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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: Grant Miles Simon (1887-1967)

Grant Miles Simon (1887-1967), B.S. 1911, M.S. 1911
Grant Miles Simon drew the sketch of the Class of ’93 Gateway which appears on this University of Pennsylvania Bicentennial Wedgwood China plate. Simon was born in Philadelphia in 1887 and graduated from Philadelphia’s Northeast Manual Training School in 1904. His education in architecture took several forms, all influenced by Paul P. Cret. Simon began studying architecture by taking several classes, under Cret’s patronnage, in the T-Square Atelier at the same time he worked in Cret’s firm of Kelsey and Cret. He matriculated at the University of Pennsylvania in 1907, during the period of Cret’s influence on the University’s architecture program. While a student at Penn, Simon won the Cope Memorial Prize, the Alumni Scholarship three years in a row, the Stewardson Traveling Scholarship, and the Arthur Spayd Brooke gold medal. He earned the degrees of Bachelor of Science in Architecture (B.S. in Arch.) and Master of Science in Architecture (M.S. in Arch.) in 1911.

From 1907 until 1909, Simon also studied painting at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts under artist Thomas Anshutz. He became an accomplished painter and lithographer as well as an architect.

After graduating from the University, Simon was hired by the firm of John Torrey Windrim. Simon remained an employee of this firm until 1913 when he won the Paris Prize and traveled to France to enter the Atelier Bernier of the Ecole des Beaux Arts. When he returned to Philadelphia he joined the firm of his older brother, Edward P. Simon. In 1927, the younger Simon withdrew from the firm (which had become Simon and Simon in 1918); from then until his death in 1967 he worked independently. His buildings included such Philadelphia landmarks as the Fidelity Bank on South Broad Street. Simon was awarded a number of prizes near the end of his life in honor of his contributions to architecture in the Philadelphia area. He led the Philadelphia Historical Commission from 1956 until his death, and used that post to certify over one thousand buildings in Philadelphia as historic structures. He also played an important role in both Historic Germantown and Independence National Historic Park.

Subject: Class of 1893 Gateway

Class of 1893 Memorial Gateway, 1903
The Class of 1893 gateway was designed in 1900 by two members of the Class of 1893: Elliston Perot Bissell and William Charles Hays. The Class of ’93 Gateway, located at 3400 Spruce Street, was modeled after Cope and Stewardson‘s Gate on Hamilton Walk. The Class of ’93 Gateway is inscribed with a phrase in Latin which translates to, “We shall find a way, or we shall make one.”

Architects: Elliston Perot Bissell (1872-1944) and William Charles Hays (1873-1963)