***We were unable to locate an accurate photograph of the P.Archer House. Note that the photo published under the Archer residence on the Athenaeum of Philadelphia's web site (www.philadelphiabuildings.org ) is actually an image of the A. Baugh Residence.**
Franklin Survey Co., Philadelphia, 1937
The former location of the Pierce Archer Property as it appeared in 1961. Lot has now been divided and owned by the Philadelphia Electric Co. and Jambar Corp.
Franklin Survey Co., 1961
Oakwynne Apartments as they appear today.
Biography of David Knickerbacker Boyd
Archer Property, 1937
Pierce Archer's Residence
J. L. Smith Atlas, Philadelphia, 1900
By 1921, Pierce Archer's name is no longer listed in Philadelphia's social directory. His son Pierce Junior, a lawyer as well, is listed with his wife, Dorothy Hoffman, as living at "Umberslade" in Wynnewood, PA. It is assumed that after his father's death Pierce Jr. and his wife moved to the estate in Wynnewood. As indicated by J. L. Smith Atlases as early as 1900, the house is referred to as "Umberslade", a name associated with Archer's ancestors. The estate was demolished at some point between 1948 and 1961, as maintained by the property atlases. The front portion of the lot was absorbed into the Philadelphia Electric Co., Wynnewood Substation, while the actual built fabric was destroyed to accomadate the Oakwynne House Apartments (circa 1950s), owned and managed by Jambar Corporation in 1961. Notably, Jambar had acquired the Baugh property, of Archer's daughter and son-in-law, by that date as well.
The 1913 Philadelphia social directory indicates Pierce Archer as recently widowed, retired and living in Wynnewood, Pa. His son-in-law and daughter Nina lived in the house at 2011 Spruce Street. His youngest child, Pierce Archer Jr., also married at this time, lived with his wife, Dorothy K. Hoffman, in the town of Bala Cynwyd, located east of Wynnewood.
Pierce Archer (b. 1850) is listed in the 1878 Philadelpha City Directory as living with his father, also Pierce Archer, in a house at 1438 Poplar Street. He is described as a lawyer with an office at 221 South 6th Street. In 1870 Pierce Archer has married Mary Roach (b. 1853) and by 1896 Pierce Archer is listed in the Philadelphia city directory as living at 2011 Spruce Street. According to the 1905 Philadelphia Social Directory, Archer and his wife Mary continued to reside at 2011 Spruce Street with their son Pierce Archer Jr., along with their daughter Nina R. Archer Baugh and her husband Arthur Primrose Baugh. The inclusion of the Archer family in the Social Directory confirms their privledged standing among Philadelphia socialites. Pierce Archer was a successful lawyer, as was his father before him. An astute business gentleman, Archer commissioned Philadelphia architect David Knickerbacker Boyd to design a large retreat home for his family outside of the city in the rapidly developing railroad community of Wynnewood, northwest of Philadelphia.
The January 1901 issue of Philadelphia Real Estate and Builder's Guide notes that plans have been initiated by David Boyd for a "handsomely finished stone and half-timber dwelling" to be erected by Pierce Archer in the city of Wynnewood, Pa. The residence, called "Umberslade" after Archer's ancestors, was to be "one and a half stories, finished in hard woods, with electric wiring, steam heating, plumbing , tilling, bath room fixtures, and will have laundry, pantry and other modern conveniences". (Philadelphia Real Estate and Builders' Guide, v. 16, n.2,p.21 1/09/1901)
Pierce Archer had acquried the land on which the house was to be erected in 1885 from John Sunderland (Montgomery County Deed Book 291, Page 259). According to the deed, Archer paid $17,330.40 for the property. The plot was located next to property owned by Isaac H. Clothier, a wealthy Philadelphia merchant. Six days after purchasing the land from Sunderland, Archer and his wife Mary sold a portion of the land to Isaac H. Clothier's wife, Mary C. Clothier, for the amount of $11,071.60 (Deed book 291, page 262). John Sunderland, in turn, bought the land from Henry Morris for $16,000 in 1875 [ Deed Book 225, page 56)].