Born in the Roxborough neighborhood of Philadelphia, the son of Christian and Bertha (Guyer) Miller, Herman Miller received his early education at the Manayunk Boys Grammar School. He then entered Spring Garden Institute, where he won first prize for architectural drawing in 1890. By 1889 he was working for Furness, Evans & Co., where he continued until 1895. During his time with the Furness office he he assisted on the work for the Bryn Mawr Hotel, Williamson Free School, Merion Cricket Club, Seamen's Home, and the Provident Life and Trust Company Building at 10th and Chestnut streets in Philadelphia. In 1892, on his own, he entered the competition for the Philadelphia Bourse and received a $500 prize. During the four-year period during when he worked as a designer for several architects, he prepared drawings for the Witherspoon Building in Philadelphia (1896 and 1897) for Joseph Huston.
By 1898 Miller had launched his independent practice, sometimes collaborating with William D. Yarnall, but usually on his own. By 1940 he could boast more than 300 buildings, including the five-story Clinical Laboratory and Out-patient Building for the Medico-Chirurgical Hospital (17th and Cherry streets, Philadelphia, 1899-), the Harrison Building (12th and Race streets, Philadelphia, 1900), and the Gorgas Park War Memorial (Roxborough, Philadelphia, 1918). Although his continuing work for the Medico-Chirurgical Hospital probably represents the most lucrative commission in Miller's long career, he also developed a specialty in bank work, including Hanover Saving Fund Society (Hanover, PA, 1907/08), Gettysburg National Bank (Gettysburg, PA, 1909/10), Textile National Bank (Philadelphia, 1911), Peoples Bank (Steelton, PA, 1919/20).
Sandra L. Tatman.
Clubs and Membership Organizations
- American Institute of Architects (AIA)
- Philadelphia Chapter, AIA
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