The son of Freeman J. and Sarah Orenda (Boas) Geissinger, Walter H. Geissinger participated in founding the predecessor firm to Philadelphia's Ballinger Co.. However, relatively little is known of his life and early career. His listings in the Philadelphia city directories begin in 1877, when Geissinger is noted as a draftsman at an unnamed firm. By 1878 he lists himself as an architect and by 1889, according to the city directories, is in business with Edward H. Hales in the partnership of Geissinger & Hales. Nonetheless Illustrated Philadelphia: Its Wealth and Industries states in 1889 that the office has been in operation for 10 years, making the time of origin 1879. This designation by Illustrated Philadelphia may be disputed by the Philadelphia Real Estate Record and Builders Guide, where the first projects noted for Geissinger & Hales occur in 1888.
Geissinger & Hales specialized in industrial buildings, particularly factories, a tradition which was carried on in the later firms which evolved, including Hales & Ballinger (with Walter F. Ballinger), Ballinger & Perrot, and the Ballinger Co.
According to information available from the Ballinger Co., Geissinger retired in 1894 and was succeeded in the partnership by Walter F. Ballinger.
Sandra L. Tatman.
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