[Cope and Stewardson's Office]
Group photo of Cope & Stewardson Firm
William Woodburn Potter was born in Philadelphia, the son of Maj. Henry Clay and Emily Graff Spooner Potter. He attended the Delancey School in Philadelphia and received his B.S. from Princeton University in 1896, winning the Bayard White Prize in Architecture in that year. He followed his Princeton years with instruction at the Pennsylvania Museum and School of Industrial Arts. By 1897 he was a draftsman in the office of Cope & Stewardson and continued his training with Newman & Harris (1903-1905). Part of 1905 was spent further afield with New York architect Cass Gilbert. By August, 1905 independent projects are recorded in the Philadelphia Real Estate Record and Builders Guide for Potter, but by 1908 he and Louis Magaziner have established a partnership, Magaziner & Potter, which would continue until 1917. After 1917 Potter again worked independently, designing a number of residences in the Philadelphia area, but also extending his commissions into Delaware, where he designed the Farmers Bank in Dover and the Rodney Street Presbyterian Church (now Westminster Presbyterian) in Wilmington.
In addition to the usual memberships in the AIA and T-Square Club, Potter was active in the Princeton Club. He maintained his contact with Princeton and was invited to lecture in their School of Architecture.
Sandra L. Tatman.
Clubs and Membership Organizations
- American Institute of Architects (AIA)
- Philadelphia Chapter, AIA
- T-Square Club
- Loyal Legion
- Princeton Club
- Pennsylvania Museum and School of Industrial Art
- Princeton University
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