Born in Philadelphia, Clarence Gardner experienced architecture in the developing communities of Colorado after training with two of the best known of Philadelphia's nineteenth-century architectural firms. Gardner's parents were J. Alexander and J. Anna Gardner. Immediately after graduation from Central High School in June 1884, Gardner entered the office of T. P. Chandler. thus beginning his apprenticeship with one of the senior . At the same time Gardner attended evening classes at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and by 1888 he had moved to the firm of Cope & Stewardson. By 1890, however, Gardner had moved to Colorado as the Denver representative of the Boston-based Andrews, Jacques, and Rantoul, in the firm of Schweinfurth & Gardner, with A. C. Schweinfurth of the famous architectural clan of Schweinfurth brothers. This arrangement lasted only two years, and 1894 found Gardner back in Philadelphia in his own independent firm.
Throughout most of his life Gardner resided and worked in Cynwyd, PA, although in 1901 he listed an office at 925 Chestnut Street. Gardner's last listing in the Philadelphia city directories occurs in 1911, but he continues in professional directories through 1921.
Gardner was elected a junior member of the Philadelphia Chapter of the AIA in 1886 and joined the national AIA in 1891. He became a member of the T-Square Club in 1887 but resigned in 1889 before his move to Colorado. It appears that when he returned from Colorado, he rejoined the T-Square Club because a note in the Minutes indicates that he was dropped from membership on 5 October 1904.
Sandra L. Tatman.
Clubs and Membership Organizations
- American Institute of Architects (AIA)
- Philadelphia Chapter, AIA
- T-Square Club
- Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts
- Central High School
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