Born November 17, 1890 in Minneapolis, Perry E. Crosier entered the world of architecture at age 18, in 1909, working as a draftsman for architect Harry W. Jones. From 1910 to 1913, he was employed by various firms including Bertrand and Chamberland, Harrington-Skiles, and J.L. Helden. After a short-lived venture operating a design-build firm, Crosier began practicing as an independent architect in 1916, which he continued to do for the majority of his career. Early in his career, Crosier developed strong and long-lasting professional relationships with the Fleisher Construction Company and with architects Liebenberg and Kaplan. Crosier worked closely with both of these firms for decades. Sometime between 1918 and 1922 Crosier married Hazel Fall, with whom he had two sons, Paul and Donald. In 1946 Paul joined his father in architectural practice, and together they operated the firm Perry E. Crosier & Son.
Perry Crosier is perhaps best known for his theaters. During the golden age of cinema, commissions for elaborate theaters abounded, and Crosier was very active designing theaters. In addition to nine theaters in Minneapolis, he is known to have worked on theaters in Saint Paul, West Saint Paul, Edina, Hopkins, Saint Louis Park, Faribault, Wabasha, Detroit Lakes, Morris, and New Richmond, WI. Crosier is known to have collaborated with Liebenberg and Kaplan on a number of theaters, and may have had a role in the design of additional theaters credited to them. In several instances Crosier conducted remodels on theaters that he had designed himself, updating their original 1920s Period Revival and Baroque exterior and interior ornamentation to the Art Deco and Streamline Moderne styles more popular in the 1930s and 40s.
While Perry Crosier’s theaters may have garnered the most critical acclaim, he worked on a wide variety of building types, designing stores, warehouses, offices, gas stations, factories, single-family homes, duplexes, and apartment buildings. It was in the design of apartment buildings that Crosier was most prolific. He is known to have designed at least 76 apartment buildings in Minneapolis. Many of the apartment buildings he designed during the 1920s and 30s incorporate elements of period revival architecture, including the Spanish Colonial Revival and Tudor Revival styles. During the 1930s, Crosier also began to design buildings in the Art Deco style. He continued to design apartment buildings after World War II, but they lacked the ornamentation of his pre-war designs, likely due to both economic factors and changing taste.
Updated: August 2015