Harry Phillips: Putting a face with a name


Harry Phillips, Alameda Builder, 1886-1935.

We’ve often walked the Alameda Ridge above and below Ridgewood and admired the work of Harry Phillips, a prolific builder and designer who shaped the western edge of the Alameda Park neighborhood. It’s been a pleasure to be able to visit with and interview his two sons–now in their 80s–to learn more about their father’s work and his too-short life. You might have read the profile we wrote about him in The Builders section. The quality of Harry Phillips’ work, and the striking sadness of his family story, have captured our imagination.

So it was particularly nice recently when Harry’s son Jerry sent along a portrait of his dad, taken in the 1920s. Seeing Harry Phillips helps us to imagine him and his family here in Alameda, and to honor his work. It’s too easy to forget the many lives who have shaped our homes and neighborhood in the last century. Here’s one person–thanks to his dedicated sons and stories passed across these many years–who is remembered.

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