Oscar Cobb

by A. K. Hoagland.

Oscar Cobb, a prominent theater architect from Chicago, designed one of the Copper Country’s most prestigious theaters.


Oscar Cobb (1842-1908) was born in Maine and began his career as a carpenter and joiner. Immediately following the Chicago fire of 1871, he moved to Chicago and hung out his shingle as an architect. By 1875 he had acquired an expertise in theaters and through his career he designed about 200 of them, including the Grand Opera House in St. Paul, the Grand Opera House in St. Louis, and eleven theaters in Chicago. He became a member of the Western Association of Architects in 1884 and a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects upon the merger of the two organizations in 1889. Later in his career, he took his son, William H. Cobb, into his firm and practiced as Oscar Cobb & Son. He was paralyzed by a stroke in 1902 and died in Seattle six years later.1



  1. “Obituaries: Oscar Cobb, FAIA,” The American Institute of Architects Quarterly Bulletin 9, No. 2 (July 1908): 120.