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

Durand-Hedden Lecture

April 9th, 2012 · No Comments · Diary, Miscellaneous

I have the honor of being asked to give a talk on the life and work of James Betelle at the Durand-Hedden House and Garden Association, on April 29th, from 1-4 pm. All are welcome—and I promise to reveal stories, some of a scandalous nature, not yet shared on this site…  

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A Piece on Pipes

August 1st, 2011 · No Comments · Architecture

From John Elwood, who has been leading an astounding—and successful—effort to restore a grand old pipe organ from a Guilbert & Betelle classic: Some Guilbert and Betelle schools have unusual features.  We’ve seen the greenhouses, the swimming pools, the observatories, and even the airplane shops… but in terms of sheer lavish expenditure in a public […]

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Maplewood, Mid-Century

May 26th, 2010 · 6 Comments · Architecture

I recently acquired  a 20 minute reel of 16mm silent color home movies, shot in Maplewood, New Jersey, in the 1950s-60s. In it are typical scenes of a family’s life; Church, Christmas, Halloween, hanging out at the pool, etc. Interspersed with this are scenes around Maplewood that any resident will easily recognize. Cars and clothes […]

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Columbia’s Auditorium Finally Getting Some TLC?

May 11th, 2010 · No Comments · Architecture

Marcia Worth at Patch, on Columbia High Schools wonderful auditorium that is in desperate need of restoration: But like an old home that has been lived in for generations, the auditorium is due for some renovation. The South Orange-Maplewood Education Foundation‘s fundraiser “A Night on the Towns,” scheduled for Sunday, May 23, has designated the auditorium […]

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A Climb Up Columbia’s Clock Tower

April 10th, 2008 · 2 Comments · Architecture, Diary

This past Saturday I had the rare treat of being given a tour of the clock room and astronomical observatory of Columbia High School in Maplewood, New Jersey. As an alumnus of CHS, the massive clock tower has always been a source of some mystery. Lucky students have the chance to climb it, either for […]

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