James Betelle, Where Are You?

The Search for a Lost Architect

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Mr. Betelle was a kindly man who appreciated good work from his employees and had a personal interest in their welfare. The epitaph he chose for Mr. Guilbert’s grave might well be repeated for Mr. Betelle — TO LIVE IN HEARTS WE LEAVE BEHIND IS NOT TO DIE. — Terese A. Coburn, Secretary to Betelle

The New York Times Gets it Right

March 1st, 2008 · 1 Comment · Miscellaneous

This Sunday’s New York Times real estate section profiles South Orange, N.J. in the Living In column. The joint school district of South Orange and Maplewood feature some of James Betelle’s finest school designs and continue draw young families today.

In the article, Dave Caldwell, a Maplewood resident, correctly notes Columbia High School as “…an 80-year-old Collegiate Gothic building that sits a block from the South Orange border.” A brief description, to be sure, but one that is often wrong (it was completed in 1927, not earlier, and is in Maplewood, not SO).

Kudos to Caldwell and the Times from this stickler of a Betelle historian.

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1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Cathy Bataille // Mar 1, 2008 at 3:16 pm

    Here’s what I want to know (as a next-door-neighbor of South Orange living in Maplewood.) Was James Betelle’s name originally Bataille but amended in Ellis Island (like so many others?) Many people mispronounce my last name as if it were Betelle. Just wondering. My family has lived in and around this area since the late 1800’s, I think.

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