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Frank Furness - Birthplace and Home

Posted on Thursday, January 24, 2019

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Frank Furness (1839-1912) was a nationally influential architect whose forceful designs and bold use of industrial materials helped shape American modernism. Furness is arguably one of the greatest Philadelphia architects in history, if not the greatest of all time.

Frank Furness Birthplace at 1426 Pine Street, Philadelphia

Furness was born in 1839 in Philadelphia at 1426 Pine Street.  As a young adult, Furness began his career in New York and served as an apprentice to architect Richard Morris Hunt who designed some of the great Newport mansions, the Biltmore Estate, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Furness also served as a mentor to Louis Sullivan. Additionally, Furness served as a soldier in the Civil War. Eventually, Furness returned to live in the Pine Street home, through 1873, with his wife and their three children.

Frank Furness, 1839-1912

His works include the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and the Fisher Fine Arts Library at the University of Pennsylvania (also referred to as the Furness Library).

Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts

History Making Productions created a great short film entitled, “Frank Furness: A Philadelphia Original” which proudly showcases many of Furness’ building achievements, including many of which were unfortunately torn down to make way for progress.  


The birthplace of Frank Furness now belongs to Peirce College.

Additional Information

Frank Furness Birthplace
1426 Pine Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102



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