Paul M. Hesser, Jr., was born in the Holmesburg section of Philadelphia and graduated from Northeast High School in 1910. He then received his B.S. in Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania in 1915, followed by his M.S. in 1916. In 1916 he began his apprenticeship in the office of Paul A. Davis, moving on to Rankin & Kellogg one year later. From 1918 to 1919 he worked for Ballinger & Perrot and from 1919 to 1920 for Horace Trumbauer. In 1920 he entered the Office of the City Architect of Philadelphia and remained there until 1923, when he formally established an independent practice. He later served on the Philadelphia City Planning Commission (1936/1936), with the U.S. Public Works Administration (1936-1938), and with the General State Authority (1938/39). While his practice included a number of residences, his mature style exhibited a specialty in the restoration or recreation of the Pennsylvania Colonial style.
Hesser was a member of the Philadelphia Chapter of the AIA and of the national organization. In addition, he held memberships in the Pennsylvania Society of the Sons of the Revolution and in the Military Order of the Loyal Legion. A skilled vocalist, he was active in both the Orpheus and the Mask & Wig Clubs, performing in a number of their productions.
Sandra L. Tatman.
Clubs and Membership Organizations
- Orpheus Club
- American Institute of Architects (AIA)
- Philadelphia Chapter, AIA
- Mask and Wig Club
- Military Order of the Loyal Legion
- Pennsylvania Society of the Sons of the Revolution
- University of Pennsylvania
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