George Neff was born in Philadelphia, the son of Rose and Maurice J. Neff. He attended Central High School, where he began his architectural studies, and entered the University of Pennsylvania on a city scholarship. He earned a B. Arch. from Penn in 1929, serving as an instructor in freehand drawing his senior year. He then went on to complete an M.Arch. from Harvard University in 1932, where he also earned a scholarship and was awarded the Eugene Dodd Medal for proficiency in freehand drawing in 1932. He also won the Frederick Lewis Sheldon Traveling Fellowship for a post-graduate year, and produced a group of watercolor sketches during his wanderings in Europe and North Africa that were exhibited at Harvard and at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts after his return.
Before attending Harvard, Neff worked first in the office of Simon & Simon (1928-1930) and then briefly in the office of John T. Windrim (1930-1931). While associated with Simon & Simon Neff worked as a designer assigned to such projects as the Strawbridge & Clothier Department Store and the Fidelity Philadelphia Trus Building. While with Windrim his design work included work on Wills Eye Hospital and the Franklin Institute. After Harvard and one year spent traveling in Europe on the Sheldon Traveling Fellowship in Architecture, he returned to Philadelphia and worked for Harry Sternfeld (1934; on the Federal Court Building and Post Office), Solomon Kaplan (1935), and David Supowitz (1935) before opening his own practice in 1936. The firm, later called George W. Neff & Associates, continued until his retirement in 1975. Neff joined the national AIA in 1942 and was a member of the Philadelphia Chapter.
Emily T. Cooperman, and
Sandra L. Tatman.
Clubs and Membership Organizations
- Pennsylvania Society of Architects
- American Institute of Architects (AIA)
- Philadelphia Chapter, AIA
- University of Pennsylvania
- Harvard University
- Central High School
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