Louis McAllister was born in Millville, NJ. He studied architecture at several Philadelphia institutions, attending evening classes at the Drexel Institute between 1916 and 1918 and at the Pennsylvania Museum School of Industrial Art in 1917 and 1918; he also was enrolled as a special student at the University of Pennsylvania in 1920 and 1921, earning a Certificate of Proficiency there. He served in the U.S. Signal Corps in 1917-18. In the 1920s, he worked as a draftsman in a number of Philadelphia architectural offices: first for Paul Cret in 1921-22, then for G. Edwin Brumbaugh in 1922, and finally for Mellor, Meigs & Howe. When George Howe left his partners in 1928, McAllister went with him; and he remained with Howe until 1942, rising to the position of associate in the practice. He joined the national AIA in 1936.
In 1946, McAllister formed a partnership with Douglas G. Braik that continued until 1950, after which he practiced independently. He worked in association with other architects on several large projects in the 1950s and 1960s. These included the Mill Creek Housing Project in Philadelphia, a collaboration with Louis I. Kahn and Kenneth Day, and the Philadelphia Bulletin Building on Market Street, for which he was associated with his former employer, George Howe.
McAllister was the first chairman of the Jenkintown, PA, zoning board of adjustment, serving from 1941 to 1970; he was a member of the Jenkintown Planning Commission in the same period. He was among the leaders of the Philadelphia Chapter of the AIA in the 1940s, serving as secretary in 1943-44, a director in 1945-6, vice president in 1946-47, and president in 1949-50. McAllister also was a member of the board of directors of the Pennsylvania Society of Architects between in 1950 and 1954 and again between 1958 and 1960; he was on that organization¿s executive committee between 1950 and 1960.
Emily T. Cooperman.
Clubs and Membership Organizations
- Pennsylvania Society of Architects
- American Institute of Architects (AIA)
- Philadelphia Chapter, AIA
- University of Pennsylvania
- Pennsylvania Museum and School of Industrial Art
- Drexel Institute
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