Alexander Jackson Davis was one of the most successful and influential American architects of his generation, known particularly for his association with the Gothic Revival style.
Davis was born in New York City to Cornelius Davis, a bookseller and editor of theological works, and Julia Jackson. He spent his early years in New Jersey and attended elementary school in upstate New York. In 1818, Davis went to Alexandria, Virginia, to learn the printing trade from a half-brother.
Living mostly in New York City from 1823 onward, he studied at the American Academy of Fine Arts, the New-York Drawing Association, and from the Antique casts of the National Academy of Design.