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Milligan & Webber, partnered by Samuel D. Milligan and Frederick Webber, earned their distinction as a firm by designing a number of prominent apartment houses in early twentieth-century Philadelphia, particularly in the developing neighborhoods of West Philadelphia. Milligan, who had apprenticed with Isaac Hobbs & Son, had already developed as a residential architect before entering the partnership with Webber, but by 1899 the partners were actively engaged in the design of apartment houses (the first noted in the Philadelphia Real Estate Record at 33rd and Chestnut streets in 1899). During these early years the partners tempered their apartment house commissions with church designs, and in 1901 at the same time that they were engaged on Hamilton Court Apartments (3900 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia) and the Normandie Apartments (36th and Chestnut streets), they were also rebuilding All Saints Protestant Episcopal Church and parish house in Norristown, PA, after a fire. In 1902 while working on the Belgravia Hotel at 1811-17 Chestnut Street, they were also designing an apartment house for 19th and Mt. Vernon streets in Philadelphia, as well as the Lulu Temple on Spring Garden Street below North Broad Street. Eventually, given the housing market in Philadelphia, the partners depended on apartment house and hotel design more often than on church work.

In 1911 it appears that Milligan & Webber dissolved, but by 1912 Milligan had found a new partner and launched Milligan & Pierson.

Written by Sandra L. Tatman.

 

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