Robert Allan Class was born in Harrisburg, PA, the son of Edith Langford and C. Frank Class. He graduated from John Harris High School there before entering the University of Pennsylvania's architecture program in 1932. After completing a B. Arch. at Penn in 1937, Class worked as a draftsman with a variety of firms and organizations, including Harry Sternfeld, W. R. Morton Keast, the Sun Ray Drug Company, Karcher & Smith, George S. Idell, the Philadelphia Housing Authority, and the John Wanamaker Department Store. Prior to 1942, when Class opened his own architectural office and joined the national AIA, he also worked for his future partner, Sydney E. Martin. After World War II, Class returned to Martin's employ as a project manager in the firm Martin, Stewart & Noble. Class was made an associate in the office in 1958, and a full partner in Martin, Stewart, Noble & Class in 1962. He remained with the firm (renamed Stewart, Noble, Class & Partners in 1965 after Martin's retirement) until 1969, when he left Philadelphia to become the director of technical programs at the AIA national headquarters in Washington, D. C. He died in North Redington Beach, FL, where he had moved in 1993.
Class was active in the architectural profession, as his position in Washington suggests, and in related organizations. He was a director of the Philadelphia Chapter of the AIA in 1946-7 and again in 1960-1. He was a chapter vice president in 1962-3, and president in 1964. He was a member of the national panel of the American Arbitration Association from 1953. In the Philadelphia region, he was a member of the Narberth Zoning Board of Adjustment (1952-4), of the Montgomery County Planning Commission (1967-9), and of the technical advisory committee on airport plans of the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (1968-9).
Emily T. Cooperman.
Clubs and Membership Organizations
- Pennsylvania Society of Architects
- American Institute of Architects (AIA)
- Philadelphia Chapter, AIA
- T-Square Club
- University of Pennsylvania
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