One of several German-born architects to submit a design for the German Society Building (1887), Oscar Frotscher was born in Zeulenroda, Fuerstentum Reusz, Germany, and came to Philadelphia in 1880. He first appears in the Philadelphia city directories in 1881, with an address at 115 North 10th Street, but by 1884 he was located in an office at 1510 Chestnut Street, the same address as that of Charles W. Bolton, popular church architect. Although it appears that Frotscher worked primarily as an independent architect, he did collaborate with Louis C. Hickman in 1891 on the design for Keneseth Israel Temple on Broad Street above Columbia Avenue. Otherwise, his office address is sometimes shared by other architects; however, no formal affiliation has been discovered between Frotscher and other architects. Included in the architects at 1345 Arch Street from 1889 to 1890 are D. H. Hibbert and Frederick G. Thorn. Sharing Frotscher address at 441 Chestnut Street from 1895 to 1907 are Jacob and Otto Herold.
According to the Manuals of the City Council of Philadelphia, Frotscher worked as an architectural draftsman and engineer in the Engineering Division of the Department of City Transit from 1914 to 1915.
Little otherwise is known of Frotscher's career. He joined the T-Square Club in 1885 and resigned in 1895. He was an active member of the German Society, joining in 1901 and serving on its Board of Managers from 1905 to 1909. He did submit an unsuccessful entry for the new buildng for the German Society in 1887, but lost to another Society member, William Gette.
Sandra L. Tatman.
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