Thursday, March 14, 2013

Corinth Architects 03: Gordon Allen

Gordon Allen was the second Fellow in Architecture at the American School of Classical Studies at Athens. Very little is known about him and he has been forgotten by the institutional history of the school. Allen graduated from Haverford College in 1898. His travel sketches were featured in the annual exhibit of the Boston Architecture Club. He was a fellow in Greece during the year 1905-1906. We have not yet determined what projects he worked on in Greece. Allen returned to the U.S. and practiced architecture in Boston. He was a member of the American Institute of Architects and served as secretary for the Boston Chapter. While in Athens, interestingly enough, he met King of Greece Constantine I and Queen Sophia, who in 1915 commissioned from him a series of buildings, most notably the suburban royal palace at Tatoi, a Home Economics School, and a Red Cross Hospital. Although raised in Germany, Queen Sophia was the grand-daughter of Queen Victoria and had met her husband during her grandmothers Jubilee in London. Sophia had an appreciation for American houses, their efficiency and sense of modernity. Allen was not in residence during the completion of the Palace in Tatoi, the project was managed by an American architect working in Istanbul. Soon after its completion, unfortunately, the Tatoi Palace was burned. It has thus receded in the architectural memory of Greece.

Select bibliography:

Adams, Frederick Johnstone. 1949. "The Plannign Schools," Town Planning Review 20 (July 1949) pp. 144-149.
American Contractor. 1915. "American Architect Builds Palace for King," The American Contractor 36 (May 8, 1915), p. 81j. (image above)
Architectural Record. 1933. "Small and Medium-Cost Houses," Architectural Record 74 (Aug. 1933), pp. 121-141.
Boston Architectural Club. 1902. "Travel Sketches," Catalogue of the Architectural Exhibition, Boston Architectural Club, p. 25, Boston.
Gordon, Allen. 1946. "A Cottage in Lancashire," The Builder 170, (Jan. 25, 1946), p. 93
Gordon, Allen. 1952. "The Vale," Old Time New England 42, no. 4, pp. 80-87.
Kardamitsi-Adami, Maro. 2009. Palaces in Greece, Athens

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Kostis Kourelis

Philadelphia, PA, United States