Frank Furness

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Works Baltimore-Ohio Railroad Depots, at Chester & Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1886.

Pennsylvania Academy of Art, at Philadelphia , Pennsylvania, 1871 to 1876.

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Frank Furness

(b. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1839; d. Medea, Pennsylvania 1912)

Frank Furness was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1839. He worked as a draughtsman in the Philadelphia office of John Fraser, after which he studied at the New York atelier of Richard Morris Hunt (1859-61). He set up professional practices with a series of different partners starting in 1867.

Furness never had the opportunity to travel abroad so his style, although influenced by Ruskin and Viollet-le-duc, achieved an originality that might have been impossible with first hand experience of European architecture. Eclectic and boldly polychromatic, his buildings were often dramatically over-scaled and boldly articulated with a variety of sculptural forms and materials.

The lavish Victorian style employed by Furness during the late nineteenth century proved unattractive to twentieth century taste and few of his buildings remain in their original forms.

Furness died in Medea, Pennsylvania in 1912.

Dennis Sharp. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Architects and Architecture. New York: Quatro Publishing, 1991. ISBN 0-8230-2539-X. NA40.I45. p57-58.

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