James Betelle, Where Are You?

The Search for a Lost Architect

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The architects who constructed Columbia High School gave us a building that will serve us well for many, many years to come. It is solid, it is comfortable, it is clean and warm and it maintains an educational outlook that is both modern and classic. I don’t think we can ask for much more from our buildings. — American School & University, 1978

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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