Charles Balderston was born in Colora, Cecil Co., MD. His parents, Lloyd and Catherine Canby Balderston, were members of the West Nottingham, MD, meeting of the Society of Friends; and he began his education at home, tutored by his father, before entering the Select Friends School in Colora. In May, 1867 he came to the Philadelphia area to attend Westtown School; but by 1868 he had left school to work with his brother Mark in the building firm of Balderston & Albertson. He remained in his brother's firm as an apprentice for four years, entered Samuel Sloan's architectural firm as a student in 1873, and stayed with Sloan until 1874. By 1875 he was working for another Quaker architect who at one time also been associated with Sloan, Addison Hutton. This relationship might have been reinforced by familial ties because Charles Balderston's builder brother, Mark, had by this time formed another building firm with Hutton's brother Finley -- Balderston & Hutton. By 1876, however, Sloan had lured Balderston back to his firm as a full partner. He worked briefly with both Sloan and Isaiah Young in Sloan, Balderston & Young, but by 1877 the firm was simply Sloan & Balderston. This relationship with Sloan endured until 1883 when Balderston struck out on his own. He continued to practice independently until shortly before his death, specializing in (according to citations in the Philadelphia Real Estate Record and Builders Guide) industrial buildings and bakeries.
Balderston held memberships in both the national AIA (elected in 1901) and its Philadelphia Chapter. In 1907 he attended the House Painters and Decorators convention as a representative of the Philadelphia Chapter, along with Thomas Nolan and William D. Hewitt.
Sandra L. Tatman.
Clubs and Membership Organizations
- American Institute of Architects (AIA)
- Philadelphia Chapter, AIA
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