The young man began architectural study in New York under Richard Upjohn.
After a thorough training in the Upjohn office Mr. Potter returned to his native city to open an office for architectural practice.
One of his early works was the Nott-Potter Memorial at Schenectady built about 1858, a Romanesque structure resembling the Baptistery at Pisa, Italy. He also designed churches in New England, New York state and elsewhere, all in the same style. Probably the most important of these were the Dutch Reformed Church in Schenectady, c.1862; Church of St. James, Lewiston, Ill., completed in the early years of the Civil War; Harvard Street Congregational Church in Boston, 1878; Church of the Good Shepherd, Hartford, Conn., and St. John's Church in Yonkers, N. Y.