University of Delaware Library

Special Collections Department

Charles A. Rubicam
Architectural Drawings


Manuscript Collection Number: 356
Extent: 17 items
Content: Architectural drawings
Access: The collection is open for research.
Processed: December 1997 by Arthur Siegel

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Table of Contents

Scope and Content Note

The Charles A. Rubicam Architectural Drawings collection contains seventeen architectural drawings made by nineteenth-century Philadelphia builder Charles A. Rubicam. Included are three, possibly four, separate projects, at least one of which was commissioned by William S. Wilson, Esq. between 1853-1855. Though not much is known about either of these individuals, Cohen's Philadelphia, PA. City Directory (1860) lists Wilson's occupation as "gentleman," and his residence at 204 S. 5th Street. In addition, it would seem that he owned a silversmith business, located at 5th and Cherry streets, with his son Robert Wilson. The directory lists Rubicam's address as 2625 Chestnut Street.

The collection is separated into four folders, each of which contains the drawings from a separate project, though it is possible that those in folders three and four are from the same project. Folder one contains a series of watercolored plans and elevation drawings of an unidentified house, which are housed in a portfolio, and folder two contains watercolored drawings of a different, unidentified, house.

Folder three contains watercolored plans of four structures with adjacent yards, as well as a drawing of the drainage system for the structures. Folder four contains ink-drawn elevations of a city dwelling designed for William Wilson. These, as well as the drawing in folder three, are marked as being the work of Charles A. Rubicam, and are dated to 1855.


Cohen, S.E. Cohen's Philadelphia, PA. City Directory. Philadelphia: Hamelin & Co., 1860.

Contents List

Folder -- Contents

Note:  Collection stored in manuscript oversize box

F1   Plan of House (10 sheets)
     A series of watercolor drawings, possibly of a Philadelphia residence for the Wilson
     family.  They are undated, and do not indicate where the structure is to be located.

     Basement Plan; watercolor and ink; 18.5 x 24"

     Ground Plan; watercolor and ink; 18.5 x 24"

     Room Plan; watercolor and ink; 18.5 x 24"

     Plan of Roof; cross sections of roof; watercolor and ink; 18.5 x 24"

     Section; watercolor and ink; 18.5 x 24"

     Front Elevation; watercolor and ink; 18.5 x 24"

     Elevation to Garden; watercolor and ink; 18.5 x 24"

     Elevation to Yard; watercolor and ink; 18.5 x 24"

     Ground Plan of Offices; watercolor and ink; 18.5 x 24"

     Elevation of Coachman's House to the Yard, Plan of Lofts and Roof, Section through
     Stable and Yard, Elevation of Stable to Stable-Yard; watercolor and ink; 18.5 x 24"
F2   Red Building  (4 sheets)
     The location of the building as well as the client are unknown, though it is probable 
     that it was to be built in Philadelphia.  None of the rooms in the floor plans are 
     labeled, and the red exterior of the building may be of brick or stucco.

     Elevation; watercolor and ink; 17 x 21"

     Floor plans (set of 2); watercolor and ink; 16 x 21"

     Floor plans (set of 2); watercolor and ink; 16 x 21"

     Floor plan, View of Roof from Above; watercolor and ink; 16 x 21"

F3   Philadelphia  (1 sheet)
     3rd or 20th Street
     Floor plan, plan of drainage system; watercolor and ink; (watermark: J.M. Willcox /
     1810); inscribed in ink at lower right: "C.A. Rubicam / Builder - / Jan 23 1855"; 17.5 x

F4   Philadelphia  (2 sheets)
     Elevations; ink drawings; stamped at lower right on both sheets: "Designed for Wm
     Wilson, Esq. / by Chas. A. Rubicam - Builder / Phila - Jan 19 1855"; 18.5 x 24" and 17.5
     x 22"  

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