James Charles Sidney (1819 - April 27, 1881) was an English engineer, architect, surveyor, and landscape architect. Born in England, Sidney first appears as a cartographer in the employ of John Jay Smith in Philadelphia during the early 1840s. He also worked for Smith’s son, Robert Pearsall Smith, who was one of the most prolific American map publishers of the mid-nineteenth century. Pearsall Smith published Sidney’s Map of Ten Miles Around — Map of the Circuit of Ten Miles around the City of Philadelphia in 1847 and his Map of the Township of Germantown with the Names of the Property Holders around 1848. By 1849, Sidney listed himself as a civil engineer in the Philadelphia city directory, having completed his earliest known architectural works in the mid-1840s. In 1850 or 1851, Sidney formed a partnership with James P. W. Neff, ‘engineers and architects’. This partnership appears to have lasted until 1854 or 1855, when Sidney moved to New York City to work with Robert Pearsall Smith’s firm, which was mapping New York State. By 1857 or 1858 Sidney had returned to Philadelphia and began a new partnership with Andrew Adams, which only lasted until 1859 or 1860. This partnership produced the master plan for Fairmount Park, adopted in 1859, and continued by Sidney with his new partner Frederick C. Merry. The Sidney and Merry partnership lasted until 1864 or 1865, when Sidney began working independently and spent the rest of his careers designing schools for the Controllers of the Public Schools of Philadelphia.

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