Architect of the Week: Frank Furness

In a recent post, I mentioned my fascination with the architectural cornice. Throughout Philadelphia, in all neighborhoods and on buildings large and small, the cornice has many guises. Simple to extremely ornate, rowhouse to the office building, the cornice is a beautiful topping-off for a structure.

I got to experience Frank Furness’ architecture as a student at the University of Pennsylvania and was reminded of his awesome style while doing some unrelated research today.

Furness was a Philadelphia architect during the industrial age from the late 19th century to the early 20th century, a time also associated with the Steampunk style. His use of steel, brick, and iron perfectly melded with the engineering and utilitarian-based environment of a Philadelphia that was leading the way to an industrialized future.

Much of Furness’ work still stands in Philadelphia and is part of the day to day experience of the city.

Check out the way he uses the cornice and facade brickwork!