House of Andrew D. Cash, Girard Ave. & 15th St., c. 1841

Philadelphia Chapter SAH invites you to join us for our next program
by Paula Spilner, PhD
Sunday, November 14 at 2:00 p.m. via Zoom
Open to all, no registration required. See below for Zoom link.

Dr. Paula Spilner will discuss the long-forgotten origins of a near North Philadelphia neighborhood known in the 19th century as Green Hill, bisected by Girard Avenue west of Broad. In the 1840s, the rural 80-acre Green Hill Estate, property of the Stiles family since the late 18th century, was provided with a rectilinear street grid and subdivided into building lots for the construction of houses. Marshalling a wide array of archival sources, Dr. Spilner documents the development process, including the construction of the first houses on Green Hill. These included the splendid mansion designed in 1840 for Benjamin Stiles by Thomas Ustick Walter, perhaps the preeminent architect in Philadelphia. The newly discovered plan of the Stiles mansion will be discussed here for the first time. Dr. Spilner also argues that Walter designed at least five Greek Revival mansions, commissioned for the wealthy businessmen who sponsored the development of Green Hill. These included the founder and president of the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad, and the president of the Bank of the United States.

Paula Spilner, PhD, taught art and architectural history for over 30 years, most recently at Drexel University. Her dissertation is on urban development in late medieval Florence. Her enthusiasm for the 19th century began when she moved to Philadelphia three decades ago and trained as a guide for the Foundation for Architecture. She served as a tour guide for 15 years, and later managed the tour program and lecture series. She has lectured on a variety of topics for the Foundation and its successors, Philadelphia Society for the Preservation of Landmarks and the Preservation Alliance. A lecture on the Betz Building (1892), Philadelphia’s first skyscraper, cemented her interest in 19th century Philadelphia. She is currently working on the pre-Civil War development of a new neighborhood in Spring Garden.

Time: Nov 14, 2021 02:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
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Meeting ID: 959 4953 4663

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