Walter Pell Pulis (ca. 1865- ), Architect

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Kearney, Nebraska, 1889-1891; Denver, Colorado, 1892; Chicago, Illinois, 1894; St. Louis, Missouri, 1895-1896; New York, 1900-1903; Boston, 1904, 1920-1930s; Newark, New Jersey, 1909


Walter Pell Pulis was born ca. 1865 in Illinois, to the Rev. John D. and Jenny Pulis, natives of New York and Massachusetts, respectively. In 1880, he lived at home with his family at Battle Creek, Michigan.[14] By 1891, he was located in Kearney, Nebraska and had just purchased J. Schuehle, Jr’s interest in the architectural firm of Foster & Schuehle, which was renamed Foster & Pulis.[6] He had apparently located in Kearney along with his parents, as one sister and one brother were also living there at the time, along with his mother, a dressmaker. His father had recently been moved to a church in Red Cloud, Nebraska. The next year Pulis was partner in a Denver architectural firm.

We know nothing of Pulis’s prior training, but his appearance in Kearney coincides with his execution of several extraordinary architectural drawings, which he made for George W. Frank, Jr., Kearney, Nebraska, as well as for his own firm. The economic turmoil of the time, however, must have forced him into a peripatetic mode, as his career from Kearney appears to have taken him from Denver to Chicago, followed by a stint teaching at Washington University at St. Louis, all before 1900. The remainder of his career seems to have been situated along the eastern seaboard, at New York, Newark, New Jersey, and finally, Boston. He was a single person living in the South End of Boston in 1920, and he participated in recording Massachusetts garden architecture for the Historic American Buildings Survey in the 1930s, the last we know of him.[15]

We know Pulis best from his talented artistic skills. He produced presentation drawings for other architects, and won design and drawing awards from the most prestigious architectural clubs in America, including those in Denver, Chicago and New York. His drawing for the 1904 Boston Architectural Club exhibit, in pencil and water color, was acclaimed as one of the most attractive using the combined media.[9]

This page is a contribution to the publication, Place Makers of Nebraska: The Architects. See the format and contents page for more information on the compilation and page organization.

Educational & Professional Associations

1889-1891: made presentation drawings, George W. Frank, Architect, Kearney, Nebraska.[4][a][c]

1890-1891: architect and partner, Foster & Pulis, Architects, Kearney, Nebraska.[6][a][b][c]

1891: made presentation drawings, Frank & Bailey, Kearney, Nebraska.

1892: architect and partner, McCurdy & Pulis, Architects, Denver, Colorado.[11]

1894: Chicago Architectural Sketch Club, Gold Medal winner.[2]

1895-1896: instructor in architecture, Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri.[12]

1900: member, Architectural League of New York.[5:10]

1902: membership lapsed in the Architectural League of New York.[3]

1903: exhibitor at the Architectural League of New York Annual Exhibition, 1903.[5:50]

1904: residing in Boston, Massachusetts.[8]

1909: partner, McMurray & Pulis, Architects, Newark, New Jersey.[16]

1920: architect residing in Boston’s South End.[15]

1930s: architect in Massachusetts.[13]

F&P_Midway_AABN1890_772_11w.jpg
Midway Hotel Competition, 1890, Walter P. Pulis, delineator (Nebraska State Historical Society)

Honors, Awards, & Exhibitions

1890: Honorable mention, A Country Church, Building Sketch Club Competition No. 4.[4]

1891: First Place, Stable for a Wayside Inn competition, Denver Architectural Sketch Club, December, 1891, W. Pell Pulis, Architect.[7]

1892: Third Place, Suburban Railroad Station competition, Denver Architectural Sketch Club, December, 1892, W. Pell Pulis.[10]

1894: Gold Medal, Chicago Architectural Sketch Club, Design for an Elevated Railroad Terminal Station, 1893; Competition for the Robert Clark Testimonial.[2]

1903: Exhibit 717: Chapel, Receiving vault and entrance, Green Mountain Cemetery, Montpelier, Vt. Smith & Walker, Architects, Montpelier, Vt.; W. Pell Pulis, draughtsman; Architectural League of New York Annual Exhibition, 1903.[5:50]

1904: Exhibit 200: Residence at Oakland, Calif., for Mrs. A. Rankin. Kellogg & Crane, Architects, Philadelphia; drawing by W. Pell Pulis. Boston Architectural Club Exhibition, 1904.[8][9]

1905: Honorable mention, Brickbuilder Fireproof House design competition, 1904-1905.[1]

Buildings & Projects

O. C. Smith house (1890), Kearney, Nebraska.[17][d]

United Presbyterian Church (1890), Kearney, Nebraska.[18][d]

Historic American Buildings Survey, participant in seven recording projects of historic garden architecture in three Massachusetts counties.[13]

Notes

a. Retained 1889-1891 by George William Frank, Jr. (1861-1905), Architect, Kearney, Nebraska, to make presentation drawings for Frank Bailey & Farmer, Architects, and Frank & Bailey, Architects.

b. Pulis’s mother, a dressmaker, a sister, Emma, also a dressmaker, and one brother, Charles, a salesman, were all living together at the same residence in Kearney in 1891 according to the city directory. Walter had his own dwelling. His father, Rev. John D. Pulis, was listed as "removed to Red Cloud."

c. DBA: W. Z. Foster & W. P. Pulis, or W. Z. Foster & W. Pell Pulis.

d. Foster & Pulis, Architects, Kearney, Nebraska.

References

1. “The Brickbuilder Fireproof House Competition: Report of the Jury Award,” (rpt. "The Brickbuilder", July, 1905) Fireproof Magazine 7:4 (October 1905), 148, accessed May 17, 2012 through Google Books, http://books.google.com/books?id=piULAAAAYAAJ&pg=RA1-PA148&lpg=RA1-PA148&dq=%22walter+pell+pulis%22&source=bl&ots=Aljd4TexKs&sig=66LQpw_fR1btwql9EVLclpMNYfw&hl=en#v=onepage&q=%22walter%20pell%20pulis%22&f=false

2. Catalogue of the Seventh Annual Exhibition, Chicago Architectural Sketch Club, Art Institute of Chicago (May, 1894), 89-90, accessed May 17, 2012 through archive.org: http://www.archive.org/stream/4751664_1/4751664_1_djvu.txt And see image at http://digital-libraries.saic.edu/cdm4/results.php?CISOOP1=exact&CISORESTMP=results.php&CISOVIEWTMP=item_viewer.php&CISOMODE=grid&CISOGRID=thumbnail%2CA%2C1%3Btitle%2CA%2C1%3Bcreato%2CA%2C0%3Bcovera%2C200%2C0%3Bstate%2CA%2C0%3B20%3Btitle%2Cnone%2Cnone%2Cnone%2Cnone&CISOBIB=dummy%2CA%2C1%2CN%3Btitle%2CA%2C0%2CN%3Baltern%2C200%2C0%2CN%3Bnone%2CA%2C0%2CN%3Bnone%2CA%2C0%2CN%3B20%3Btitle%2Cnone%2Cnone%2Cnone%2Cnone&CISOTHUMB=20+%284x5%29%3Btitle%2Cnone%2Cnone%2Cnone%2Cnone&CISOTITLE=20%3Btitle%2Cnone%2Cnone%2Cnone%2Cnone&CISOHIERA=20%3Baltern%2Ctitle%2Cnone%2Cnone%2Cnone&CISOSUPPRESS=0&CISOROOT=%2Fcasc&CISOPARM=%2Fcasc+%3ACISOSEARCHALL%3APulis%2C+W.+Pell '

3. Officers, Committees, membership, Constitution, and Bylaws: Architectural League of New York, 1905- 1906 (New York: Press of Brown, Lent & Pett, n.d.),71, accessed May 17, 2012 through Google Books, http://books.google.com/books?id=NJcoAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA71&lpg=PA71&dq=%22walter+pell+pulis%22&source=bl&ots=WRN2ap9OPQ&sig=Xd7kPtlOXGLuNK4aWURSpxtLDBg&hl=en&sa=X&ei=dFe1T_TJFKbY2gWwzY0I&ved=0CEcQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=%22walter%20pell%20pulis%22&f=false

4. Architecture and Building: Devoted to Art, Architecture, Archaeology, Engineering, and Decoration 12:4 (January 25, 1890), plate following p. 42, accessed May 17, 2012 through Google Books, http://books.google.com/books?id=yikxAQAAMAAJ&pg=PR6&lpg=PR6&dq=%22walter+pell+pulis%22&source=bl&ots=ub9TzlGYEV&sig=fWtLJZrkl528ZB14MFvLVwDXZQk&hl=en&sa=X&ei=dFe1T_TJFKbY2gWwzY0I&ved=0CE8Q6AEwBg#v=onepage&q=%22walter%20pell%20pulis%22&f=false

5. Catalogue of the Eighteenth Annual Exhibition of the Architectural League of New York: In the Galleries of the Fine Art Society, 215 West 52 Street, From Saturday February 15 to Saturday March 8 Inclusive, MCMII (New York: Architecture Press, 1903), accessed May 17, 2012 through Google Books, http://books.google.com/books?id=MaIaAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA50&lpg=PA50&dq=%22walter+pell+pulis%22&source=bl&ots=TpyLblpDA4&sig=0PT-PGLmCE7eCO6_BPOACIjmDUk&hl=en&sa=X&ei=dFe1T_TJFKbY2gWwzY0I&ved=0CFEQ6AEwBw#v=onepage&q=%22walter%20pell%20pulis%22&f=false

6. Pulis purchases J. Schuehle, Jr’s interest in Foster & Schuehle, Kearney, Nebraska; see Architecture & Building 12:24 (June 14, 1890), 287, accessed May 22, 2012 through Google Books, http://books.google.com/books?id=yikxAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA287&lpg=PA287&dq=%22w+z+foster%22+architect&source=bl&ots=ub9TEeJ0yR&sig=OA1jEFTKiyGxOcQlJSBaVNOaTUU&hl=en#v=onepage&q=%22w%20z%20foster%22&f=false

7. Inland Architect 19:3 (1892), accessed May 22, 2012 through The Art Institute of Chicago, Ryerson & Burnham Archives, Archival Image Collection: http://digital-libraries.saic.edu/cdm4/item_viewer.php?CISOROOT=/mqc&CISOPTR=8334&CISOBOX=1&REC=3

8. In Boston Architectural Club Exhibition, 1904 (Boston: Boston Architectural Club, 1904), 40. Digitized by Google, accessed May 22, 2012, http://www.ebooksread.com/authors-eng/boston-architectural-club/catalogue-boston-architectural-club-exhibition-from-may-2nd-to-14th--goo/1-catalogue-boston-architectural-club-exhibition-from-may-2nd-to-14th--goo.shtml

9. J. Randolph Coolidge, Jr., “The Recent Exhibition of the Boston Architectural Club,” Architectural Review 11:4 (April 1904), 149-152, and Fig. 13.

10. Inland Architect and News Record 21:1 (1892). See Fig. 11 in Dimitri Tselos, “Richardson’s Influence on European Architecture,” "Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians" 29:2 (May 1970), 161. Image available at The Art Institute of Chicago, Ryerson & Burnham Archives, Archival Image Collection: http://digital-libraries.saic.edu/cdm4/item_viewer.php?CISOROOT=/mqc&CISOPTR=8044&CISOBOX=1&REC=3 Accessed May 22, 2012

11. Inland Architect and News Record 21:6 (1893). See “A Denver Resicence,” image available at The Art Institute of Chicago, Ryerson & Burnham Archives, Archival Image Collection: http://digital-libraries.saic.edu/cdm4/item_viewer.php?CISOROOT=/mqc&CISOPTR=8021&CISOBOX=1&REC=5 Accessed May 22, 2012.

12. A Catalogue of the officers and students of Washington University, for the academic year 1895-1896 (St. Louis: The University, [1896]), accessed May 22, 2012, http://www.ebooksread.com/authors-eng/mo-washington-university-saint-louis/a-catalogue-of-the-officers-and-students-of-washington-university-for-the-acade-goo/page-18-a-catalogue-of-the-officers-and-students-of-washington-university-for-the-acade-goo.shtml

13. Historic American Buildings Survey, Engineering Record, Landscapes Survey: search results on “W. Pell Pulis,” May 22, 2012. http://www.loc.gov/pictures/related/?fi=name&q=Pulis%2C%20W%20Pell

14. 1880 United States Census, s.v. “Walter Pulis,” Battle Creek, Calhoun County, Michigan, accessed through HeritageQuestOnline.com.

15. 1920 United States Census, s.v. “W. Poll Pulis,” Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, accessed through HeritageQuestOnline.com.

16. Newark, New Jersey City Directory, 1909 (accessed May 22, 2012 through fold3.com, needs verification).

17. Inland Architect and News Record 20:5 (December 1892). Image accessed May 22, 2012 via The Art Institute of Chicago, Ryerson & Burnham Archives, Archival Image Collection: http://digital-libraries.saic.edu/cdm4/item_viewer.php?CISOROOT=/mqc&CISOPTR=7660&CISOBOX=1&REC=1

18. Inland Architect and News Record 16:5 (1890). Image accessed May 22, 2012 via The Art Institute of Chicago, Ryerson & Burnham Archives, Archival Image Collection: http://digital-libraries.saic.edu/cdm4/item_viewer.php?CISOROOT=/mqc&CISOPTR=7531&CISOBOX=1&REC=4

Page Citation

D. Murphy, “Walter Pell Pulis (ca. 1865- ), Architect,” in David Murphy, Edward F. Zimmer, and Lynn Meyer, comps. Place Makers of Nebraska: The Architects. Lincoln: Nebraska State Historical Society, March 5, 2015. http://www.e-nebraskahistory.org/index.php?title=Place_Makers_of_Nebraska:_The_Architects Accessed, May 29, 2020.


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