Although Benjamin D. Price was a well-known and successful architect who specialized in church designs, surprisingly little has been discovered regarding his life and training. He appears in the Philadelphia city directories from 1868 to 1888, with an office at 615 Walnut Street from 1868 to 1875, at 1018 Arch Street from 1876 to 1879, and at 1026 Arch Street from 1880 to 1888. By 1893 the Philadelphia Real Estate Record and Builders Guide is recording an office for him in Lansdowne, PA; and by 1904, when he and his son Max Charles Price issued their Church Plans, his office was located in Atlantic Highlands, NJ.
From Philadelphia Price had, like several other church architects, maintained a successful mail order design business. In a pamphlet purporting to contain a few pages taken from his "Annual Catalogue of Church Plans for 1892," Price declared that his specialty was church plans of moderate cost adapted to the use of church builders in all sections of the United States. He further stated that although the Methodist Board of Church Extension had sponsored the compilation of these plans, he had become sole owner of the designs by purchase on 14 November 1889. Since that time the M. E. Board of Church Extension and other societies had sold them on commission to those who preferred to buy that way, but Price ahd also sold directly to others. Price further boasted that in 1891 600 of his church plans had been sold, with total sales over the years to 31 December 1891 at 5350.
In addition to his mail-order church design business, Price engaged in a lively trade in paper imitation stained glass.
Sandra L. Tatman.
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