R. Brognard Okie

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R. Brognard Okie
Born (1875-06-26)June 26, 1875
Camden, New Jersey, United States
Died 27 December 1945(1945-12-27) (aged 70)
West Chester, Pennsylvania
Alma mater University of Pennsylvania
Occupation Architect
Years active 1898-1945
Merestone, New Garden Township, Pennsylvania (1942). An example of Okie's popular Pennsylvania-farmhouse style.

Richardson Brognard Okie Jr. (1875-1945) was an American architect. He is noted for his Colonial-Revival houses and his sensitive restorations of historic buildings.


Okie was born in Camden, New Jersey, to Dr. Richardson B. and Clara Mickle Okie.[1] He grew up in Chester County, Pennsylvania, graduated from the architecture program at the University of Pennsylvania in 1897, and briefly studied in Europe.[2] He gained practical experience from a summer (1896) spent with William L. Price. After college he was employed by Arthur S. Cochran and soon became his associate.[1] In 1899, he formed a partnership with architects H. Louis Duhring Jr. and Carl Ziegler, that lasted until 1918. He practiced independently until his death in 1945. In his later years he was joined by his son Charles (b. 1915).[2]

He designed a re-creation of George Washington's "President's House" as an attraction at the 1926 Sesquicentennial Exposition in Philadelphia; a re-creation of Pennsbury Manor, William Penn's manor house on the Delaware River, as a museum for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania; and restored the Betsy Ross House in Philadelphia as a museum. He also designed dozens of exquisitely-detailed Colonial-Revival houses in the suburbs surrounding Philadelphia. He bought his own house, "Hillside" in Radnor, Pennsylvania, in 1901, and tinkered with it periodically. It remains in his family's possession.[3]

A number of his works are listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.[4] Okie's papers are held by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.[5]

Selected works[edit]

Betsy Ross House, Philadelphia. Restored by Okie, 1937-41.



  1. ^ a b Okie, Richardson Brognard (1875 - 1945), Philadelphia Architects and Buildings (Biography from the American Architects and Buildings database); accessed 2015.06.20.
  2. ^ a b "National Historic Landmarks & National Register of Historic Places in Pennsylvania" (Searchable database). ARCH: Pennsylvania's Historic Architecture & Archaeology. Retrieved 2013-06-08.  Note: This includes Robert J. Wise Jr. (December 2000). "National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form: White Horse Historic District" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-11-05. 
  3. ^ "National Historic Landmarks & National Register of Historic Places in Pennsylvania" (Searchable database). CRGIS: Cultural Resources Geographic Information System.  Note: This includes George E. Thomas (June 1991). "Pennsylvania Historic Resource Survey Form: South Brook Farm" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-12-16. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  5. ^ R. Brognard Okie Architectural Papers, Pennsylvania State Archives.
  6. ^ Bolingbroke from Historic American Buildings Survey.
  7. ^ Hillside from Historic American Buildings Survey.
  8. ^ Paxton Church from Historic American Buildings Survey.
  9. ^ Buena Vista Conference Center
  10. ^ Pennsbury Manor Collection from Pennsylvania State Archives.
  11. ^ St. Peter's Church in the Great Valley from Historic American Buildings Survey.

External links[edit]

Further reading[edit]

James B. Garrison, Stone Houses: Traditional Homes of R. Brognard Okie, Rizzoli, New York, 2013. ISBN 978-0-8478-4078-6