Tag: Clepper (H. C.)

  • Robert E. Sickenberger House, Beechview

    Robert E. Sickenberger house

    This modest house in Beechview does not stand out a great deal from its neighbors. Its lines seem to be a little more simple, perhaps, but you would not stop to gawk at it when you walked by on the street.

    The architect, however, was headed in an interesting direction. H. C. Clepper designed this house for Robert E. Sickenberger in 1914,1 and he was already flirting with the simplicity of modern style.2 Two decades later, Clepper (working for a bigger architectural firm) would be the designer of almost all the ultramodern concrete houses in Swan Acres, “America’s first modern suburb,” most of which still stand today and are still the objects of pilgrimages by architectural historians.

    Front of the house

    As we have seen many times before, surprisingly interesting bits of architectural history are ready to ambush us from the blandest streets once we know to look for them.

    1. Source: The Construction Record, December 6, 1913: “Robert E. Sickenberger, 725 Frick building, is taking bids on the erection of a two-story brick veneer residence to be built on Rockland avenue, Beechview, to cost $4,000. Plans for the building were made by Architect H. C. Clepper, Park building.” R. Sickenberger appears as owner of this house on a 1923 map. ↩︎
    2. We should point out, however, that some of the current simplicity may come from later alterations, such as the replacement of some of the trim with aluminum. and alterations to the porch. ↩︎