Horace Trumbauer, Architect

(b Philadelphia, 1868; d Philadelphia, 1938)


Trumbauer served a six-year apprenticeship in the office of George and William Hewitt in Philadelphia before opening his own firm in 1890. He was the designer of many residences for wealthy families in the suburbs of Philadelphia as well as town houses there, in New York and at Newport, RI, in addition to a number of commercial buildings, churches and clubs. His work was invariably based on careful adaptations of historic precedents, most often from the Renaissance, but also drawing on Gothic and ancient Greek sources. His large-scale works included the Harry Widener Library (1914) at Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, the Free Library (191727) of Philadelphia and the Museum of Art (19318; with C. Clark Zantzinger and Charles Borie), Philadelphia. The library is almost a copy of one of the 18th-century classical buildings by Ange-Jacques Gabriel on the Place de la Concorde in Paris, while the museum is developed as a linked group of Greek temples. His Irvine Auditorium (1927) for the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia was an effort (widely regarded as failed) to adapt the supposed design of the Elizabethan Globe Theatre in London to a large college hall. His major work was the design of the campuses (192738) of Duke University in Durham, NC, in Gothic style. Although Trumbauer was highly successful professionally in his eclectic work, his reputation always suffered from the critical view that his slavish respect for historic precedents robbed it of creativity.


Trumbauer & Associates
Architectural & Historical Links

Horace Trumbauer

Horace Trumbauer

Horace Trumbauer

Julian Abele

Duke University Chapel, Durham, NC

The Elms, Newport, RI

Free Library of Philadelphia

Grey Towers Castle, Glenside, PA

Irvine Auditorium, Philadelphia, PA

James B. Duke House, New York, NY

Jenkintown Train Station, Jenkintown, PA

The Keswick Theatre, Glenside, PA

Philadelphia Museum of Art

Public Ledger Building, Philadelphia, PA

The Racquet Club, Philadelphia, PA

Lynnewood Hall, Elkins Park, PA

Widener Memorial Library, Cambridge, MA


~ Architectural Views ~
All elevations by Horace Trumbauer,  June 1916





~ Stotesbury's Other Mansions ~

The Walnut Street Mansion

Near Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia



Wingwood House

Bar Harbor, Maine



El Mirasol

Palm Beach, Florida

Read more on El Mirasol in Palm Beach




The Main Residence

Whitemarsh Hall


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