Past Meeting

The front façade of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia,
designed by Frank Furness, 1871-1876.

Why Frank Furness Matters

by George Thomas

Accomplished architectural historian George Thomas shared some of his extensive knowledge about renowned Philadelphia architect Frank Furness.

The very well-attended and successful lecture examined the connections between the industrial culture that shaped Philadelphia and the architecture of Frank Furness, and also some of his students who became quite prominent and influential themselves — Louis Sullivan, William Price, and George Howe. Those students carried forward the ideas and values learned from Furness, and shaped much of what we consider to be modern architecture.

This presentation was held at the Tredyffrin Public Library in Strafford, PA on Sunday 17 November 2019, starting at 2 pm.

Side view from Cherry St.
Front cover of George Thomas' 2018 book.

George E. Thomas is a cultural and architectural historian who serves as codirector of the Critical Conservation Program at Harvard's Graduate School of Design. His books include First Modern: Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and, with David B. Brownlee, Building America's First University: An Architectural and Historical Guide to the University of Pennsylvania, both available from the University of Pennsylvania Press; and Frank Furness: The Complete Works with Michael Lewis and Jeffrey Cohen. He is also lead author of the Buildings of Philadelphia volume in the Society of Architectural Historians' series Buildings of the United States.


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