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Look Up! Frank Miles Day mansions nominated to Philadelphia Register

    • The carvings on the open loggia include the initial of the home’s original owner.
      The carvings on the open loggia include the initial of the home’s original owner.
    • The Harry K. Cummings Residence, 240 W. Tulpehocken St. in Germantown, blends a variety of European styles.
      The Harry K. Cummings Residence, 240 W. Tulpehocken St. in Germantown, blends a variety of European styles.
    • A low outbuilding echoes the design of the Cummings Residence.
      A low outbuilding echoes the design of the Cummings Residence.
    • A rear view of the portico on the Cummings estate.
      A rear view of the portico on the Cummings estate.
    • Terra cotta carvings adorn the entrance to the Etting Residence.
      Terra cotta carvings adorn the entrance to the Etting Residence.
    • The Theodore M. Etting Residence, 1219 Spruce St., in Washington Square West
      The Theodore M. Etting Residence, 1219 Spruce St., in Washington Square West
    • A detail above the third-story window.
      A detail above the third-story window.
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Look Up!” is a PlanPhilly feature that encourages appreciation of our architectural and historical environment. The photo essays focus on different Philadelphia areas and their distinctive building styles and details, all of which make up the physical fabric of the city and region.

The turn-of-the-century work of Frank Miles Day is mainly found on college campuses, including Princeton, Yale, Johns Hopkins, Penn State, University of Delaware, New York University, and University of Colorado.

His designs on the Penn campus include the University Museum and the first brick stadium on Franklin Field.

The Philadelphia-born architect also built handsome homes in the city, two of which were recently nominated to the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places.

The Harry K. Cummings Residence, 240 West Tulpehocken Street, was built in 1892 for a prominent grain merchant and feed dealer.

The Germantown mansion is a Renaissance Revival design that borrows from a variety of European styles. Steep sloping roofs and dormers recall English Arts & Crafts; sculpted cherubs on the loggia recall Italian estates; and Roman arches adorn the lower windows and portico.

The light stucco exterior is complemented by the decorative brick designs around the windows.

The Theodore M. Etting Residence, 1219 Spruce Street in Washington Square West, was built in 1890. The three-story townhouse is an elegant blend of brick and stone in the Romanesque Revival style, with elegant and grotesque carvings above the entrance and other focal points.

In these two houses, Day proved his versatile talent in suburban and urban settings.

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Contact the writer at ajaffe@planphilly.com.

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About the author

Alan Jaffe, Contributor

Alan Jaffe has been a contributing writer for PlanPhilly since 2008, focusing on overlooked buidlings and historic preservation issues. He was a writer and editor in the newspaper industry for nearly 30 years, including eight at the Philadelphia Inquirer and nine at the South Jersey Courier-Post. He is currently the director of communications for the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society. He is also an antiques writer and collector and the author of “J. Chein & Co.: A Collector’s Guide to an American Toymaker.”

ajaffe@planphilly.com



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