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Erlen (a.k.a. Erny & Nolen) was the development firm formed by James A. Nolen, Sr. and Charles Erny. The name of the company was derived from the last names of the founders. The firm employed Nolen's son, architect James A. Nolen, Jr., as a junior partner at the beginning of his career in the early 1940s. Erlen was responsible for a number of projects in the region during the building boom in the post-World War II era, including semi-detached and row-houses in the Mt. Airy neighborhood of Philadelphia. The company also owned the Erlen Theater in Cheltenham, PA and bowling alleys in Mt. Airy. According to a Nolen descendant (quoted in the architect Nolen's Philadelphia Inquirer obituary), "they did everything from soup to nuts in these development projects - designed them, built them and handled the mortgages."

Written by Emily T. Cooperman.

 

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