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[Cope and Stewardson's Office]
Group photo of Cope & Stewardson Firm
(c. 1899)
AIA/T-Square Yearbook, p. 213 (1923)
> View more images [4 total]

Born: 10/20/1860, Died: 11/1/1902

Walter Cope was a principal in one of Philadelphia's most important and prestigious firms at the turn of the century. He was born in Philadelphia, the son of Thomas P. and Elizabeth Waln (Stokes) Cope. Following graduation from Friends' School in Germantown, Cope entered the offices of Addison Hutton, where he spent six months. He then spent two years training in the office of Theophilus Parsons Chandler, and in 1883 attended classes at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. In 1884 he traveled to England and France, spending approximately 14 months sketching. By July, 1885, he was back in the United States and had set up the firm of Cope and Stewardson with John Stewardson. They were joined by Stewardson's younger brother Emlen L. Stewardson in 1887. Following the elder Stewardson's death in 1896, Cope continued the firm with Emlen Stewardson.

WaIter Cope was a founding member of the T-Square Club in 1883 and later served as vice-president, secretary, treasurer, president, and as a member of the executive committee. He was also active in the Philadelphia Chapter of the AlA, serving as treasurer in 1887, executive committee member in 1898, and part of the investigating committee appointed to study conditions governing the new State Capitol Building competition in 1901. He was a Fellow in the national AlA and a member of the Philadelphia Sketch Club. He served on the faculties of both the University of Pennsylvania Department of Architecture (1892-1902) and at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (1902-03).

In addition to the travel (in 1884) already mentioned, Cope journeyed to Normandy in 1889 and to Spain in 1895, this last apparently the source for the design of the Pennsylvania Institute for the Blind at Overbrook in Philadelphia.

Walter Cope was the manager of the John Stewardson Memorial Travel Scholarship which enabled so many graduate and working architects to travel and study in Europe. Following Cope's death, the T-Square Club established the Walter Cope Memorial prize to be awarded annually to the winner of a competition in municipal improvement or landscape architecture, these areas chosen in recognition of his interest. The Cope Memorial Prize carried a premium of $70.00 to be spent on architectural books.

Written by Sandra L. Tatman.

Clubs and Membership Organizations

  • Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts
  • American Institute of Architects (AIA)
  • Philadelphia Chapter, AIA
  • Philadelphia Sketch Club
  • T-Square Club

School Affiliations

  • University of Pennsylvania
  • Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts

 

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