James Betelle, Where Are You?

The Search for a Lost Architect

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To be good architecture, the design of the exterior of the building should express the character and purpose for which the interior of the building is used, as “truthful expression” is just as desirable in architecture as it is in all other things in life. — James O. Betelle, The American School Board Journal, April, 1919

Architectural Owls

November 27th, 2008 · No Comments · Architecture

New Rochelle High School

Today is Thanksgiving, and as I sit here reflecting on my good fortune (and not that of the turkey cooking a few feet away), I thought I would pay tribute to another, less celebrated bird: the Owl.

Owls have long stood for intelligence, scholasticism and wisdom, so it’s no surprise they were often used as a visual element in school architecture. James Betelle may have had a particular yen for the bird, as they pop-up more than a few times on his own buildings.

So if you’re killing time before diving into the gastronomic orgy that marks this day, take a look at this collection of Guilbert & Betelle schools where these noble birds quietly gaze over the students below.

Enjoy, and Happy Thanksgiving!

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