“Although the [P.A.B.] Widener house is symmetrical, its effect is the opposite; here, instead of chaste monochromatic, grey stone, brownstone gives way to brick and brick to iron, terra cotta, and finally tile on the structure’s roofs….   No surface, however minute, was left unembellished.  It has jokingly been said that Hale could invent a thousand motifs in the development of a design and use most of them, and the evidence here suggests that he could and did.  The interior was just as spectacular, the most extraordinary space being the dining room.  Its walls were painted away by a German-born decorative artist, George Herzog, whose work simulated views beyond the walls into a sunny seventeenth-century garden peopled with Widener’s family in floppy plumed hats and period dress” p. 114.

Thomas, George E.  “Architectural Patronage and Social Stratification in Philadelphia between 1840 and 1920.”  The Divided Metropolis:  Social and Spatial Dimensions of Philadelphia, 1800-1975.  Eds. William W. Cutler and Howard Gillette.  Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1980.