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

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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$100 Million For Newark Schools

September 23rd, 2010 · No Comments · Miscellaneous

From the Wall Street Journal: Mark Zuckerberg, the 26-year-old founder and chief executive of Facebook Inc., plans to announce a donation of up to $100 million to the Newark schools this week, in a bold bid to improve one of the country’s worst performing public school systems. Potentially to be matched by funds raised by […]

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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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Something Beautiful

September 16th, 2009 · 1 Comment · Architecture, Articles

The April, 1915 issue of The School-Arts Magazine (“For Those Interested in Drawing & Handicraft”) ran a flowery piece, “Something Beautiful”, extolling the “rhythmic and refined” qualities of the Ridge Street School and Newark Normal School. Preceding the glowing praise are quotes from Ralph Adams Cram, “architect of some of the finest Gothic churches in […]

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