Philadelphia architect Day opened his own practice in 1887 and, three years later, designed a house for Bancroft Mills (WL91) executive Henry B. Thompson (1305 Rodney Street, demolished). The Pyle House, for a patent-leather manufacturer, probably followed as a result of the Thompson commission. According to architectural historian Patricia Keebler (1980), it is “one of the few Day houses that exists virtually unaltered.… Deep porches, turret and undercut breezeway combine aspects of both the Shingle Style and the Queen Anne”—a steep-roofed, red brick ensemble of great robustness with a massive round corner tower. Day would eventually design the campus for the University of Delaware (NK9), in an entirely different idiom, Colonial Revival.
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Frank Pyle House
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