E. Nelson Edwards was born in Blanchester, OH, the son of Levi Talbot Edwards and Evie L. (Aikin) Edwards. He graduated from Westtown Boarding School in Westtown, PA, in 1906 and from Haverford College in 1910, subsequently receiving his B.S. in Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania in 1912. Following graduation he worked for three years as a draftsman in the firm of Bissell & Sinkler, followed by three years as a designer for John T. Windrim. Other office experience came from employment with Paul A. Davis and Stewardson & Page, before launching his own firm in 1919. From at least 1920 to 1922 Edwards was associated with Eugene B. Baker in the firm of Edwards & Baker. Although this firm was never formally listed in the Philadelphia city directories, the Philadelphia Real Estate Record and Builders Guide noted projects designed by the office during 1920 and 1921; and in 1922 both architects list themselves at the same address. After Baker left the firm in 1922, Edwards continued practicing alone until around 1925, when he joined Edward F. Hoffman in Edwards & Hoffman. This partnership endured until approximately 1936, when Edwards again returned to practicing alone.
Although residential commissions appear to have been a focus for Edwards and his partners, while working alone in 1923 he did design the Lea & Febiger Building on Washington Square.
Edwards was a member of the T-Square Club, the Philadelphia Chapter of the AIA (joining in 1921) and the national AIA (emeritus, 1966).
Sandra L. Tatman.
Clubs and Membership Organizations
- Merion Cricket Club
- American Institute of Architects (AIA)
- Philadelphia Chapter, AIA
- T-Square Club
- Triangle Society
- Tredyffin Civic Association
- University of Pennsylvania
- Haverford College
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