H. Louis Duhring was born in Philadelphia, the son of the Rev. Herman L. and Lucy (Bryant) Duhring. His early education was received in the Philadelphia public schools, and he graduated from Central Manual Training School in 1891. He then attended the University of Pennsylvania, receiving his B.S. in Architecture for the Class of 1895 in 1904. By 1892 Duhring had begun a period of office experience with the firm of Mantle Fielding
followed in 1893 by work with Furness, Evans & Co.
. In 1897 Duhring became the first recipient of the Stewardson Traveling Scholarship (for his design for "A City Church"), enabling him to do extensive sketching in Venice, Italy, including (according to his obituary in the New York Times
) measured drawings of the campanile of San Marco which were used for rebuilding the tower after its collapse in 1902.
Returning to Philadelphia in 1898, he launched his own firm, followed in 1899 by his collaboration with R. Brognard Okie and Carl A. Ziegler under the name of Duhring, Okie & Ziegler. This firm continued in operation through 1918, when Okie resigned. Duhring & Ziegler remained in practice through 1924, with H. Louis Duhring working independently following that time.
While the early work of Duhring, Okie & Ziegler was based on the successful residential development which was in progress in the environs of Philadelphia at the turn of the century, by 1910 Duhring himself had begun designing residences for Dr. George Woodward, the developer of St. Martins and Chestnut Hill in Philadelphia. Work for Woodward included experimentation with the quadruple houses, used on Benezet Street, as well as with the Cotswold style that was popular at the time and that lent itself to the English village atmosphere which Woodward desired. Later, however, Duhring and his partners, both as a firm and individually, became known for their use of the Pennsylvania farmhouse type and for their interest in the restoration of Pennsylvania landmarks.
Duhring joined the AIA in 1914 and became a fellow of the Institute in 1952. He was active in the T-Square Club and the Philadelphia Chapter of the AIA and was also a member of the Sons of the Revolution; he served on the Board of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and as president of the Architectural Alumni Society of the University of Pennsylvania.