2012 has been declared a year to remember the life and work of Frank Furness, arguably the late 19th century's most influential Philadelphia architect, on the centennial of his death.
The work of Furness and his colleagues in the firm Furness, Evans & Co. is immediately recognizable to most Philadelphians: the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, UPenn's Fisher Fine Arts Library, the Bryn Mawr Hotel (today's Baldwin School), and the now demolished Broad Street Station, Philadelphia's enormous railroad station that stood just west of City Hall. Furness & Evans also designed residences, many along the Main Line.
Another Furness & Evans masterpiece is located right here in Radnor. The best part: it is owned by the residents of Radnor Township. Harford, the ca. 1881 home of Judge John Innes Clark Hare, was purchased by Radnor Township ca. 1969. Its surrounding land, which has remained largely intact, is today Harford Park. The only other structure remaining on the property is a caretaker's cottage, which may have also been designed by the famous architects. Until last year it was occupied by a former township employee's family.
Harford, now used by the Main Line School Night as the Creutzburg Center for Adult Education, remains mostly in original condition after 130 years. Some interior elements, including the staircase, fireplaces and various other details, were designed by the architects to complement their unusual and distinctive vision. This image of the home may date back to when it was purchased by Radnor Township.
- Greg Prichard, Radnor Historical Society