Research Project Week 2


My task for the second week of research was to use Shad-Fak library, as well as online sources, to collect information and data on James Windrim.  During the first week I visited the Lancaster Historical Society to physically see and transcribe letters from Emlen Urban to James Windrim.  Because the historical society only had one side of the conversation (letters from Windrim in D.C. to Urban in Lancaster) I used this week to start to get a feel for, as well as understand who James Windrim was as an architect, as well as an individual.  I obtained much knowledge about Windrim from an online source named which I found using our class guides page.   This site gave me insight on the early years of Windrim’s life and how he got started on his architectural path.  Once Windrim graduated from school, a man named John W. Torrey arranged for him to join the firm of designer John Notman.  Due to illness he returned back to Philadelphia, but when he arrived he still kept in touch with John Notman.  He worked for many different stonemason’s as well as for the Pennsylvania rail road.  Upon his return to Philadelphia in 1867, Windrim entered a masonic temple competition, in which he won.  This major event was a catalyst to Windrim’s career and certainly gave him recognizable status as an architect

.  At the age of 27 Windrim began to design many buildings in Philadelphia.  This story was very valuable in my research because it allowed me to understand how it was Windrim gained publicity in the architecture world.  Being that John Notman was a mentor for Windrim, I drew a connection to Emlen Urban.  As I looked at the plans and writes up’s for the Lancaster Municipal Building, I realized that 2 years after the buildings completion Emlen Urban became Lancaster’s leading architect.  Just as Windrim created many buildings in Philadelphia once he became successful, Urban created in Lancaster upon success.  Basically what I’m getting at is a connection between Urban and Windrim that seems to me very similar to the connection Windrim and John Notman had.  Just as Notman helped Windrim’s career blossom from the lessons and opportunities he gave him, I see Windrim doing the same for Urban.  For next week, I plan on investigating more sources online as well as in the librray to try and find out what Windrim and Urban’s personal relationship was all about.



Tatman, Sandra L. “James Hamilton Windrim.” American Architects and Buildings Databasa. Web. 22 Mar. 2012. <http://;.


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