Theses (Historic Preservation)

Document Type

Thesis or dissertation

Date of this Version

January 2008


A thesis in Historic Preservation Presented to the Faculties of the University of Pennsylvania in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements of the Degree of Master of Science in Historic Preservation 2008.
Advisor: John D. Milner


This thesis examines the career of restoration architect G. Edwin Brumbaugh in order to map the evolution of his ideologies, methodology, and professional practice, and to determine the degree to which his career affected the professionalization of restoration architecture during the twentieth century. Working primarily in Philadelphia and the surrounding area, Brumbaugh was well known among those interested in early American architecture and was widely regarded as one of the leading practitioners in the Mid-Atlantic states, in addition to being nationally recognized for his expertise and accomplishments.

Brumbaugh was deeply interested in the vernacular architecture of southeastern Pennsylvania, specifically that of the Pennsylvania Germans. His spiritual connection to seventeenth and eighteenth century architecture, along with his insistence upon accurate and careful restoration based in sound historical, archaeological, and architectural investigations set him apart from his contemporaries. His independent practice, active for much of the twentieth century, was prolific, completing hundreds of public and private restorations. Brumbaugh also designed residential commissions in the colonial revival, and remained a proponent of this style for the length of his career.

His career is discussed using three case studies: Ephrata Cloister, the William Brinton 1704 House, and Germantown Market Square.



Date Posted: 14 July 2008