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Little information is available regarding the prolific Charles J. Brooke, but it is apparent that he was one of a number of architects who maintained offices in both Philadelphia and New Jersey. His first appearance in the Philadelphia city directories is in 1891 when he is listed as an architect working at 1036 Drexel Building, an address also given for the large Wilson Bros. firm. This leads to the assumption that Brooke was employed by the Wilson Bros., at least through 1895. From 1896 to 1902 he disappears from the city directories but reappears in 1903 with an office at 14 South Broad Street and a residence in New Jersey. Albert Yarnell also shared the 14 South Broad Street address, but by 1905 Yarnell had vacated these premises and had been replaced by William S. Allen. Until Brooke's disappearance from the Philadelphia city directories in 1912, he and Allen share an office address and projects noted in the Philadelphia Real Estate Record and Builders Guide.

At least as early as 1908 Brooke had established a second office in Merchantville, NJ; and it may be speculated that after his disappearance from Philadelphia, he was working exclusively in New Jersey.

Written by Sandra L. Tatman.

 

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