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Penn Station's architect designed terminals in Hoboken, Scranton

September 25, 2011|By Frederick N. Rasmussen, The Baltimore Sun

Murchison did not limit his practice to railroad stations. He also designed hotels, office buildings, apartment houses, clubs and hospitals.

A popular figure in New York's social life who had been an organizer of the Beaux Arts Ball, Murchison was also a writer and vice president of the Central Savings Bank.

He resided in the Beaux Arts Apartments, 310 E. 44th St., in Manhattan, a building that he had designed.

"Mr. Murchison was famous for his impersonations of George Washington. He bore an extraordinary resemblance to the first President in features and bearing, as shown by Peale and Stuart portraits of Washington," observed The New York Times at his death in 1938. "He impersonated Washington in 1932 in New York's bicentennial celebration of Washington's birth."

Murchison, 67, dropped dead at 11:45 p.m. on Dec. 15, 1938, near a change booth "as he was emerging from the I.R.T. station in Grand Central Terminal," reported The Times.

There was no mention of his death in The Sun.

Funeral services were conducted by Bishop Ernest M. Stires at the Episcopal Cathedral of the Incarnation in Garden City, N.Y. Stires was assisted by the Very Rev. Arthur B. Kinsolving 2nd, a kinsman of the Kinsolving family of Baltimore.

Among the honorary pallbearers was Tony Sarg, an illustrator and noted German-American puppeteer who built helium-inflated balloons in the late 1920s in the shape of animals for Macy's annual Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Murchison was buried in Flushing Cemetery in Queens.

fred.rasmussen@baltsun.com

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