Born to one of Philadelphia's most successful architects of Catholic projects, E. F. Durang, F. Ferdinand Durang was educated at Notre Dame Academy in Philadelphia, followed by Collegiate Military Academy and Drexel Institute, with supplementary courses at the Pennsylvania Museum and School of Industrial Art. On 5 November 1909 he became a formal partner in his father's prolific office, and the name of the firm was revised to Edwin F. Durang & Son. After his father's death in 1911, F. Ferdinand Durang continued the work of the office under his own name. The Durangs maintained a presence in New York City at least by 1909, and in 1922 to 1923 F. F. Durang had an office at 507 Fifth Avenue. In 1931 he officially moved to New York City, establishing an office at 238 East 47th Street; but by the 1940s he had relocated to Summit, NJ, where he published the Architects' Exchange, a quarterly periodical for the profession. He retired from active practice in 1956, but continued as a consulting architect at least through 1961.
Most of Durang's work continued to concentrate on the Catholic projects at which his father had excelled, and for most buildings the younger Durang also continued to use the traditional revival styles at which his father was so adept. In fact, after Durang moved to New York, he issued a brochure in which a long list of buildings advertised the experience of the firm. The cover illustration of the Chapel of the Queen of the Miraculous Medal for the Vincentian Fathers in Princeton, NJ is F. F. Durang's design, but its style is the generic Gothic that could have been created any time after the turn of the century.
Durang achieved emeritus status in the AIA in 1957.
PLEASE NOTE: In the American Architects Directory of 1962 Durang's entry claims that he graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1906; however, no records have been discovered to document this. Furthermore, an earlier biography, published in 1927 in Who's Who in Philadelphia does not make this claim, but instead cites both Drexel Institute and the Pennsylvania Museum and School of Industrial Art.
Sandra L. Tatman.
Clubs and Membership Organizations
- American Institute of Architects (AIA)
- Philadelphia Chapter, AIA
- Union League of Philadelphia
- New Jersey Society of Architects
- Penn Athletic Club
- Pennsylvania Museum and School of Industrial Art
- Drexel Institute
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