Most of Lower Merion's houses by Frank Furness have been demolished or altered, but the home of industrialist Clement Griscom, president of the Red Star steamship line (for which Furness designed steamship interiors), was restored in 1989 and is the best regional example of Furness's domestic style. Unlike the palatial designs of Furness's teacher Richard Morris Hunt, Furness underplayed wealth. Instead, as here, relatively small volumes clad in unheroic shingle and local stone describe the varied purposes of the house. At the end of the century, Furness added an immense wing to the rear that extended into the site via a stone terrace. The landscape was as remarkable as the house, contrasting an American Wild Garden with formal settings. The power of the owners of these understated mansions is evidenced by their success in elevating William Howard Taft to presidential candidate of the Republican Party from meetings in this house in 1900.
You are here
“Dolobran,” Clement Griscom House
If SAH Archipedia has been useful to you, please consider supporting it.
SAH Archipedia tells the story of the United States through its buildings, landscapes, and cities. This freely available resource empowers the public with authoritative knowledge that deepens their understanding and appreciation of the built environment. But the Society of Architectural Historians, which created SAH Archipedia with University of Virginia Press, needs your support to maintain the high-caliber research, writing, photography, cartography, editing, design, and programming that make SAH Archipedia a trusted online resource available to all who value the history of place, heritage tourism, and learning.