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Born: 5/31/1928, Died: 2/17/2000

John S. Sabatino was born in South Philadelphia to Felix and Marina Sabatino and graduated from Southeast Catholic High School (later St. John Neumann High School) in 1945. He attended St. Joseph's College (1945-7) before studying architecture at the Drexel Evening College (1947-51), where he won the Dean Riddle award and scholarship in his final year. He was a member of the T-Square Club Atelier in 1948.

Office training began in 1948 with a summer stint of employment with David Supowitz. Then, from September 1948 to May 1949, he was engaged by Herman H. Kline, moving in May 1949 to the office of William Heyl Thompson, where he remained until 1951. Further experience included: Gilboy, O'Malley & Claus (October 1951 to March 1952); Day & Zimmermann (March 1952 to January 1953); and Nolen & Swinburne (January 1953 to January 1955).

Early in 1955, Sabatino established his own office and was joined that year by Morton L. Fishman. The November 1955 they formed a partnership. Sabatino & Fishman continued until 1967, when Sabatino returned to solo practice. His firm later became John S. Sabatino Associates and then Sabatino Architects. Sabatino specialized in ecclesiastical work and had many commissions from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. He joined the national AIA in 1956, and was a member of the Philadelphia Chapter. Sabatino served on the AIA's professional practice committee in 1965.

Sabatino was an avid watercolorist; he opened an art gallery and studio in Conshohocken the year of his death. He was named Italian American of the Year in 1960 by the The Sons of Italy Fountain of Trevi Lodge in Philadelphia.

Written by Emily T. Cooperman, and Sandra L. Tatman.

Clubs and Membership Organizations

  • Philadelphia Art Alliance
  • American Institute of Architects (AIA)
  • Philadelphia Chapter, AIA
  • T-Square Club
  • Philadelphia Water Color Club
  • Sons of Italy

School Affiliations

  • Drexel Institute
  • St. Joseph's College


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