American architect. He designed High Hollow, Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia, PA (1914–17), which evidenced influences from his Beaux-Arts training in Paris (1908–13), his European travels (notably Italy), and the vernacular architecture of Pennsylvania. From 1916 until 1928 he was a partner in the firm of Mellor, Meigs, & Howe, specializing in houses much influenced by the work of Lutyens by American Colonial buildings, and by the English Arts-and-Crafts movement. A monograph of 1923 contains illustrations of the houses designed at that time (also illustrated in Arthur Meigs's An American Country-House (1925). Following a visit to the Exposition Internationale des Arts-Décoratifs in Paris (1924–5), Howe began to abandon his architectural stance, adopting the language of International Modernism, and, with Lescaze, designed the Philadelphia Saving Fund Society Office (1929–32), the paradigm of an International Modernist skyscraper. Howe promoted Modernism in the USA throughout the 1930s, but broke with Lescaze in 1935 and returned to designing private houses, merging traditional plans with Modernist forms and local materials (e.g. Square Shadows, Whitemarsh, PA (1932–4), and Fortune Rock, Mount Desert Island, ME (1937–9). In 1940 he entered into brief associations with Louis I. Kahn and others, and in 1950 became Chairman of the Department of Architecture, Yale University.
Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, xxi/2 (May 1962), 47–102;Placzek (ed.) (1982);Stern (1975)