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Born: 1836, Died: 2/20/1911

Thomas Webb Richards, first Professor of Drawing and Architecture at The University of Pennsylvania (1874-1891), secured his training in the office of Samuel Sloan where he remained until 1860 when he moved to Baltimore to work in partnership with William T. Murdock. In 1854 Richards had begun exhibiting at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts--mostly watercolors of Moorish and Oriental themes that were only nominally architectural--and in 1860 he was elected an associate member of the Academy. By 1869 he was back in Philadelphia and appointed an Instructor of Mechanical Drawing at the University of Pennsylvania. The following year he won the commission for College Hall on the new University campus in West Philadelphia, his most important work. Subsequently he designed several buildings for the University. In addition to his University work, Richards designed Northminster Presbyterian Church (3500 Baring Street, 1879/80) and the Church Home for Children (58th St. and Baltimore Avenue, ca. 1873)

Written by Roger W. Moss.

Clubs and Membership Organizations

  • Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts

School Affiliations

  • University of Pennsylvania
  • Central High School


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