E. A. Wightman was born in Philadelphia, the son of William B. and Mary A. Wightman. He graduated from Central High School in 1887 and attended classes in freehand drawing at Spring Garden Institute for one year. His office experience included work with Moses & King in 1889, John T. Windrim in 1895, Horace Trumbauer in 1896 and Guy King in 1897. From 1903 to 1913 he worked as a partner with King; and when the name changed to Guy King & Co., he remained with the firm (1914-1916). By 1919 the office name had changed again, this time to King & Wightman; and under this name the firm remained in operation at least through 1918 and possibly longer. By 1919 Wightman is beginning to appear independently in the Philadelphia Real Estate Record and Builders Guide. By the early 1920s Wightman is producing several buildings for the Masonic Home in Elizabethtown, PA.
A note in the membership records preserved at the American Institute of Architects indicates that Wightman was removed from the Chapter membership list due to unpaid dues; however, since he and partner Guy King had participated in the controversial competition for the Masonic Home in Elizabethtown, PA, where he would later contribute several buildings, it is possible that he either had been suspended for his participation or had withheld his dues in protest. (Guy King was suspended for two years in response to his competition entry.)
Sandra L. Tatman.
Clubs and Membership Organizations
- American Institute of Architects (AIA)
- Philadelphia Chapter, AIA
- T-Square Club
- Central High School
- Spring Garden Institute
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