William (Billy) Webb Price

William (Billy) Webb Price (1892-1962) was the only son of William L. Price. Although he followed in the footsteps of his father as an architect, his professional career alternated between architecture and teaching. Upon graduation from Swarthmore College he joined his father’s firm of Price McLanahan in 1914. Will Price died in 1916 and Billy abandoned architecture for the newly formed American Friends Service Committee in France.

After the war he taught in the Swarthmore schools for ten years, before renewing his interest in architecture. He then joined his uncle, Walter Price, and cousin, Will Walton, in the firm of Price & Walton, and during this period designed several houses in the Rose Valley area. When Price & Walton dissolved during the depression, Billy returned to teaching, this time in Friends’ schools. Ironically, it was during this time that he made his most important contribution to Rose Valley architecture with the design, with Will Walton, of the Old Mill and its picturesque tower. In 1947 he returned to architecture as the Price in Price & Dickey, designing private homes and several buildings at Lincoln University in Oxford, Pa. with his partner, John Dickey.

Billy Price, true son of Rose Valley’s creative beginnings, was also an artist and promoter of the arts. He was widely known in the Philadelphia area as an actor, having cut his teeth with the Rose Valley Players during the teens, spending many years in summer stock, moving on to Broadway for some time and appearing so frequently at Hedgerow Theatre, the Swarthmore Players Club, Arden and other local theaters that one Philadelphia critic called him “the ubiquitous Mr. Price” (History of Rose Valley, p.43, 1973.)

William Webb Price was a member of the American Institute of Architects, the Pennsylvania Society of Architects, Rose Valley Borough Council, Media Rotary’s board of directors, Swarthmore Players’ board of governors, Actors’ Equity, president and chairman of the board of the Wallingford Arts Center, and director of Nantucket’s Annual Art Exhibit. At his death in 1962 the Media Fellowship House added a wing as a memorial to his involvement with social justice.