Architect and author George B. Roberts was born in Bala, PA and attended St. George's School in Newport, Rhode Island. He remained in New England for his undergraduate degree, earning a B.A. with summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa honors at Harvard in 1922. He went on to a bachelor's degree in architecture (1929) at the University of Pennsylvania, where he was a student teaching aid in drawing and elementary design his final two years. After leaving Penn, Roberts worked as a draftsman in the office of Paul Cret, although sources conflict about whether this was between 1929 and 1933 or only in 1929 and 1930. Roberts was subsequently employed briefly by H. Louis Duhring in 1930, Thomas, Martin & Kirkpatrick, perhaps as early as 1931, and certainly by 1933, and by John B. Sinkler (1935).
Roberts established an independent practice in 1935, and was active both in the profession and in the wider community. He was particularly engaged with fine arts institutions and social reform organizations: he served on the board of directors of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and chaired the architectural committee of the Art Alliance. He also led the Pennsylvania Society to Protect Children from Cruelty, and was a director of the Agnes Irwin School in Rosemont, PA (where he built an addition to the school building in 1948) and of the Octavia Hill Association. In 1959, he and his wife Mary (née Howland) published Triumph on Fairmount, an account of the creation of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Museum's first director Fiske Kimball's role. Roberts joined the national AIA in 1930, and at one time chaired the Committee for the Octagon. He maintained an office and home at 1820 Delancey Place in Philadelphia from 1936 until his death.
Emily T. Cooperman.
Clubs and Membership Organizations
- Franklin Inn Club
- Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts
- American Institute of Architects (AIA)
- Philadelphia Chapter, AIA
- Philadelphia Club; Octavia Hill Association
- University of Pennsylvania
- Harvard University
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