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Julian Abele (1881-1950) was the architect for "Marly," which was commissioned by Anna Thomson Dodge, the white heiress of the Dodge Brothers Motor Company fortune, as a wedding gift to her daughter Delphine and son-in-law Raymond Baker. It was completed in 1931 to the design by Abele, who spent most of his career as chief designer for white architect Horace Trumbauer, whose Philadelphia firm specialized in elegant houses for America's elite. The firm often designed in the 18th-century French academic style. The residence has three stories, forty-four rooms, and a free-standing, two-story, eight-car garage. Marly was purchased for the residence of the Embassy of Belgium in 1945.

Julian F. Abele lived most of his life in Philadelphia. He was the first African American graduate of the architecture program at the University of Pennsylvania (1902). He studied architecture in Paris, absorbing the Beaux-Arts style. In 1906 he joined the Trumbauer firm and became its chief designer, a post he held from 1909 to 1938. After Trumbauer's death that year, Abele continued with the firm. He designed dozens of important residential, civic, and commercial landmarks, including the Central Library building of the Free Library of Philadelphia, and is credited with designing the original campus of Duke University.

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