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New Exhibit Honors the Bold Style of American Architect Frank Furness

October 3, 2012

Paul Peck Alumni CenterFrank Furness (1839-1912) was a Victorian-era American architect whose bold architectural style can be admired across the city of Philadelphia and beyond. Along with other Philadelphia cultural institutions, a city-wide tribute has been created to honor Furness’ heroic life and architectural achievements.

Furness made his mark on what is now Drexel’s campus in 1876 with the Paul Peck Alumni Center, on the southeast corner of 32nd and Market Streets, originally designed by Furness as the Centennial National Bank. It still retains the original decorative brick interior and painted ceiling.  Other Furness designs in the city include the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and the First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia.

Drexel’s participation in the city-wide tribute comes in the form of a digital exhibition, Bank with Frank:  The Commercial Architecture of Frank Furness. Curated by Dr. George E. Thomas, the exhibition shows Furness’ astonishing bank designs full of flamboyant form and color. The exhibit is on view in the Paul Peck Alumni Center on Mondays from 3 to 7 p.m., now through December 17, 2012.

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