CategoryChapter Programs

Palazzos of Power: Central Stations of the Philadelphia Electric Company, 1900-1930: A Lecture and Book Signing


with author Aaron V. Wunsch and photographer Joseph E. B. Elliott
Wednesday, November 2, 2016
Center for Architecture + Design, 1218 Arch Street, Philadelphia
Lecture 6:00-7:00 p.m., Reception & book signing 7:00-8:00 p.m.

“If it isn’t Electric, it isn’t Modern.” Such was the slogan of the Philadelphia Electric Company, developer of an unprecedented network of massive metropolitan power stations servicing greater Philadelphia at the turn of the twentieth century.  These once-brilliant sentinels of civic utility and activity were designed to convey ‘solidity and immensity’ in an age of deep public skepticism.  They now stand vacant and decaying, a blight in the eyes of city planners and a beacon to urban explorers.  Join Aaron Wunsch, assistant professor in the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate Program in Historic Preservation, and Joseph Elliott, renowned photographer and Professor of Art at Muhlenberg College, as they discuss the first book on the buildings and machines that made possible the electrification of the United States.  Books will be available for purchase and signing.

This event is free, but registration is required at

Sponsored by AIA Philadelphia’s Historic Preservation Committee, the Young Friends of the Preservation Alliance, the Delaware Valley Chapter of the Association for Preservation Technology, the Philadelphia Chapter, Society of Architectural Historians, and the Oliver Evans Chapter of the Society for Industrial Archaeology.

Flowers & Monsters: Hand-Carved Furniture by Karl von Rydingsvärd

with introductory remarks by Carrie Hogan, Senior Curator
Saturday, September 10 at 1:00 p.m.
The American Swedish Historical Museum, 1900 Pattison Avenue, Philadelphia

2016-09-10 Flowers & Monsters gallery

Join us at this rare exhibition of the work of Karl Arthur von Rydingsvärd (1863-1941), an influential teacher who promoted the idea that anyone, even women, could carve wood and create useful furnishings. von Rydingsvärd began his career in America working with the Herter Brothers and then with the A. H. Davenport Company. Later he taught at several institutions including Columbia, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and the Rhode Island School of Design. Additionally he ran summer woodworking classes from his home near Brunswick, Maine. He also trained teachers to rehabilitate World War I veterans and advised the New York Hospital about the role of craftwork in correcting nervous disorders and other mental dysfunctions. These 20-plus works, never before seen in public, demonstrate the relationship between von Rydingsvärd’s Swedish woodcarving style and his passion for the dynamic American Arts and Crafts movement. von Rydingsvärd incorporates Norse motifs, Viking figures, and intricate floral patterns into his whimsical carvings, highlighting his attention to aesthetic detail and functionality.  The gallery talk lasts 30 minutes, you are then free to examine the objects in the gallery at your leisure and explore other galleries until the Museum closes at 4:00 p.m.

Cost is $15.00/person.  Space is limited. Reservations required by email at or by phone at 610-566-2342.  Please send checks payable to “Phila Chapter SAH” to William V. Kriebel, Treasurer, 1923 Manning St., Philadelphia, PA 19103

New Jersey’s Colonial Architecture Told in 100 Buildings


Not Thursday, May 25, as was first listed here and printed on the flyer.  Apparently the SAH officers are not good proof readers and I can not proof my own copy.  From now on I will rely on others to check the details for me before I send them out.


Curator’s Talk & Tour

2016-06-16 FDR Four Freedoms Park

In 2012, the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park was completed posthumously as one of the last great projects of the visionary architect Louis Kahn (1901-74). Built in New York City, within view of the United Nations, the inside story of the Park’s design, the sudden death of its architect, the near-bankruptcy of the city, and the remarkable effort that brought the project to realization forty years after its conception, offers an unusual perspective on the making of public space today.

In these PAIRED EVENTS, William Whitaker will lecture about the project and its realization and – two days later – will lead an on-site tour of the Park. Original drawings and Kahn’s model of the park will be on-view at the talk venue for the exhibition: Harriet Pattison: Gardens & Landscapes (on view through July 15).

TALK:    Thursday, June 16th, 2016, 6:00 p.m. (rescheduled from 04/28/16)
Kroiz Gallery, Univ of Pennsylvania Architectural Archives, 220 S. 34th St.
Free, but space is limited, reservations required by email at or by phone to Bill Whitaker at (215) 898-8323

TOUR:   of FDR Four Freedoms Park, Roosevelt Island, New York City
date to be determined, if interested please let us know by email at or by phone to Bill Whitaker at (215) 898-8323



New Jersey’s Colonial Architecture Told in 100 Buildings

Thursday, May 25th, 2016, at 6:00 p.m.
Kroiz Gallery, U of PA Architectural Archives, 220 S. 34th St.

2016-05-25 David Veasey book jacket

New Jersey marked its 350th birthday in 2014. Today, in this most developed and crowded of states, a surprising number of buildings are still standing from our Colonial Era, 1636 to 1783. They range from a Royal Governor’s mansion in Perth Amboy; to Sandy Hook Lighthouse in Monmouth County; to Christ Episcopal Church in Shrewsbury; to the still functioning Black Horse Inn in Mendham; to a law office in Salem City; to Moravian Gristmill in Hope; to the nation’s oldest farm building in Greenwich.

New Jersey’s extensive architectural heritage is often overshadowed by its neighbors-Philadelphia and New York City-but the Garden State has more varied every-day colonial architecture than any other state because it was the most diverse colony settled by Swedes, Dutch, Scotch, French, English Quakers, and others who brought their architectural traditions with them.

David Veasey is a life-long New Jersey resident and has given illustrated talks all over the state. He has also written other books about the state. Veasey lives in Morris Plains, and graduated from Drew University, Madison, and holds a Master’s Degree from New York University. Veasey has worked as a writer his entire career.

Free, space is limited, reservations required by email at or by phone to Bill Whitaker at (215) 898-8323

Louise duPont Crowninshield: Historic Preservation Pioneer

2016-02-24 Kim Burdick Louise at Saugus cropped

Wednesday, February 24, 6:00 p.m.
Athenaeum of Philadelphia, 219 S 6th St
Free for Philadelphia Chapter SAH & Athenaeum members,
$10 for all others, payable on site.
Registration requested at

The Louise duPont Crowninshield Award is the highest honor given by the National Trust for excellence in historic preservation.  Yet many of the current generation of preservation professionals knows very little about the woman for whom this award is named.  Sister to Winterthur ‘s Henry Francis du Pont, Mrs. Crowninshield was actively involved in the creation of the historic preservation movement in Delaware, Massachusetts, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.  She worked tirelessly on behalf of the National Council of Historic Sites and Buildings as it struggled to establish what later became the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Join us for this presentation by Kim Burdick, advisor emeritus to the National Trust for Historic Preservation and site manager at the Hale Byrnes House in Newark, DE.  Kim is an award-winning public historian and educator.  Her work on Delaware history and folklife can be found in the University of Delaware’s Special Collections at Morris Library, the Delaware Historical Society, and at Hagley Museum & Library.

This is the first program in the Philadelphia Chapter SAH’s 2016 commemoration of both the 50th anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act and the Centennial of the National Park Service.





Annual Pizza & Pictures Party

pizza & pix

Save the Date: Wednesday, January 20, 2015 at 6:00 p.m.
The Athenaeum of Philadelphia, 219 S. 6th Street
Please join your fellow members for an evening of fun and good food!

Pizza and beverages will be provided.  Please feel free to bring a dessert to share if you wish.  There is no charge for Philadelphia Chapter SAH members PLUS each member is invited to bring one guest.  Additional guests are welcome at $15.00 each. Please RSVP to William V. Kriebel, Phila SAH Treasurer at or 215-735-3697.

If you would like to bring a few digital images to give a short (5 minute/10-15 image) talk on a recent project, current research, or “What I did on my summer vacation,” please contact Bruce Laverty at or 215-925-2688.  Pre-registration required to show images as time is limited.  Images should be placed on a thumb drive in a PowerPoint file or as individual image files.

Curator’s Tour of Barton Myers: Works of Architecture and Urbanism

The Philadelphia Chapter Society of Architectural Historians invites you to
A Curator’s Tour of
Barton Myers: Works of Architecture and Urbanism
Thursday, Dec. 10 at 6:00 p.m.
Harvey & Irwin Kroiz Gallery, University of Pennsylvania Architectural Archives,
220 South 34th Street
Free and open to all.
Space is limited, reservations required at

Myers Residence

Myers Residence

This exhibition explores the remarkable architectural legacy of Barton Myers (GAR ‘64), an architect whose work ranges from stunning houses built of “off the shelf” parts to cutting-edge theater designs. Establishing his practice in Toronto, Canada in 1968, Myers first gained prominence for his “urban consolidation” projects – efforts aimed at countering suburbanization; he returned to the United States in 1984 to open a Los Angeles office, where he received wide acclaim for his performing arts centers and house designs. The exhibition presents more than 150 works, including models and design sketches, and is the first broad examination of the architect’s work to be shown on the East Coast.

10/3 East Falls tour has been postponed due to bad weather

Our original rain date of Sunday 10/4 will be wetter than Saturday and even if the rain is light tomorrow, the wind will be wicked, so we’ve decided to postpone the tour. If our guides can find a weekend date early in November we’ll go with that. Otherwise we may put it off until the spring.  We’ll post the new date here as soon as it has been confirmed.

Architectural Surprises of Upper East Falls (Queen Lane Manor) Walking Tour

2015-10-03 East Falls tour Queen Lane Manor Apt Bldg 2

Saturday, October 3, 11:00 a.m., Queen Lane SEPTA station

Free for Phila Chapter SAH members, $10 for their guests, payable on site.

Space is limited, registration is required at

Within a few blocks the upper or eastern part of East Falls, formerly known as Queen Lane Manor, contains excellent examples of a range of architectural styles: grandiose Beaux Arts, clean and crisp International, Art Deco, Georgian Revival, Gothic revival, Jacobean, and more. The history of the Queen Lane Manor district, The Oak Road, the Queen Lane Reservoir and Filters, and more, will also be discussed. Our guide Steven J. Peitzman, professor of medicine at Drexel University and a long-time architecture enthusiast, developed this tour for the East Falls Historical Society. We will also be joined by Ken Hinde, an authority on Philadelphia architecture and former Director of the Foundation for Architecture’s Tour Program.

The tour will start at the Queen Lane SEPTA station (Chestnut Hill West Line), 5319 Wissahickon Ave. at W. Queen Lane. If coming by train consult SEPTA schedules ( There is ample free parking on weekends at the station if coming by car. The tour will take about 2 hours. Comfortable walking shoes are advised. Bring water or refreshments if you wish, but rest rooms cannot be assured, so plan accordingly. Rain date will be Sunday, October 4. If the tour is moved to Sunday those registered will be emailed no later than 9:00 a.m. on Saturday morning, it will also be posted on the Phila Chapter SAH website under Chapter Programs.