James Betelle, Where Are You?

The Search for a Lost Architect

James Betelle, Where Are You? header image 1

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

August Sieder, Jr.

August 22nd, 2013 · 1 Comment · Architecture, Biographical

I don’t actively research Betelle much anymore, but I do have automatic searches in place at a number of websites. eBay is the busiest, where occasional magazines and postcards pop up. I mostly ignore those, as it’s generally material I already have. But sometimes a unique item appears. This morning, I saw this:


It’s the envelope only, so not of specific interest. But who was Mr. August Sieder, Jr. of South Orange New Jersey? First, let’s see his house:

A pretty typical smaller suburban house. But what was Sieder’s occupation that Guilbert & Betelle would be writing him? A quick trip to Ancestry.com tells us:

Screen Shot 2013-08-22 at 9.03.06 AM

An architect, of course. So a general Google search didn’t reveal much besides being listed with the AIA. The next stop is the New York Times obituaries where we get a bit more info. It would appear he spent most of his career with G&B. Attributing him to having designed the Betelle structures mentioned is probably a bit loose with the facts—a team of people would have designed those structures—but it does give us one more concrete link to the people who worked with Betelle.




1 response so far ↓

  • 1 John A. Sieders // Oct 15, 2013 at 8:28 am

    13:30 WET
    Pity to be of no help for the search of August Sieder Jr., the architect, but…..
    as a matter of fact my German ancestor immigrated from Bischofswerda to the Netherlands around the years 1648-1652 (wartime) and married in the province of Drenthe (Meppel) with Aeltien Hermens. His name in the certificate of marriage: Augustus Sieder.
    Later on all descendants from him got the name SIEDERS.
    Counted from him I am generation 11, born 31-05-192 in Meppel.
    Greetings from sunny Portugal,
    John A. SIEDERS

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