In 1916, when Francis G. Caldwell applies for membership in the Sons of the Revolution, he is sponsored by architect John Gilbert McIlvaine, and he asserts that he is a descendant of Andrew Caldwell, who was born in Little Britain, PA, and who served in the Continental Army, first as "conductor", then as lieutenant, and then as a surgeon. He notes that he himself was born in Philadelphia, son of Francis Marinus Caldwell (1831-1908) and Elizabeth Haines (Van Horne) Caldwell (1841-1913). Caldwell attended the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in 1876 and first appears in the Philadelphia city directories in 1885 as an engineer, followed in 1887 as an architect. By 1891 Caldwell is a draftsman with the notable firm of G. W. and W. D. Hewitt, and by 1898, again according to addresses in the city directory, he is working with the firm of Dull, Peterson and Coates, where he remains through 1899.
It is likely that he met his future partner, Edward P. Simon while in the employ of that firm, and by 1900 the two had set up their own firm under the name Caldwell & Simon (although some independent citations appear for Caldwell in the Philadelphia Real Estate Record and Builders Guide as early as 1896). Calwell & Simon was, however, a rather short-lived association; and by October, 1904, Caldwell has withdrawn from the office, shortly to be replaced by David B. Bassett and the name of Simon & Bassett.
Caldwell's projects after the partnership continue to appear in the PRERBG through 1917, and he maintains an independent architectural office, according to Philadelphia city directories, through 1925. He disappears from the 1926 city directory, but reappears in 1927 to 1930 as secretary and then president (but with no company noted), and finally in 1935/36 with no occupation.
Caldwell's independent practice is chiefly residential, with a few housing operations noted (1896 for Houghton and Buchanan in Ambler, PA, for example).
Caldwell became a member of the T-Square Club in 1889 and was a life member of the Sketch Club.
Sandra L. Tatman.
Clubs and Membership Organizations
- Philadelphia Sketch Club
- T-Square Club
- Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts
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