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Federal Years

The first world war years brought a slowdown to Buffalo building and Coxhead turned to the federal government for work.  In 1918, he started working for the War Department at the Curtiss-Elmwood Depot in Buffalo.  In 1920 he was transferred to the Army Air Corp, but apparently still stationed in Buffalo.  In 1923, he was transferred to McCook Field in Dayton, OH, and he moved his family there, but he continued to work at airfields nationwide, including Chanute Airfield in Rantoul, IL, and Bolling Field in Washington, DC.

 

The Army Air Corps went through a series of cost cutting measures in the mid-1920s and Coxhead lost his position in late 1925.  Luckily for him, though, he had built a strong reputation in military circles and in 1926 he was reinstated, working for the Veterans Administration.  He continued to work for the VA until 1934, when he retired at the age of 71.  While working for the VA, he was based in Washington, DC, where he was active in the local AIA chapter and helped to fashion the AIA contract standards.  His designs of the VA hospitals at Albuquerque, NM, Bedford, MA, Asheville, NC, and Northport, NY became part of the architectural set for VA hospitals still in use today.  Coxhead also built model displays and painted watercolors of some of these hospitals for the VA’s exhibition at the 1933-34 Chicago’s Worlds Fair. 

 

Coxhead lost his wife, Carrie, in 1938 while on vacation in St. Petersburg, FL, and Coxhead himself died in 1943 in Brewster, NY.  Coxhead, who had become an FAIA in 1899, was reportedly the oldest member of the AIA at the time of his death.