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

Entries from June 2009

Before and McAfter

June 27th, 2009 · 2 Comments · Architecture, Diary

Guilbert & Betelle designed a number of banks for Newark in the early 1920s. They are frustratingly difficult to track down, because few reveal their addresses, or are probably drastically altered in appearance. Well this one, the United States Savings Bank on Broad Street, still exists. I’ve unknowingly walked past it dozens of times, because […]

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The Point of Pencils

June 20th, 2009 · No Comments · Biographical, Miscellaneous

The output of new works from Guilbert & Betelle plummeted in the 1930s, as the Depression caused a suspension of school infrastructure programs. The firm layed off most of the staff, which numbered over 200 just a few years earlier. Reduced to minor, low profile jobs—building service upgrades, interior renovations—James Betelle had little need to […]

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