A native of New York, Adam Lansing Dorr came to Minneapolis in 1882. He was employed as a draftsman with the firms of Plant and Whitney and the Orff Brothers until 1886 when he started his own practice with partner William D. Powell. Dorr worked with at least one other architect, William P. Appleyard, before establishing an independent firm in 1890.
During his tenure in Minneapolis, Dorr designed well over 100 buildings, primarily private residences in south Minneapolis, but also commercial blocks, rowhouses, apartment buildings, offices, churches, and warehouses. Dorrs most notable commissions included the West 15 th Street Rowhouses (1886), the Ogden Apartment Hotel (1910), and the Key es House (1904).