Architectural Archives

Frank Miles Day (1861-1918)

B.Arch, U. of Pennsylvania, 1883.
Honorary Masters degree by Yale U., 1916.
honorary doctorate by U. of Pennsylvania, 1918.
President of the A.I.A., 1906-07.
 
Membership in the Imperial Society of Russian Architects, the National Academy of Design, the National Institute of Arts and Letters, R.I.B.A., and the American Academy in Rome; won the prize of the Architectural Association of London, 1885; his firm received the gold medal from the Philadelphia chapter of the AIA, 1918
 

About the Collection

Office records, newspaper and journal clippings, photographs, correspondence, memorabilia, sixteen travel notebooks, honorary degrees and awards. Included are two projects on the Pennsylvania campus, Houston Hall (1894) and Weightman Hall (1902).

Recent gift of nearly one hundred travel sketches from his granddaughter, Frances Lukens Hays.

Biographical/Historical Sketch

Frank Miles Day was born in Philadelphia and received most of his early education at home from his father.  He studied architecture in Philadelphia at the University of Pennsylvania's Towne School and in London at the South Kensington School of Art and the Royal Academy.  Day began independent practice in Philadelphia in 1887, and in 1892 he established a partnership (Frank Miles Day and Brother) with his elder brother, H. Kent Day (1851-1925), who had begun his professional career as an accountant.  Charles Zeller Klauder (1872-1938) became chief draftsman for Frank Miles Day and Brother in 1900; by 1911 Klauder was made a named partner, forming Day Brothers and Klauder.  H. Kent Day retired in 1912, and the firm became Day and Klauder in 1913.  Frank Miles Day was an active partner until his death in 1918.  His estate was jointly administered by his wife, Anna Blanchard Blakiston Day; his brother-in-law, Kenneth M. Blakiston; and his brother, H. Kent Day.  Klauder continued the firm after Day’s death, using the name Day and Klauder until 1927.

Scope and Content Note

The bulk of this collection was given to the Architectural Archives by the Day family, and it is rich in personal and family materials.  The collection comprises student drawings, travel sketches, project-related architectural drawings, correspondence, personal accounts, notes, lectures, books, photographs, memorabilia and materials related to his estate.  See the Day and Klauder Collection (Collection #069) for other materials in the Architectural Archives related to Frank Miles Day's professional practice.

Day's journals, sketchbooks and unbound sketches document his European travel.  Most remarkable is his set of set of eighty-four detailed sketches executed in 1885 and in 1893-1894. 

Day and his family preserved small amounts of material related to twenty-three architectural projects spanning the years 1888-1915.  The only architectural project represented by a large number of architectural drawings is the American Baptist Publication Society (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania).  A letterpress book (059.1) from the years 1892-1893 contains correspondence related to the Art Club (Philadelphia), the Camden Safe Deposit and Trust Company (Camden, New Jersey) and the Albert Williams Residence (Jenkintown, Pennsylvania).  A second letterpress book (059.296) contains a small amount of project related correspondence mixed in with professional correspondence and personal business.  Day's own house and garden, Hickory Hill, are documented with photographs, notes, correspondence, garden diagrams, lists of plants, etc. 

Day preserved substantial materials related to his activities in professional organizations: correspondence, reports, notes of meetings, speeches (including some typescript drafts of his speeches) as well as printed material. 

He was very active in the American Institute of Architects, serving two terms as President, 1906 and 1907.  Materials in the collection reflect his concern for municipal improvements in American cities and his concern for establishing national standards of professional ethics and standards for architectural competitions and contracts.  His AIA activities also reflect his strong British associations:  for example, in 1905 Day nominated Edwin Lutyens for corresponding membership and George Frederick Bodley

for honorary membership.  In 1906, he represented the AIA at the 7th International Congress of Architects in London.  The collection contains its published "Programme, Abstracts of Papers" and "Summary of Proceedings" and some printed ephemera.  Also found are correspondence, calling cards, invitations, and other materials in connection with the Congress, including correspondence with Lutyens and Sir Aston Webb.  In 1907 in Washington, on the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the AIA, Day presented to Sir Aston Webb the AIA's newly established medal for distinguished achievement.  The collection contains a Tiffany silver plate presented to Day by Webb during his visit to the United States.  Day was also active in the Philadelphia Chapter of the AIA and led the committee entrusted with the restoration of Congress Hall, 1912-1913.  The collection contains photographs, clippings and writings by Day in connection with that project.

As a trustee of the American Academy in Rome during an important period of development and change, Day kept correspondence, minutes of the Trustees, minutes of the Executive Committee, financial statements, fundraising materials, published reports, etc.  His papers are not complete, but they provide substantial insight into early difficulties of the Academy, the architects who guided its development and the deliberations which culminated in the its move from Villa Mirafiori to Villa Aurelia and its merger with the American School of Classical Studies in Rome.  Eight photographs of Villa Mirafiori are also found among these papers, as are lists of students and materials related to the annual competitions.  Also found are materials related to AAR competitions and some lists of students.

Filed with Day's professional activities are materials related to a number of architectural competitions.  Day was a juror in the competition for the New York County Court House (1912-1913), and it is well documented.  He was also a juror in the competition for the U.S. Post Office, New York, New York (1907-1908), but documentation for this competition is limited.  Small amounts of material are found for other competitions (in which Day was not an active participant) including:  Pan American Union (1907), Saint Louis Public Library (1907), Perry Memorial, Put-in Bay, Ohio (1912). 

A letterpress book from the years 1913-1917 contains a mixture of professional correspondence and personal business matters arranged chronologically (beginning November 17, 1913).  Day's official correspondence for the AIA and the American Academy in Rome continues in this volume.  Day also corresponded with persons and institutions seeking his advice on proposed architectural projects and with other architects on matters of professional concern.  Smaller amounts of correspondence are found between Day and clients and between Day and his own office staff when he was away from Philadelphia.  The volume contains a few items to or from Charles Klauder.  Items clearly related to Day & Klauder projects and items related to Day's house, Hickory Hill, are indexed in Appendix A.  Items related to Day's consulting practice are not indexed unless the consultation led to an identified design project, built or unbuilt.  The volume includes small amounts of consultation or competition correspondence related to the Detroit Public Library, Erie schools, Indianapolis Public Library, Detroit Art Museum, Cleveland Public Library, Harrisburg Academy, Hartford State House Restoration, McGill University and others.  Of particular note among letters not indexed is a letter to accompany a parcel of "old papers" which Day gave to the national AIA related to "the expulsion of Addison Hutton from the Philadelphia Chapter [and] his reinstatement by the courts..." [059.296.274].  Also of architectural interest are Day's private comments on others:  his description of William L. Price to Clipston Sturgis [059.296.237], his description of Samuel Yellin to George D. Seymour [059.296.259] and his confidential professional advice to McGill University about Ralph Adams Cram, R. Clipston Sturgis, Bertram B. Goodhue, Cass Gilbert, Burt L. Fenner, Milton B. Medary, and J. Lawrence Mauran [059.296.401].  Of historical interest is Day's 1916 letter to President Woodrow Wilson urging United States action against Germany [059.296.461].  Also found is a letter to Agnes Repplier [059.296.345].

Other personal and family materials include: photographs of Frank Miles Day and a few presumed to be of his wife Anna Blanchard Blakiston Day; miscellaneous materials from Frank Miles Day's childhood and education; and Anna Day's subscription copy of The Holy Experiment by the artist Violet Oakley, who had been a close personal friend of Frank Miles Day.  The collection contains little material directly related to Anna Day.  For her archives, see Day, Anna Blanchard Blakiston, Papers, 1905-1961, at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.  Reference photographs of early Philadelphia architecture include St. Peter's Church, Christ Church Grave Yard and Wyck.

Records of the Estate of Frank Miles Day include legal documents, accounts and correspondence of the executors, Kenneth Blakiston, H. Kent Day and Anna Day.  Some financial and legal materials related to Day's architectural practice and his partnership with Charles Z. Klauder are found mixed with personal financial and legal materials.

Researchers interested in the work of Edgar V. Seeler, Arthur Byne, or Vernon Howe Bailey will find three fine renderings of buildings designed by Day (transferred from the Graduate School of Fine Art).  The drawing delineated by Seeler is a remarkable 79" x 67" presentation rendering of Day's design for Horticultural Hall. 

Researchers interested in the architecture and/or the history of Chestnut Hill Academy will find printed materials donated by the school containing not only images of Day's gymnasium building but also other images and information on the buildings, grounds and history of the school.

In preparing this finding aid, staff of the Architectural Archives have relied heavily on Patricia Heintzelman Keebler, "The Life and Work of Frank Miles Day," Ph.D. dissertation, University of Delaware, 1980.
 

Series Overview

I.  Architectural Records
A.  Project Files
  1.  Project Correspondence
  2.  Clippings and printed materials
B.  Project Photographs
C.  Architectural Drawings

II.  Personal Papers
A.  Academic and Travel, 1880-1913
  1.  Large materials
  2.  Journals and sketchbooks
  3.  Other travel materials
B.  Professional Activities
  1.  Lectures, Articles and Notes
  2.  Professional Associations
   a.  7th International Congress of Architects, July 1906 
   b.  American Academy in Rome 
   c.  American Institute of Architects
  3.  Competitions
C.  Published materials owned/kept by Frank Miles Day.
  1.  Reports, Brochures, Clippings 
  2.  Books
D.  Frank Miles Day Biographical Materials
  1.  Personal materials
  2.  Estate of Frank Miles Day


III.  Additional Acquisitions
A.  Gift of Frances Lukens Hays, 1992
  1.  Travel Sketches, 1885-1894
  2.  Sketchbooks
  3.  Additional Materials
B.  Gift of Frances Lukens Hays, 1994
C.  University Transfer from Graduate School of Fine Arts
D.  Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Stanley Myers
E.  Gift of Chestnut Hill Academy, 1998
F.  Gift of Frances Lukens Hays, 1998
G.  Internal Transfer

Provenance

Acquisition: 
Initial Gift:  Frances Lukens Hays, Anne Lukens Saunders, and Alan Wood Lukens 1965. 
Additional materials gift:  Frances Lukens Hays, 1992, 1994. 
Additional materials gift:  Mr. and Mrs. Stanley Myers, 1995. 
Additional materials gift:  Chestnut Hill Academy, 1998. 
Additional materials internal transfer:  Graduate School of Fine Arts.