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 Tagged as 'Biographical'

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 […]

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“A Simple But Impressive Ceremony”

October 22nd, 2011 · No Comments · Biographical

James Betelle’s death is one of the more curious aspects of his story.  He died in Italy, ending up in an unmarked pauper’s grave, while in Delaware, a stone with his name on it sits quietly in an old cemetery. How did he come to be buried (as it were), in two places? I’ve already […]

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His Earthly Labors

September 11th, 2011 · No Comments · Articles, Biographical

The Newark Sunday Call of December 3, 1916, offered this brief obituary for Ernest F. Guilbert, who died two days earlier: Few men in the last generation have left a more enduring mark upon this community than one who came here less than a decade ago, and who now has ceased his earthly labors. We […]

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Doings in the Hive of the Three Busy B’s

October 14th, 2009 · No Comments · Biographical, Miscellaneous

Office parties—when the staff lets their hair down, the boss awkwardly pretends to be “one of the gang”, and at least one person gets embarrassingly drunk—are a staple of the corporate world. These days, such events are limp, pathetic affairs, attended with the same enthusiasm as your average dental cleaning. Last week, during one of […]

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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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