Angus S. Wade is part of a group of Philadelphia architects working in the last two decades of the nineteenth century who combined a rather florid architectural style with hardheaded business practice. He was born in Montpelier, VT. After moving to Philadelphia around 1883, he worked in the office of Willis G. Hale, with whom he received expert training in the design of hotels and apartment houses, a skill which he would use to advantage when he established his own office at 1017 Chestnut Street in 1886. In 1887 he briefly worked in association with J. Harris Reed, using the name Reed & Wade, but the Philadelphia Real Estate Record and Builders Guide announced on 21 November 1887 that the "partnership with Reed dissolved on 17th of this month. Business will be carried on at the old office, 20 South Broad, by Mr. Wade . . . "
Thereafter he is chiefly known as an architect working independently. Aside from the many hotels (Hotel Metropole, Broad and Locust streets; Rittenhouse Hotel, 22nd and Chestnut streets; Hotel Hanover, 12th and Arch streets) and apartment houses which Wade designed, he relied on residential operations as the chief source of his income. Therefore, it is not surprising to find that he has established a firm of builders in the early years of the twentieth century, using the names Wade & Gilpin and Wade & Bell. Thus he could capitalize on the work which he had formerly executed for other developers in the the neighborhoods of West Philadelphia which were constructed during the 1880s and 1890s (44 residences for the Bergdoll Brewing Co., 28th and Brown streets, 1888).
After 1904 Wade disappears from Philadelphia city directories, but the latter years of his career were spent in New Jersey and in Brooklyn, NY. He was admitted to the AIA in 1925 (using the sponsorship of John T. Windrim, Grant Simon, and Carl Berger. He was also a member of the Florida Association of Architects.
Sandra L. Tatman.
Clubs and Membership Organizations
- Philadelphia Art Club
- American Institute of Architects (AIA)
- Union League of Philadelphia
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