Hall (1880) are major Richardson commissions a short distance from Gloversville.
Although Richardson actively pursued church commissions, his designs required materials and craftsmanship beyond the means of even well-to-do congregations. Despite his auspicious start with the Trinity commission, just five of his church designs were erected. Albany's All Saints Episcopal Cathedral could have been the sixth. However, the vestrymen selected another architect, and Richardson's design can be admired only as drawings.