Although Frank Mead later established a firm with Richard Requa in San Diego, CA, he began studying and practicing his profession in Philadelphia and was a partner with Charles Barton Keen in Keen & Mead, a firm actively engaged in designing a number of the residences financed by developers Wendell & Smith in such areas of the city as Overbrook and Pelham, as well as Wayne, PA.
Born in Camden, New Jersey, Mead's interest in architecture likely came through his father, William J. Mead, who worked as a carpenter. The 1880 Federal Census lists Frank, age 14, as an "architects apprentice." He would go on to study architecture at the Pennsylvania Museum and School of Industrial Art in 1889/90 and then entered the office of Frank Miles Day, where he remained until he and Keen, another alumnus of both the Pennsylvania Museum and School of Industrial Art and the Day firm, established their partnership before June 1895. This partnership remained active until around 1901, when Mead appears to have left the area.
By 1903, Mead had relocated to San Diego where he began working for the partnership of William S. Hebbard and Irving J. Gill. After the disolution of the Hebbard-Gill partnership in 1907, Gill and Mead, for a brief seven month period, worked in partnership. Between 1910 and 1923, Mead partnered with Richard Requa (1881-1941) in the creation of residential works throughout southern California.
During his tenure in Philadelphia, Mead was an active member of the T-Square Club, serving as vice-president in 1891. He was also a member of the AIA, served as librarian for its Philadelphia Chapter.
Outside of his profession, Mead was a tireless advocate for the Mojave-Apache indians; personally taking their case to President Theodore Roosevelt.
William Whitaker, and
Sandra L. Tatman.
Clubs and Membership Organizations
- American Institute of Architects (AIA)
- Philadelphia Chapter, AIA
- T-Square Club
- Pennsylvania Museum and School of Industrial Art
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