Research Project Week 3


Much of this week was dedicated once again to spending time finding resources on James Windrim.  Having found a good article on Windrim last week, I decided to search both Windrim and Urban together to see what I would find.  One article I found online via our class source guides was “To Build Strong And Substantial: The Career of Architect C. Emlen Urban“.  While most of this book pertains to Urban and his uprising as an architect, I was lucky enough to find two pages where they spoke about the Lancaster Municipal Building (which is the topic for my research project) and James Windrim.  This specific part of the book goes on to describe how Windrim was named project architect for the soon to be Lancaster Municipal Building.   They expressed that Windrim was a nationally noted architect, and that it was an important collaboration in Urban’s career to get to be the on sight supervisor for Windrim, this helped Urban obtain the experience, knowledge, and confidence he needed to create his own architectural path.  The last section containing information about Windrim explained the situations of the letters between Urban and Windrim.  They go into detail and show how one random November day, Windrim and Urban were sending letters discussing the original paint colors for the building.  When the buildings utilitas was changed into a post office in 1930, Urban redesigned the entire inside.  At this point in his career he was well known, and did a brilliant job redoing the interior.  I find it interesting that he never made any attempts, nor showed any will to redesign the outside, which to me is a sign of great respect for Windrim.  Along with the book on Urban, I came across some online information about some of the other buildings Windrim had built in Philadelphia.  In particular, he spent much of his time designing buildings for the University of Pennsylvania, where he built a massive agricultural center for the school.  I learned that Windrim was the supervising architect on the U.S. Treasury department in 1891-1895.  One piece of information that surprised me was that he had constructed buildings in Nevada, Virginia, Missouri, Mississippi, Michigan, and other places around the country.  For having built so many amazing structures in his home city of Philadelphia (such as the Masonic Temple of Philadelphia) I was shocked that he accomplished so much outside of Pennsylvania and truly expanded his business.  For next weeks assignment, I hope to gather all of my resources in order to try and create a thesis for the research paper I will be writing.


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