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John D. Allen, architect and engineer, appears to have pursued a specialty in interior decoration and theatre work (according to the 1894 Davis' Architects and Builders Directory of Pennsylvania) although his advertisement, appearing on the spines of Philadelphia city directories for 1894 and 1895, notes "Heavy Construction and Fire-proof Work Specialties." This split in occupations can also be seen in the Allen career. His first listing in the Philadelphia city directories as an architect is in 1890; and by 1899 Allen has expanded to John D. Allen Co.. This company flourished until around 1910 when Allen again appears alone. Beginning in 1889, theatres in Baltimore, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Brooklyn, New York City, and Atlantic City were designed or altered by him, but by 1918 he is listed as president of the A.C. Axle Manufacturing Company, and this affiliation continues through his last listing in the city directories in 1923.

Written by Sandra L. Tatman.

 

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