George Spencer Morris, son of Samuel and Lydia S. Morris, was born in the Olney section of Philadelphia. He received his early education at the Haddonfield Academy in New Jersey, Friends Select School in Philadelphia, and the Westtown Boarding School in Westtown, PA. From 1896 to 1904 he concentrated on architecture and drawing at both Drexel Institute and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Morris spent some 15 years in apprenticeship to such architects as Addison Hutton, Cope & Stewardson, and Walter Smedley before launching his own partnership with William S. Vaux, Jr., who had also worked in Smedley's office. Morris & Vaux endured until 1905, when each partner began working independently. Then, around 1909, Morris joined Richard Erskine, a former employee of the Morris & Vaux office, in Morris & Erskine, an association that continued until Morris's death. After his death Erskine continued to use the partnership name for a number of years. While Morris, either working independently or with his partners, designed a number of residences, the greater part of his work was devoted to church or institutional design, particularly that for the Society of Friends, of which he and his partners were members.
Morris joined the T-Square Club in 1890 and the AIA in 1910. His avocation was ornithology, and he amassed a large collection of bird skins.
Sandra L. Tatman.
Clubs and Membership Organizations
- Academy of Natural Sciences
- American Institute of Architects (AIA)
- Philadelphia Chapter, AIA
- Philadelphia Sketch Club
- T-Square Club
- Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts
- Drexel Institute
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