Simon & Bassett occupied an office at 1112 Chestnut Street and included partners David B. Bassett
and Edward P. Simon
, recently of the firm of Caldwell & Simon
. Simon was a product of Drexel Institute's program in architecture, and Bassett had attended classes at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.
The output of the partners is wideranging, but includes a number of the residences on which many early 20th-century firms in Philadelphia based their practices. In 1908, for example, they were involved with the major development around Oak Lane for the Oak Lane Park Building Company. Residential development, however, was not all that the partners were capable of managing, and many of these early commissions demonstrate the commercial expertise that would become a mainstay of Edward P. Simon's long career. By 1911 the partners were producing designs for the Manufacturers Club at 150 South Broad Street; in 1912 they constructed the Garden Pier in Atlantic City, NJ; and in 1914 they designed for the City of Philadelphia a complex of police station, fire station, patrol garage, etc., at 22nd Street and Hunting Park Avenue. On the brink of the 1919 replacement of Bassett with E. P. Simon's Ecole-trained brother Grant M. Simon, the partners took on Lit Brothers as a client and began a residential operation for the Chester Shipbuilding Co. (Emergency Fleet Corporation) in Chester, PA, that would include 227 dwellings, one boarding house for 25, one hotel, and 23 apartments. On this commission they associated with G. Edwin Brumbaugh.