James Biddle (July 8, 1929 – March 10, 2005)


Jimmy Biddle, as he was known, was a descendant of the Philadelphian Nicholas Biddle, whose home on the Delaware River, Andalusia, Biddle preserved and treasured. Biddle studied art and archaeology at Princeton, and upon graduation served in the Korean War. Biddle was a passionate advocate for historic preservation of America’s past, championing the causes of Grand Central Terminal and the original exterior of the U.S Capitol. When he joined the campaign to save Olana, Biddle was an Associate Curator of the American Wing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where he expanded the American collection to include 19th century pieces. Biddle served as treasurer of Olana Preservation, Inc. In 1967, Biddle left his position at the Met to become the head of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, a position he held until 1980. Afterward, he became a consultant to Sotheby Park Bernet and chairman of the National Preservation Institute.