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[Architectural Society, University of Pennsylvania, Group Photo]
AIA Collection, Athenaeum of Philadelphia.
Local ID #: 004-P-001

Born: 8/24/1899, Died: 9/26/1983

Briton Martin was born in Brooklyn, NY, the son of William Hoffman Martin. He attended the Hill School in Pottstown, PA, probably at the same time as his future partner, James S. Hatfield. He began his architectural training at Yale University, where he earned his first undergraduate degree in 1922, majoring in fine arts. He then entered the University of Pennsylvania, where he completed a B.Arch. in 1925 and an M.Arch. the following year. He was a teaching assistant in freehand drawing during his last two years at Penn. After completing his studies, he entered the office of Edmund B. Gilchrist as a designer. He remained with Gilchrist until 1932, and then worked briefly for Paul Cret before opening an independent practice that same year. During World War II, Martin served in the U.S. Air Force as a liaison construction officer to the Army Corps of Engineers, and then as an intelligence officer in the Pacific.

After the war, he formed a partnership with Earle W. Bolton, Jr. and Theo B. White which continued until 1954, when Bolton left to establish an independent practice. In 1956, White and Martin were joined by Hatfield. Martin joined the national AIA in 1942, and was very active in the leadership of the Philadelphia Chapter in the 1950s: he was a director in 1950-2 and 1955-6, second vice president in 1956-7, first vice president in 1957-8, and president in 1959. He also chaired the professional practice committee from 1950 until 1956. He was a member of AIA┬┐s regional judiciary committee in 1960-61, and of the national panel of the American Arbitration Association in New York in the late 1960s.

Written by Emily T. Cooperman.

Clubs and Membership Organizations

  • Philadelphia Art Alliance
  • American Institute of Architects (AIA)
  • Philadelphia Chapter, AIA
  • Racquet Club
  • Philadelphia Club

School Affiliations

  • University of Pennsylvania
  • Yale University


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