James Betelle, Where Are You?

The Search for a Lost Architect

James Betelle, Where Are You? header image 1

Who dares to teach must never cease to learn. — John Cotton Dana, Inscription over entrance of the Newark Normal School

“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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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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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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Unfinished Stones

April 2nd, 2007 · 2 Comments · Biographical, Diary

After a 4-6 week wait, I finally received a copy of James Betelle’s will from the New Jersey State Archives (along with some court documents, which I will discuss at a later date). I had already seen a few pages from a 1930 version, acquired from the American Institute of Architect’s archives. Written when Betelle […]

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Lux Aeterna Luceat Eis

December 10th, 2006 · 2 Comments · Biographical, Diary

James Betelle died in Florence, Italy on June 3rd, 1954. This I have known since my earliest research into the man, and indeed many obituaries, biographies and articles point this out. What I have noticed is that one reference is merely copying an earlier one; often turns of phrase in one article can clearly be […]

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