Edward A. Crane was the son of John A. and Susan M. (Buchanan) Crane. After graduation from Taunton High School, he entered the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and received his Certificate in Architecture in 1888. He then entered the office of Shepley, Rutan & Coolidge of Boston, followed by work for Wheelwright & Haven, also of Boston. By 1896 Crane was employed in the Office of the Supervising Architect, U.S. Treasury Department, as Chief of the Engineering and Drafting Division. While thus employed, he contributed to the design of government buildings in Akron, OH, New London, CT, Brockton, MA, and Philadelphia. It was possibly from this government work or through his MIT experience that Crane became acquainted with the firm of Rankin & Kellogg (John Hall Rankin and Thomas Kellogg) of Philadelphia. By 1903 this firm had revised its name to Rankin, Kellogg & Crane, with Crane as a full partner. During the years of his association with the firm (1903 to 1925), Rankin, Kellogg & Crane designed a number of government buildings, including the controversial U.S. Post Office Building in Indianapolis, IN. In 1925 Crane struck out on his own, opened an office on the 14th floor of the Elverson Building (Philadelphia Inquirer Building, North Broad Street), and remained in independent practice for the ten years remaining until his death. There is no doubt that Crane's influence on the firm of Rankin & Kellogg was a continuation of the Beaux-Arts design which the partners already favored. In addition, his years of service in a federal department enhanced the success of the firm in government competitions.
Throughout his association with Rankin and Kellogg, Crane served with various other architectural committees and commissions. He was City Architect for Philadelphia from June, 1913, to June, 1914. He also served as Superintendent for the Independence Hall Restoration in 1912 and as consulting architect for the Carson College competition of 1915.
In his early years Crane had belonged to the Boston Architectural Club. He joined the AlA in 1908 and achieved fellowship status in 1914. His service to the national organization of the AlA was also noteworthy, as he participated in the committee on government architecture in 1910 and 1911 and on the Board of Directors, Judiciary Committee, Finance Committee and Committee on Institute Publications during the years 1912 to 1914. He was also a member of the Philadelphia Chapter of the AlA and served as its president from 1919 to 1920.
Sandra L. Tatman.
Clubs and Membership Organizations
- American Institute of Architects (AIA)
- Philadelphia Chapter, AIA
- Boston Architectural Club
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
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