Caricature of Samuel Huckel Jr.
(Hofacker, c. 1906)
Philadelphia In Cartoons, as Seen by Philadelphia Newspaper Cartoonists (s.l.: s.n., 1906),
Samuel Huckel, Jr., was born in the Frankford section of Philadelphia. He was the son of William S. Huckel, treasurer of Baugh & Sons, and Ruth A. Huckel. After graduating from Central High School in 1879 and spending several months studying with painter William E. Winner (according to the American Art Annual, v. 5), the young Huckel entered the office of Benjamin D. Price, church architect and purveyor of imitation stained glass. He appears to have remained with Price at least until 1881, then establishing a partnership with Edward Hazelhurst under the name Hazelhurst & Huckel. This arrangement endured until Huckel won the competition to remodel the old Grand Central Station in New York City and relocated to New York. When Huckel returned to Philadelphia in 1901, the partnership did not resume; and instead Huckel established a new office with church architect Frank R. Watson (Watson & Huckel). It is possible that Huckel had concentrated on church design during his relationship with Hazelhurst; but with Watson he cemented those ties to ecclesiastical architecture; and Watson & Huckel continued until Huckel's death in 1917. Not surprisingly, the firm achieved a considerable reputation for church design and included among their work the Muhlenberg College Chapel in Allentown, PA, and St. Marks Church in the Frankford neighborhood, where both partners had been born.
Huckel joined the Philadelphia Chapter of the AIA in 1879 and the national AIA in 1881. He traveled extensively in Europe. Following his death, an architectural prize was established in his memory at the University of Pennsylvania.
Sandra L. Tatman.
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