Ralph E. White, son of Thomas E. and Emiline (Dunot) White, attended Central High School and received his Certificate in Building Construction from Drexel Institute in 1901, in addition to taking night courses at the Pennsylvania Museum and School of Industrial Arts. He apprenticed with E. F. Durang and by 1901 had launched his own independent firm. Early commissions reported by Philadelphia Real Estate Record and Builders Guide indicate that he began with the church commissions in which Durang would have influenced him: St. Joseph Church, Trenton, NJ (1904), St. Mary Church parochial school, Gay & Conarroe streets, Manayunk, Philadelphia (1907), Hungarian Reform Church parsonage, Phoenixville (1904); however, he soon moved away from these into libraries, designing a branch for the City of Philadelphia at 6614 North 12th Street (1910). At least by 1914 White had begun a series of commissions for clubs, including a caddy house for the Pine Valley Country Club in Summit, NJ (1914), the Seaview Country Club, Absecon, NJ (1915-1916), alterations to Whitemarsh Valley Country Club (1920), a stable for the Devon Horse Show Association (1921), and various designs associated with the Philadelphia Country Club (1926-1928).
White became a member of the American Institute of America (AIA) in 1945.
Sandra L. Tatman.
Clubs and Membership Organizations
- American Institute of Architects (AIA)
- Union League of Philadelphia
- Philadelphia Country Club
- Pennsylvania Museum and School of Industrial Art
- Drexel Institute
- Central High School
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