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

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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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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Ernest F. Guilbert, Where Are You?

April 28th, 2007 · 5 Comments · Articles, Biographical, Miscellaneous

If James Betelle was a mystery when this project began, than Ernest F. Guilbert, his partner, was a mystery wrapped in an enigma encased in a block of lucite. There was–and is–very little information regarding this architect who clearly had a strong influence on Betelle. Today the mystery is lessened. I found his obituary in […]

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