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

The Marshall School, South Orange, New Jersey

August 15th, 2006 · 1 Comment · Architecture

One of the most important contracts for Guilbert & Betelle were the schools of the South Orange and Maplewood School District in New Jersey, where they would eventually design all of the new school buildings up through 1930. The creation of the first school they built, The Marshall School, (named for retiring Board president James […]

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Columbia High School in The Encyclopædia Britannica

August 2nd, 2006 · No Comments · Articles

Guilbert and Betelle are represented in the 14th Edition of The Encyclopædia Britannica (1929, vol. 20; SARS to SORC), under the heading School Architecture. It’s a one-paragraph blurb describing Columbia High School, accompanied by the first floor plan (which incorrectly places CHS in South Orange; the building is in Maplewood): “The Columbia high school, South […]

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“New Grade School Buildings of South Orange and Maplewood, NJ”

July 20th, 2006 · No Comments · Architecture, Articles

The following article by JOB appeared in The American School Board Journal, January, 1926. In it, he outlines the unique structure of the SO/M school system, accompanied by photographs and floorplans of the four initial grade schools. His description is rather understated, considering how huge the project was; the district had essentially planned to build, […]

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South Mountain School, South Orange, N.J.

July 18th, 2006 · 8 Comments · Architecture

South Mountain School in South Orange, New Jersey, was the last of the original slate of grade schools to be built for the South Orange-Maplewood School District by Guilbert & Betelle. Originally called The Wyoming Avenue School, it was completed in February, 1930. There is frustratingly little historical information about it, relative to the other […]

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“Columbia High School, South Orange and Maplewood, N.J.”

July 18th, 2006 · No Comments · Architecture, Articles

James Betelle wrote many articles for educational journals of the day, most notably The American School Board Journal. This one is a brief look at the major features of Columbia High School, which opened its doors in 1927. The article was published in the January, 1928 issue of ASBJ. COLUMBIA HIGH SCHOOL, SOUTH ORANGE AND […]

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