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Penn History

The plates in this set were donated to the University of Pennsylvania by Susan M. Todres, a loyal alumna.

This exhibit was created in July 2005 by University Archives Summer Research Fellow Seth S. Tannenbaum. Seth is an undergraduate at Vassar College.

Artist: Walter Antrim (1891-1972)

Walter Antrim, c. 1930
Walter Antrim drew the sketch of the which appears on the University of the Pennsylvania’s 1940 commemorative demitasse cup depicting the Christian Association. He was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1891 and graduated from Philadelphia’s Central High School in 1909.

Antrim earned the degree of Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania as a member of the Class of 1915. As an undergraduate, Antrim was active in the Mask and Wig Club. His ties to the University continued after graduation. From 1920 until 1929, Antrim was a design critic for the Architecture School, and during the academic year of 1929-1930, he was an instructor in Architectural Design. In 1940 he was appointed the Director of the Philadelphia Department of Architecture.

Before joining the Navy to fight in World War I, he worked first for an architecture firm before opening his own firm in partnership with J.L. Conarroe. After returning from the war, he worked as an architect in a number of different architectural firms. It is interesting to note that, after he did the design of the Christian Association building on this cup, Antrim in 1944 entered into an architectural partnership with Walter Horstmann Thomas, one of the architects of the building.

Antrim was a member of the American Institute of Architects, the Philadelphia Art Alliance, and the T-Square Club. He died in Philadelphia in 1972.

Subject: The Christian Association

Christian Association (now the ARCH, built 1927, Thomas, Martin and Kirkpatrick, architects), c. 1930
The Christian Association, built between 1927 and 1929, was designed by the architectural firm of Thomas, Martin, and Kirkpatrick. The Christian Association was originally intended as a place for Penn’s Protestant students to socialize. It was built with a large common room that is now used as a restaurant; it is currently known as the ARCH. The building also has a 350 seat auditorium dedicated to the University’s alumni who fought in World War I.

Architects: Thomas, Martin, and Kirkpatrick