In Philadelphia and Popular Philadelphians a descriptive biography appears for W. Bleddyn Powell (whose name is misspelled Bleddyce): "Mr. Powell derives his descent from families settled in Pennsylvania and adjoining States long anterior to the Revolution. Developing a strong liking for the mechanic art, Mr. Powell, though self taught, has mastered the details of his profession, rounding off his studies by an extended European tour."
Born in Philadelphia, W. Bleddyn Powell worked with the Pennsylvania Railroad in the Office of Engineering of Buildings and Bridges before becoming second assistant to John McArthur, Jr. on the construction and design of the Philadelphia City Hall. In 1881 he returned to the Pennsylvania Railroad and in 1887 undertook independent practice. In 1889 he was elected Architect for the Philadelphia Building Commission and remained the City Architect until his retirement in 1909, supervising the completion of City Hall and designing a number of small structures, such as firehouses. He was succeeded in the position with the city by John P. B. Sinkler.
Powell became a fellow of the AIA in 1887.
Sandra L. Tatman.
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