Alvin C. Bieber graduated from Central High School in Philadelphia in 1914 and from the University of Pennsylvania in 1919 with his B.S. in Architecture. During his last two years at the University, Bieber served as a Reader in Architecture (1917/18) and as an Assistant Instructor (1918/19). Following graduation, he accepted a position as Instructor in Architecture at Rice University, where he remained for only one school year. While in Houston, Bieber was also associated with the firm of Cooke & Co. (H. C. Cooke).
Bieber's relationship with Rice was problematic, and a letter from Bieber to William W. Watkins, then chair of the Department of Architecture at Rice, protests his salary. After his year in Houston, Bieber returned to Philadelphia and by 1921 had joined the firm of John I. Bright. Again, this relationship was shortlived, and by 1922 he was working for Dreher & Churchman, with whom he remained until 1924. In that year he undertook some independent work and traveled for at least six months in England, Canada, and Mexico. By 1925 Bieber was back in Philadelphia, this time in the office of Bissell & Sinkler, but by 1926 he had again changed offices, relocating to Silverman & Levy. Finally, in 1927 Bieber launched his own firm, with commissions gained from the new garages and service stations which were increasingly popular in Philadelphia.
Sandra L. Tatman.
- University of Pennsylvania
- Central High School
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