Clarence C. Zantzinger

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Clarence Clark Zantzinger (1872-1954) was an architect and public servant in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.


Clarence was born in Philadelphia, the son of Alfred Zantzinger (1839-1873) and Sarah Crawford Clark.

Alfred was a medical doctor who was born on June 27, 1839, in Philadelphia to George Zantzinger, a grand-nephew of David Rittenhouse,[1] and Caroline Helmuth.[2] Alfred entered the University of Pennsylvania in 1855, graduated from Philadelphia's Hahnemann Medical College in 1862,[2] and became a volunteer surgeon with the First Troop Philadelphia City Cavalry.[3] In January 1863, he married Sarah Crawford Clark, the daughter of Philadelphia financier Enoch White Clark.[2] Their son Clarence was born in 1872, and Alfred died of typhoid in Philadelphia on August 15, 1873.[4] Sarah later married C. George Currie, a rector of St. Luke's Church in Philadelphia.[5]

Clarence attended private school in Germany, then St. Paul's School in Concord, New Hampshire. He matriculated at Yale University's Sheffield Scientific School, where he was a member of the senior S.S.S. Society[6] and graduated with a degree in civil engineering in 1892. Three years later, he earned a B.S. in Architecture at the University of Pennsylvania. He then spent two years at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, where he worked under Paul Blondel and Henri Grisors and graduated in 1901.[7]

He returned to Philadelphia, set out his shingle, and soon received his first commission: a building to house the West Philadelphia branch (today, the Walnut Street West branch) of the Free Library of Philadelphia.[8] By 1905, he and Charles L. Borie, Jr. (a fellow graduate of St. Paul's School) had launched a firm of their own with offices at 251 South 4th Street in Philadelphia. They were joined in 1910 by Milton Bennett Medary, and the firm was renamed Zantzinger, Borie & Medary, which specialized in institutional and civic projects.[7]

In 1903, Zantzinger joined the American Institute of Architects; eight years later, the group made him a fellow. He served for years on the group's National Committee on Foreign Relations and Education; he also served as president of the Philadelphia chapter. Zantzinger was also a member of the T-Square Club; he directed its atelier and served on its education committee.[7]

In 1917, Zantzinger became a diplomat: President Woodrow Wilson appointed him to represent the U.S. on the War Trade Board in Sweden as a member of the U.S. legation in Stockholm.[7]

He also served on the National Capital Parks and Planning Commission and as president of Philadelphia's City Parks Association.[7]

In 1951, he retired from his firm, by then renamed Zantzinger & Borie.[9]


Among his works were:[9]


In 1903, Clarence married Margaret Shippen Buckley (d. Jan. 16, 1958[13]),[9] part of a prominent Philadelphia family that descended from John Buckley (1664-1732), of Wiltshire, England, who in 1681 became one of the first people to purchase land in the colony of Pennsylvania from William Penn.[14] She was a daughter of iron manufacturer Edward Swift Buckley[14] and granddaughter of Matthew Brooke Buckley (1794-1856),[15] a president of the Philadelphia, Wilmington and Baltimore Railroad from 1842[16] to 1846.[17][18] Matthew was the son of Daniel Buckley (1761-1827), a lawyer and former member of the Assembly of Pennsylvania,[19] who was the son of John Buckley (1719-1799), who was the son of Adam Buckley (1697-1760), who was the son of the John who immigrated from England.[20]

In 1922, Clarence and Margaret lived at "Greenacre", their house at Seminole and Highland Avenues in Chestnut Hill, Pennsylvania.[21]

They had at least four children:

1 Clarence Clark Zantzinger Jr. (1904-1993), who followed his father to St. Paul's, Yale, Penn, and the Ecole des Beaux Arts; then joined Zantzinger, Borie & Medary as a draftsman; and finally struck out on his own as an architect. His firm, Kneedler, Mirick & Zantzinger, "designed office buildings, hospitals, churches, museums, schools and houses in the Philadelphia area," according to his New York Times obituary.[22] He served as director or other corporate officer in several organizations, including the Fairmount Park Art Association, for which he served as president from 1969 to 1980.[23] He married Mary Amory Cook, a daughter of Navy Vice Admiral Arthur Byron Cook (1881-1952), an early naval aviator. They had two daughters:
1.1 Amory H. Stedman
1.2 Katharine B. Okie[24]
2 Alfred Zantzinger (1907-1972), who also attended St. Paul's, married Mary Geist in 1937 (they lived at The Willows, a mansion in Radnor Township purchased for them by the bride's father, Clarence Geist). Alfred worked stints at the E.W. Clark & Co. financial house, the Philadelphia Suburban Water Company, and as vice-president of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.[25] He was the father of:
2.1 Alfred Geist "Gei" Zantzinger (1936-2007), a documentary filmmaker.[24]
3 Sarah Clark Zantzinger married Harry C. Groome Jr.,[26] who went on to become a senior vice-president of N. W. Ayer & Son, the country's oldest advertising agency.[27]
4 Mary Vaux Zantzinger (1910-1987),[28] who married John Wister Wurts (1907-1972),[26] a scion of yet another prominent Philadelphia family.[29] Wurts, who lived as a child on Philadelphia's Portico Row, graduated from Princeton University in 1931[30] and served in Europe during World War II, winning the Legion of Merit.[31] Wurts was a son of Charles Stewart Wurts III (Princeton Class of 1890[31] and a Philadelphia stockbroker) and Elizabeth Wister; grandson of Charles Stewart Wurts II (1830-??) and Mary S. Wood (??-1883);[32] great-grandson of Charles Stewart Wurts (1790-1859), a founder of the Delaware and Hudson Canal and Railroad Companies, and Mary Van Uxem (1802-1877); great-great-grandson of John Wurts (1744-1793) and Sarah Grandin; and great-great-great-grandson of Johannes Conrad Wirz (1706-1763), who founded the Wurts family in America.[29] Mary and John Wurts had two sons:[33]
4.1 John Wister Wurts, Jr., who married Tracy Todd Johnson (1942-2000).[34]
4.2 Clarence Zantzinger "Binky"[35] Wurts (b. September 27, 1940),[30] who graduated from Princeton in 1962; married Patricia Weaver; worked as a stockbroker for Drexel & Co., Alex Brown, and other firms; and was president of the Philadelphia Stock Exchange from 1981 to about 1987.[36] At least one grandchild:
4.2.X.1 Merritt Wurts, Class of 2021 at Springside Chestnut Hill Academy.[37]


  1. ^ Cassel, Daniel Kolb (1896). The Family Record of David Rittenhouse: Including His Sisters Esther, Anne and Eleanor. Also, Benjamin Rittenhouse and Margaret Rittenhouse Morgan. Herald printing and binding rooms.
  2. ^ a b c A committee of the Society of the alumni (1894). "University of Pennsylvania. Biographical catalogue of the matriculates of the college, together with lists of the members of the college faculty and the trustees, officers and recipients of honorary degrees. 1749-1893". University of Pennsylvania. p. 212. Retrieved November 18, 2013.
  3. ^ History of the First Troop Philadelphia City Cavalry: From Its Organization, November 17th, 1774 to Its Centennial Anniversary, November 17th, 1874. Princeton. 1875.
  4. ^ "Alfred Zantzinger, M.D." Transactions of the 27th Session of the American Institute of Homeopathy: 93. 1875.
  5. ^ National Society of the Colonial Dames of America in the State of Maryland (1899). The Maryland society of the Colonial Dames of America, 1899. Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center. Baltimore : Guggenheimer, Weil & co.
  6. ^ "S.S.S. Society". The Yale Pot-pourri. 25. 1890.
  7. ^ a b c d e Tatman, Sandra L. "Zantzinger, Clarence Clark (1872 - 1954)". Philadelphia Architects and Buildings. Retrieved September 13, 2013.
  8. ^ Skaler, Robert Morris (2002). West Philadelphia: University City to 52nd Street. Arcadia. p. 42. ISBN 9780738509709.
  9. ^ a b c "Clarence Clark Zantzinger". Artists & Architects. National Academy Museum. Retrieved September 13, 2013.
  10. ^ Philadelphia Real Estate Record and Builders' Guide
  11. ^ Thomas, George E. (2002). University of Pennsylvania: An Architectural Tour. Princeton Architectural Press. ISBN 9781568983158.
  12. ^ "For Sale: Lush Chestnut Hill Home Designed by Clarence C. Zantzinger| Property". Philadelphia Magazine. 2015-05-04. Retrieved 2018-02-05.
  13. ^ "MRS. C. C. ZANTZINGER". Retrieved 2018-02-05.
  14. ^ a b Leonard, John W. (1908). Who's who in Pennsylvania: A Biographical Dictionary of Contemporaries. Pennsylvania: L. R. Hammersly. p. 596.
  15. ^ Jordan, John W., editor (1911). Colonial And Revolutionary Families Of Pennsylvania: Genealogical and Personal Memoirs: Vol. 1. Genealogical Publishing Com.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link) CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  16. ^ "1842 (May 2004 Edition)" (PDF). PRR CHRONOLOGY. The Pennsylvania Railroad Technical & Historical Society. May 2004. Retrieved 13 September 2013.
  17. ^ "1846 (April 2005 Edition)" (PDF). PRR CHRONOLOGY. The Pennsylvania Railroad Technical & Historical Society. April 2005. Retrieved 13 September 2013.
  18. ^ Keen, Gregory Bernard (1913). The Descendants of Jöran Kyn of New Sweden. Delaware: Swedish Colonial Society. p. 214.
  19. ^ History of the Penrose Family of Philadelphia
  20. ^ "Family Tree for Daniel Buckley". Retrieved 2018-01-23.
  21. ^ "Philadelphia". Social Register Philadelphia including Wilmington. 37 (3): 295. November 1922.
  22. ^ "C. Clark Zantzinger Jr. Architect, 89". The New York Times. 1993-11-24. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-02-05.
  23. ^ Cooperman, Emily T. "Zantzinger, Clarence Clark, Jr. (1904-1993)". American Architects and Buildings. Philadelphia Architects and Buildings. Retrieved September 16, 2013.
  24. ^ a b "Obituary: Clarence Clark Zantzinger, Jr". St. Paul's School. Winter 1994. Archived from the original on October 29, 2013. Retrieved September 16, 2013.
  25. ^ Obituary: Alfred Zantzinger Archived 2013-10-29 at the Wayback Machine
  26. ^ a b Obituary: Clarence Clark Zantzinger Archived 2013-10-29 at the Wayback Machine
  27. ^ "Harry C Groome Jr". Obituary. New York City. New York Times. May 31, 1980. p. 28.
  28. ^ "John Wister Wurts (1907-1972) - Find A Grave..." Retrieved 2018-01-23.
  29. ^ a b "Wurts Family Papers". Hagley Museum and Library. Retrieved October 28, 2013.
  30. ^ a b Princeton Alumni Weekly. princeton alumni weekly. 1940.
  31. ^ a b Princeton Alumni Weekly. princeton alumni weekly. 1971.
  32. ^ "Finding Aid". The Joseph Downs Collection of Manuscripts and Printed Ephemera. The Winterthur Library. After 1999. Retrieved October 28, 2013. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  33. ^ "Charles Stewart WURTS". Retrieved October 28, 2013.
  34. ^ "Tracy Todd Johnson Wurts (1942-2000) - Find A..." Retrieved 2018-07-31.
  35. ^ [1]
  37. ^ "Springside Chestnut Hill Academy Annual Report 2013 2014". Issuu. Retrieved 2018-07-31.

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