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

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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