J. Horace Frank was born in Philadelphia, the son of Edwin J. and A. Temperance Hammer Frank. He graduated from Central Manual Training School and entered the University of Pennsylvania, receiving his B. S. in Architecture in June, 1895. He then began a long series of positions with senior architects in the city, including T.P. Chandler, Louis C. Hickman, Cope & Stewardson, D.K. Boyd, and G. W. & W. D. Hewitt. Finally he worked for the Philadelphia Rapid Transit Co. designing several waiting and terminal stations.
The first independent project recorded in the Philadelphia Real Estate Record and Builders Guide for Frank occurs in 1911, thus launching a career which would continue some 32 years. Projects recorded for Frank include several residences, particularly in the Germantown area.
Frank joined the Philadelphia Chapter of the AlA in 1911 and was elected to membership in the national AIA in 1920. Following graduation from the University, he served as an instructor and assistant professor of construction there. In later years he taught architectural subjects in area high schools.
In the brief obituary discovered in membership records maintained for the Philadelphia Chapter of the AIA, the writer sketched Frank's career, chiefly described in terms of more famous architects for whom he had labored: "So passed one of the great army of conscientious workers whose faithful labors give substance to the creative dreams of more famous men." This sentence could have described the work of any number of architects who worked in Philadelphia offices. Their independent "List of Works" will not include the best known or most published buildings, but their work allowed the Chandlers, and Crets, and Hewitts to achieve the greatness which has been accorded to their design abilities.
Sandra L. Tatman.
Clubs and Membership Organizations
- American Institute of Architects (AIA)
- Philadelphia Chapter, AIA
- University of Pennsylvania
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