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Born: 2/15/1892, Died: 4/16/1970

Restoration architect and housing specialist, John W. Keyes was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the son of Dr. Charles and Emily (Longstreth) Keyes. He attended Germantown Academy and graduated from Swarthmore Preparatory School in 1912, then received his B.S. in Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania in 1916. He then launched a long career based upon his work for well established Philadelphia architects: Albert Kelsey, 1916-1917; Simon & Simon, 1919-1921; Dreher & Churchman, 1921-1924; David B. Bassett, 1924-1927. By 1922, however, the Philadelphia Real Estate Record and Builders Guide has begun to record independent projects for Keyes, with the numbers of citations increasing substantially in 1927. Although PRERBG citations indicate an active residential practice, Keyes was better known for his restoration work in the Society Hill neighborhood and for his work with the Octavia Hill housing organization.

Keyes was a member of the AIA and of the Pennsylvania Society of Architects. In addition he held memberships in the Germantown Historical Society, the Cricket Club, and the Philadelphia Committee for City Planning. He was recognized by both the National Home Competition and the Commission on the Preservation of Historical Monuments for outstanding work in the area of restoration.

Written by Sandra L. Tatman.

Clubs and Membership Organizations

  • Germantown Cricket Club
  • Pennsylvania Society of Architects
  • American Institute of Architects (AIA)
  • Germantown Historical Society
  • Octavia Hill

School Affiliations

  • University of Pennsylvania


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