The Winterthur Library

 The Joseph Downs Collection of Manuscripts and Printed Ephemera





Creator:          Eleanor Weller Reade                          

Title:               Eleanor Weller Reade/ Alfred S. Branam Collection

Dates:             ca.1910-ca.1991

Call No.:         Col. 754

Acc. No.:         05x75

Quantity:        9 boxes (2.5 cu. ft.)

Location:        9 J 3-4






Eleanor Weller Reade and Alfred S. Branam assembled this collection about Philadelphia architect Horace Trumbauer and his assistant Julian Abele.  Branam was born in Philadelphia in 1944 and received a degree in journalism from the University of Pennsylvania.  He also earned a degree in architectural history from the University of Newcastle in England.  Branam worked for NBC as a news writer and also wrote about architecture.  He collected many of the notes and photographs in this collection.  He died in 1991 before he could complete a book he was planning to write about Trumbauer. 


Eleanor Weller Reade, a noted horticulturist, was a research consultant for American Splendor: The Residential Architecture of Horace Trumbauer, by Michael C. Kathrens, published by Acanthus Press in 2002.


Horace Trumbauer (1869-1938), the main subject of this collection, was a Philadelphia architect. He was born in Philadelphia and apprenticed with George and William Hewitt before opening his own architectural firm in the early 1890s.  Trumbauer quickly developed a specialty in designing large estates and town houses for America’s elite, with many commissions for Philadelphia’s Main Line communities, as well as in New York City, Washington, DC, and Newport, Rhode Island.  He also designed the Philadelphia Museum of Art (in collaboration with the firm of Zantzinger, Borie & Medary), the Free Library of Philadelphia, the Widener Library at Harvard University, railroad stations, hotels, hospitals, and other commercial buildings.  After designing homes for James B. Duke, Trumbauer was commissioned to design new buildings for Duke University’s Trinity College campus.  He and his assistant, Julian Abele, were the designers of the university’s new west campus, including the chapel.


Trumbauer was awarded an honorary master’s degree by Harvard University in 1915.  He won first prize at the Third Pan American Congress of Architects in 1927.  Because Trumbauer closely followed historical designs, some of his contemporaries judged him as not being particularly creative; thus, he was not elected to the American Institute of Architects until 1931.  Around 1903, Trumbauer married Sara Thompson Williams Smith, the daughter of Edward Hicks Williams and the widow of C. Comly Smith.  They had no children, although Mrs. Trumbauer had a daughter, Helena, from her first marriage.  She died in 1935, and he passed away on September 18, 1938 in Philadelphia. 


Trumbauer’s first chief designer was Frank Seeburger.  Julian Abele and William O. Frank succeeded Seeburger after he set up his own office in 1908.  They kept the firm going after Trumbauer’s death, continuing to use his name for the business, but signing their own names to their designs.  The Trumbauer firm remained in business until 1968; Duke University continued to be a client.


Julian Francis Abele was born in Philadelphia in 1881, the son of Charles and Mary Jones Abele. He attended the Institute for Colored Youth and Brown Preparatory School.  In 1902, he became the first African American to graduate from the architecture school of the University of Pennsylvania.  He also took classes in architectural design at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.  Trumbauer early recognized his abilities and paid for him to attend Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, though apparently Abele was not a regular student since there is no record of his matriculation; however, some individuals regularly sat in on classes without formally enrolling.  Abele was the primary architect of Duke University’s west Gothic style campus, including the chapel, and was chief architect on many other projects.  Abele liked to say of the firm’s drawings: “the lines are Trumbauer’s, but the shadows are mine.”  He was elected to the American Institute of Architects in 1942 and died in 1950.





A collection of materials relating to buildings designed by Horace Trumbauer’s architectural firm, including the work of Julian Abele.  The contents chiefly consist of photographs, newspaper clippings, and magazine articles, with some postcards, correspondence, floor plans, brochures, and other information included as well.  Most of the material relates to estates and town houses, but Duke University, the Free Library of Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and a few commercial buildings are also represented.





The folders are arranged alphabetically by name of client.  Where appropriate, the name of an estate is included in the folder title.  Oversize files are found at the end of the collection.





Gift of Eleanor Weller Reade.





Additional materials related to the Trumbauer firm are located at the Athenaeum of Philadelphia, the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, and the University of Pennsylvania library.






            Duke University.

            Harvard University.

            University of Pennsylvania.

Architecture – Pennsylvania.

            Architecture – New York.

            Architecture – Rhode Island.

            Architecture – Washington (D.C.)

            Rich people – Dwellings.

            Architects – PennsylvaniaPhiladelphia.


Additional authors:

            Abele, Julian, 1881-1950.

            Branam, Alfred, 1944-1991.

            Trumbauer, Horace, 1869-1938.





Location: 9 J 3-4



Box 1:


Folder 1:          Abele, Julian


Folder 2:          Baker, Raymond T.: “Marly,” now Belgian embassy, Washington, D.C. – HT 53


Folder 3:          Belmont, Perry: mansion, Washington, D.C. – HT 21


Folder 4:          Beneficial Saving Fund Society Bank


Folder 5:          Berwind, Edward: “The Elms,” Newport, R.I. – HT 05


Folder 6:          Branam, Alfred S.


Folder 7:          Brokaw, Howard C.: “The Chimneys,” Brookville, N.Y. – HT 40


Folder 8:          Brooks, Walter B.: “Brooklands,” Maryland, later owned by Douglas MacArthur family and renamed “Rainbow Hill” – HT 38


Folder 9:          Carhart, A.S.: residence, New York City – HT 36


Folder 10:        Carlhian, Robert


Folder 11:        Clews, James B.: residence, Brookville, N.Y.


Folder 12:        Clothier, Morris: “Clairemont,” Villanova, Pa. – HT 41


Folder 13:        Dixon, Fitz Eugene: “Ronaele Manor,” Elkins Park, Pa.; later owned by the Christian Brothers and called Anselm Hall – HT 46



Box 2:


Folder 1:          Dodge, Horace: “Rose Terrace,” Grosse Pointe Farms, Mich. – HT 54


Folder 2:          Douglas, A.L.: residence, New York City


Folder 3:          Dows, David: “Charlton Hall,” Brookville, N.Y. – HT 39


Folder 4:          Duke, James Buchanan and family: residences – HT 34


Folder 5:          Duke University: notes, correspondence, photos


Folder 6:          Duke University: publications


Folder 7:          Eisenlohr, Otto: residence, Philadelphia; now President’s House, University of Pennsylvania


Folder 8:          Elkins, George W.: “Chelton House,” Ogontz, Pa. – HT 02


Folder 9:          Elkins, W.M.: “Briar Hill”


Folder 10:        Elkins, William L.: “Elstowe Park,” Elkins Park, Pa., later Dominican Retreat House – HT 04


Folder 11:        Free Library of Philadelphia



Box 3:


Folder 1:          Free Library of Philadelphia: opening of main building, 1927


Folder 2:          Gould, George J: mansion, New York City – HT 28


Folder 3:          Gribbel, John: “St. Austel Hall,” Wyncote, Pa. – HT 11


Folder 4:          Hahnemann Medical College


Folder 5:          Harrison, William W.: “Grey Towers,” Glenside, Pa., now Arcadia College – HT 01


Folder 6:          Harvard Univeristy: Widener Library; A.H. Rice School of Geography


Folder 7:          Hotels: photos


Folder 8:          Huff, George: townhouse, Washington, D.C. – HT 17


Folder 9:          Jefferson Hospital, Philadelphia


Folder 10:        Knight, Edward C., Jr.: “Claradon Court,” Newport, R.I., later called Clarendon Court; and also “Stonybrook,” Middletown, R.I.


Folder 11:       Knight, Edward C., Jr.: townhouse, Philadelphia – HT 12


Folder 12:        McFadden, George: “Bloomfield,” Villanova, Pa.


Folder 13:        McFadden, George: “Bloomfield”: photos


Folder 14:        Montgomery, Robert L.: “Ardrossan,” Villanova, Pa. – HT 33



Box 4:


Folder 1:          Office and commercial buildings


Folder 2:          Other architects and artisans


Folder 3:          Parsons, Hubert: “Shadow Lawn,” West Long Branch, N.J., now part of Monmouth College – HT 50


Folder 4:          Paul, James W.: “Woodcrest,” Radnor, Pa., later owned by Dorrance family, now Cabrini College – HT 06


Folder 5:          Penrose family: “Barbados Hill”


Folder 6:          Philadelphia Museum of Art


Folder 7:          Philadelphia Museum of Art: booklets


Folder 8:          Philadelphia Museum of Art: photos


Folder 9:          Philadelphia Racquet Club


Folder 10:        photo permits and bills to Alfred Branam


Folder 11:        Public Ledger building, Philadelphia


Folder 12:        Reade, Eleanor


Folder 13:        Reading Railroad: stations



Box 5:


Folder 1:          Residences: unidentified photos


Folder 2:          Residences and apartment buildings: miscellaneous: photos

                        (includes some buildings in Europe)


Folder 3:          Rice, Alexander Hamilton: townhouse, New York City – HT 45


Folder 4:          Saint Catherine’s Church (Maloney Memorial), Spring Lake, N.J.


Folder 5:          Satterswhite, Preston P.: tomb, Lexington, Ky.


Folder 6:          Scott, Edgar T.: “Woodburne,” Lansdowne, Pa. – HT 19


Folder 7:          Slater, E.G.A.: residence, Washington, D.C.


Folder 8:          Speyer, James: residence, New York City – HT 37


Folder 9:          Stotesbury, Edward T.: “Whitemarsh Hall,” Montgomery County, Pa. – HT 42


Folder 10:        Stotesbury, Edward T.: “Whitemarsh Hall”: photos


Folder 11:        Straus, Herbert N.: residence, New York City – HT 51


Folder 12:        Sullivan, James F.: “The Woods,” Radnor township, Pa.


Folder 13:        Trumbauer, Horace: article about him in The Architectural Record, February 1904



Box 6:


Folder 1:          Trumbauer, Horace: correspondence (copies)


Folder 2:          Trumbauer, Horace: obituary, articles about, etc.


Folder 3:          Trumbauer, Horace: photos


Folder 4:          Union League of Philadelphia


Folder 5:          University of Pennsylvania: Irvine Auditorium


Folder 6:          Vanderbilt, C.: residence – HT 44


Folder 7:          Wells, W. Storrs: “Chetwode,” Newport, R.I. – HT 07


Folder 8:          Widener, George: “Miramar,” Newport, R.I. – HT 35

                        (the widowed Mrs. Widener married A.H. Rice)


Folder 9:          Widener, P.A.B.: “Lynnewood Hall,” Elkins Park, Pa. – HT 08


Folder 10:        Wildenstein Art Gallery, New York City



Box 7 (legal size files):


Folder 1:          “Inventory of the Architectural Library of Horace Trumbauer,” with office layout


Folder 2:          Trumbauer, Horace: “the complete works” (indexing unknown volumes)


Folder 3:          Widener, Joseph


Folder 4:          Widener, P.A.B.



Box 8: photographs


Barbados Hill

Douglas House

Duke townhouse

Duke University

Free Library [of Philadelphia]

Knight House

Marly” – Belgian embassy

Ritz Carlton

Straus, Herbert – townhouse

“Woodcrest” - James W. Paul

“The Woods” – James Sullivan res.

miscellaneous buildings



Box 9: oversize


“Longitudinal Section along the Fairmount Parkway,” and “General Plan of Fairmount  Parkway,” Philadelphia [color print]


photo: Trumbauer’s dining room


photo: George Widener, Horace Trumbauer, and Eleanor Widener at Harvard


photos: P.A.B. Widener