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Born: 7/21/1910, Died: 6/14/1996

Theodore Clattenburg, the son of Episcopalian minister Albert Edwin Clattenburg and Cornelia Lynah Norris Clattenburg, was born in Devil's Lake, North Dakota, and grew up in Hazelton, PA and Philadelphia. He graduated from Chestnut Hill Academy in the city in 1927 before earning both undergraduate and graduate degees from the University of Pennsylvania: a B. A. in English (1931) and an M. A. in Political Science (1934) were followed by a B.Arch. in 1935. While an architecture student, he won an award for solving a Grade C Problem with his design for "A Small Library" (1933) and received the Pennsylvania state senatorial scholarship (1931-1935).

Clattenburg began his career as a junior draftsman for W. Pope Barney (1936) and worked as a draftsman for several offices in the late 1930s: H. Louis Duhring and R. W. Mecaskey, both in 1936; and G. Edwin Brumbaugh from 1936 to 1938. Later in 1938, Clattenburg began practicing independently, but he would only sporadically earn his living as an architectural designer thereafter. From 1938 until 1941 he worked as a real estate appraiser for the Delaware-Montgomery Mortgage Company in Upper Darby, PA. During World War II he was employed by the F.H.A. as an architectural field examiner, and from 1944 until 1947 worked in the packaging section of the U.S. Army's Signal Corps's Storage and Issue Agency in Philadelphia. He returned to the practice of architecture in 1947-1948 as a senior draftsman for William H. Lee and then was in the office of Sydney E. Martin in 1948. Clattenberg again operated his own firm briefly in 1948, but returned to the Signal Corps later that year as a chief of the specification section. In the 1950s he worked for the National Metal Edge Box Company in Philadelphia.

Clattenburg joined the national AIA in 1935 and was a member of the Philadelphia Chapter. He was active in the chapter, serving on several committees: he chaired the membership committee from 1946 to 1947, was recording secretary from 1947 to 1948, a member of the biography and history committee from 1962 to 1968, and a member of the historical preservation committee from 1968 to 1970. Clattenburg was also active in many social and hereditary organizations and served as president of the Pennsylvania Society of the Sons of the Revolution, among other involvements. He was also a member of the vestry of Grace Episcopal Church in Mt. Airy.

Written by Rima M. Girnius, and Emily T. Cooperman.

Clubs and Membership Organizations

  • Historical Society of Pennsylvania (HSP)
  • Merion Cricket Club
  • Pennsylvania Horticultural Society
  • American Institute of Architects (AIA)
  • Philadelphia Chapter, AIA
  • Philadelphia Cricket Club
  • Union League of Philadelphia
  • Pennsylvania Sons of the Revolution

School Affiliations

  • University of Pennsylvania


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