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

Entries Tagged as 'Biographical'

Down Wilmington Way

May 27th, 2008 · 1 Comment · Architecture, Biographical, Diary

In March, 2008, I took a three-day excursion to James Betelle’s hometown of Wilmington, Delaware. My plan was to visit a few research libraries, see significant locations, and, well, just get a sense of where Betelle came from. What follows is a recreation of the trip presented in the dramatic diary format. Thursday, March 13. […]

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Meet the Betelles

December 7th, 2007 · No Comments · Biographical

John Wesley Betelle was born, lived and died in Delaware. Spending most of his life as a clerk for the B&O Railroad in Wilmington, I suspect he traveled very little, if he left the state at all. 1921 was a big year for his son James. Between Guilbert’s death in 1916 and a stint in […]

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The Home of Mr. Ernest F. Guilbert

November 11th, 2007 · 1 Comment · Architecture, Articles, Biographical

In my entry regarding the Franklin Murphy house, I ruminated that it was the only known residential structure designed by Guilbert & Betelle. As it turns out, I was wrong. I’ve recently had the privilege of corresponding with members of the Guilbert family, who have shown a keen interest in my research. Given the circumstances […]

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Hallowed Ground

September 3rd, 2007 · 1 Comment · Biographical, Diary

I finally visited Ernest Guilbert’s gravesite. I had made an attempt a while ago, but the office was closed. Evergreen Cemetery in Hillside, NJ, is over 150 acres, so I wasn’t about to look the hard way. I went directly to the office, a charming little Mansard Victorian building near the main gate. The clerk […]

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Drawings on the Past

August 10th, 2007 · 2 Comments · Biographical, Miscellaneous

Now this is a fun little thing. By sheer luck I’ve found caricature illustrations of both James Betelle and Ernest Guilbert. I’ve had the Betelle drawing for a while, but just recently acquired the Guilbert, so I can now present them as the symmetrical pair they were destined to be. Ye Architect of Ye Great […]

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