Frank A. Hays was born to William Hays, who worked for the railroad, and Rebecca Allison. He received his formal training in architecture and architectural drawing at the Pennsylvania Museum and School of Industrial Art during the years 1886 to 1888 and at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 1889-1891. Before establishing an independent practice he worked for the firm of Cope & Stewardson but by 1893 was in the office of Robert G. Kennedy. In 1898 that relationship was formalized, when, along with Albert Kelsey, Hays and Kennedy established the firm of Kennedy, Hays & Kelsey. This firm endured for two years, with Hays withdrawing in 1900 to undertake employment by the University of Pennsylvania in the School of Architecture as a professor of pen and ink rendering, an area in which he had already proven his accomplishments by winning the year's record of prizes from the T-Square Club for 1890.
From 1902 through 1906 Hays's activities, according to the Philadelphia city directories, focused on publishing and rendering. This activity would bear fruit in 1915 when Hays's Architectural Rendering in Pen and Ink was published. By 1907 Hays was again listing himself as an architect in the city directories, and as such he continued through 1930. He chiefly worked alone during this period, but did associate briefly with George Rehfuss and Spencer Roberts. In the early twentieth century Hays was also involved with the Pennsylvania Wire Glass Company and with his wife, artist Margaret Gebbie, in the Children's Novelty Company, which made paper dolls.
Hays was elected to junior membership in the Philadelphia Chapter of the AlA in 1887. He also served on the Board of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts during 1901-1902.
I thank David Watson, great-great grandson of Frank A. Hays, for supplying much of the information here relating to his life outside of architecture. He turned a brief biography into a full biographical treatment.
Sandra L. Tatman.
Clubs and Membership Organizations
- Philadelphia Chapter, AIA
- T-Square Club
- Union League of Philadelphia
- University of Pennsylvania
- Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts
- Pennsylvania Museum and School of Industrial Art
Links to Other Resources
- Illustrates paper dolls by Margaret Hays and cites Frank Hays and his patents
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