James Betelle, Where Are You?

The Search for a Lost Architect

James Betelle, Where Are You? header image 1

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

“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 […]

[Read more →]

Tags:···

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. […]

[Read more →]

Tags:···

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 […]

[Read more →]

Tags:···

“New School Buildings, State of Delaware”

September 3rd, 2006 · No Comments · Articles

The following excerpts are from a lengthy article by Betelle that appeared in The American Architect, Vol. CXVII, Number 2321, June 16, 1920. In it, he outlines the roots of Pierre S. duPont’s epic rural school-building plan for the State of Delaware and the civic, educational and personal benefits it would bring to the citizens […]

[Read more →]

Tags:··