Furness, Frank(1839–1912) architect; born in Philadelphia (son of William Henry Furness). He trained with Richard Morris Hunt, then fought in the Union cavalry in the Civil War, winning a Congressional Medal of Honor. Returning to Philadelphia, he practiced first with John Fraser and George W. Hewitt and after 1881 with Allen Evans. He was an outstanding exponent of the picturesque eclectic style, which blended colors, textures, and ornamental details from foreign styles of every period. Among his nearly 400 corporate, public, and institutional buildings, mostly in the Philadelphia area, were the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (1871–76), and the building now regarded as his masterpiece, the Library (now the Furness Building) (1888–91) at the University of Pennsylvania. He was reduced to obscurity in his later years, a victim of the new neoclassicism made fashionable by McKim, Mead and White. Furness's reputation revived in the 1960s and 1970s, when postmodernists found inspiration in the decorative richness of his style.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.
American architect who designed the Provident Life and Trust Company building, Philadelphia, in 1876, in the high Victorian Gothic style, and the Academy of Fine Arts, (illus.), and the Universsity of Pennslyvania ibrary (illus.), now the Fisher Fine Arts Library, both located in Philadelphia. In 1876. Louis Sullivan worked in the office of Frank Furness before moving to Chicago.
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