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

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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More Newark, More Schools

May 10th, 2007 · 1 Comment · Architecture, Diary

Last week I headed down to Newark to learn more about James Betelle’s tragically short-lived partner, Ernest F. Guilbert. I scored quickly by finding Guilbert’s obituary at the library, which painted a pretty good portrait of his life and career. With that done, I was off to chase down a number of schools I hadn’t […]

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The Franklin Murphy House, Newark NJ

October 14th, 2006 · 5 Comments · Architecture, Miscellaneous

The only private residence Guilbert & Betelle designed (that I know of) was the Franklin Murphy House in Newark, New Jersey. Franklin Murphy had quite a life; born in 1846, he fought in the Civil War as a teenager, seeing action at Gettysburg. He went on to found the Murphy Varnish Company in Newark, and […]

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