Exploring the Designs, Life, and Legacy of Architect Frank Furness (1839 - 1912)
Windows of the Anne & Jerome Fisher Fine Arts Library, University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, PA
The Fisher Fine Arts Library was built from 1888-1891 and is one of Frank Furness’s greatest surviving buildings. Of numerous notable features, the windows are quite exceptionally conceptualized. Furness oriented the library’s reading room to the north to ensure a steady and even light which came in through skylights and clerestory windows. On many of the windows one finds Shakespearean quotations, selected by Horace Howard Furness who was Frank’s older brother and the preeminent Shakespearean scholar of the time in addition to being a professor at UPenn. The stacks, when originally built, were located on the south side of the building and were constructed of iron and translucent glass so light filtered through. Unfortunately the stacks, as conceived by Furness, are no longer with us. However much of the original structure remains untouched.