Architectural Archives

  • Fleer House, Chestnut Hill (1958-59)

The collection comprises architectural drawings and photographs related to 36 projects of the firm Montgomery and Bishop and three related firms: Robert F. Bishop, Architect; Bishop and Wright, Architects; and Montgomery, Bishop and Arnold, Architects.


The work of Montgomery and Bishop is related both to the independent designs of Robert Forsythe Bishop and to the work of its predecessor and successor firms.  Robert Forsythe Bishop was educated at Swarthmore College, at Philadelphia-area institutions, and at Taliesin, where he was a fellow.  He began to design independently in 1935 after his return to Philadelphia, while he also worked in firms in the region through the end of World War II.  In 1945, Bishop and John W. Wright formed a partnership that continued until 1951 when Wright left to join M. Ward Easby, Inc., an engineering and architectural firm.  In 1952, Bishop formed a partnership with Newcomb Montgomery.  They considered Montgomery and Bishop to be the successor to Bishop & Wright.  In 1962, C. Treat Arnold joined them.  Arnold remained with the firm until 1971, when he moved to New Hampshire and established a practice there.  Montgomery and Bishop continued to practice for a few years after Arnold’s departure. 

Bishop was one of the founders of Bryn Gweled (begun 1939), a cooperative homestead community in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, where he designed houses (along with Paul Beidler, Walter T. Robinson and Cornelius Bogert) and made his residence.  After Bishop retired from practice in 1972, he produced a few independent designs for projects located at Bryn Gweled.

Scope and Content Note

This collection comprises architectural drawings and photographs related to thirty-six projects of Montgomery and Bishop and related firms.  Holdings include materials related to ten projects of the firm Robert F. Bishop ranging from 1935 to 1981, five projects of Bishop and Wright between 1947 and 1950, fifteen projects of Montgomery and Bishop between 1952 and 1973, and six projects of Montgomery, Bishop and Arnold between 1965 and 1976.  Projects include domestic, institutional, civic and corporate structures primarily located in and near Philadelphia.  Notable projects in this collection include the District Health Center # 1 at Broad and Lombard Streets, Philadelphia and a number of projects located at Bryn Gweled Homesteads.  The collection contains a substantial number of original presentation drawings.