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Officers:

David M. Breiner, President
David M. Breiner, PhD, is Associate Dean of the College of Architecture and the Built Environment and Associate Professor of Architectural History and Theory at Thomas Jefferson University’s East Falls Campus. He currently teaches courses in American and vernacular architecture, and in archival research. Prior to coming to Philadelphia, he taught at the Savannah College of Art and Design and worked for the Landmarks Preservation Commission in New York City. David’s primary areas of interest are American architecture and urbanism, along with Italian Renaissance architecture, urbanism, and architectural theory. His ongoing research project is the history of School House Lane in East Falls. He resides in Mt. Airy and is willing to receive queries, though cannot guarantee a satisfactory answer in all cases.

Greg Prichard, Acting Vice President
Greg Prichard is an architectural historian, planner, and designer specializing in the Philadelphia Main Line suburbs. He is a graduate of Cornell University’s Historic Preservation Planning graduate program and currently serves as the Historic Preservation Planner for Lower Merion Township. He is a member of the Willistown Township Historical Commission, the Young Friends of the Preservation Alliance Steering Committee, and the Boards of Directors of the Radnor Historical Society and the Society of Architectural Historians, Philadelphia Chapter. Greg operates the Richard Design & History Studio, which specializes in interpretive signs for historic sites.  He is currently working on a comprehensive history of the Pennsylvania Railroad stations of the Main Line between Overbrook and Paoli.

Bruce Laverty, Treasurer
Bruce Laverty is Gladys Brooks Curator of Architecture, The Athenaeum of Philadelphia. Bruce is the Founding Director of the Athenaeum’s two most important digital outreach sources: the Philadelphia Architects and Buildings Project and the Greater Philadelphia GeoHistory Network and has stewarded the Athenaeum’s architectural collections since beginning there in 1983. He has curated more than seventy-five exhibitions for the Athenaeum. He teaches History of Philadelphia Architecture at Drexel University and frequently lectures on Philadelphia topics. In 2021, the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia named him the winner of the James Biddle Award for Lifetime Achievement in Historic Preservation. Bruce is a lifelong resident of Philadelphia.

Veronica Aplenc, Secretary
Veronica Aplenc PhD is Senior Program Manager, Zell/Lurie Real Estate Center, Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.  Her research interests center on the former Yugoslavia, its everyday environment, and modernity, and her work has had both an archival and an ethnographic focus. Her current main research project traces the development of a modern neighborhood in the Slovenian capital of Ljubljana under Yugoslav state socialism. Her book, Imagining Slovene Socialist Modernity: The Urban Redesign of Ljubljana’s Beloved Trnovo Neighborhood, 1951 to 1989, will be published in 2023.  This interdisciplinary monography outlines the interplay of multiple interpretations of a modern built environment that led to the successful physical and symbolic transformation of an iconic, village-like gardening neighborhood into a socialist district dominated by high-rises and single-family homes.

Board Members:

Jeffrey A. Cohen
Jeffrey A. Cohen, PhD, is an architectural historian who has taught in Bryn Mawr’s Growth & Structure of Cities Department since 1995.  His research has focused on 19th-century architecture, from close scrutiny of high-end designs by noted architects such as Benjamin Latrobe, Frank Furness, Wilson Eyre, and George T. Pearson, to the more quotidian works of builders and speculative developers.  Informing both has been an interest in the evidence of architectural history, from drawings by architects to urban topographical views of many sorts and surveys made for fire insurance purposes.  Recent work has focused on the historical evidence of evolving urban form, including studies on street-view series traversing Rome, Dublin, Boston, and Paris and the detailed period cadastral atlases that help contextualize them in three dimensions. Jeff lives near the Italian Market and welcomes conversations on topics of mutual interest.

Mary Anne Eves, Program Co-Chair
Mary Anne Eves is currently the Office Manager for Family Support Line, a non-profit in Media, PA, which assists sexually abused children.  She has held management and marketing positions with for-profit and non-profit businesses and as an independent architectural historian, researcher, and grant writer.  She is the author of Middletown Township, Delaware County, PA (2011, Arcadia) and curated the permanent exhibit, “Wilmington’s Railroad Heritage,” at the city’s Joseph R. Biden Amtrak Station.  She has served on multiple local boards, including the Philadelphia Chapter SAH, Middletown Township Historical Society in Delaware County, Oliver Evans (Philadelphia) Chapter of the Society for Industrial Archaeology, the Middletown Township Land Conservancy. She is a long-time volunteer architectural walking tour guide for the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia and a volunteer Gallery Guide at Winterthur Museum.  She is interested in 19th and 20th century decorative arts, the impact of railroads on residential and commercial development, and the 1876 Centennial in Philadelphia. She lives in a house built by her father and grandfather, both master carpenters, and is the 7th generation of her family to live within five miles of the Borough of Media.

Pablo Meninato
Pablo Meninato, PhD, is Associate Professor of Architecture at Tyler School of Art and Architecture at Temple University. He teaches courses on architectural theory, history, and design studio. A native of Argentina, Meninato has taught and practiced architecture in Philadelphia, Buenos Aires, Palermo, and Monterrey (Mexico). His book, Unexpected Affinities (Routledge, 2018), proposes a historical reassessment of the concept of architectural “type” and its impact on the design process. He and his collaborator, Dr. Gregory Marinic, have embarked on a multi-year project examining how various contemporary architects are developing new and original urban design tactics that enhance the quality of life in informal settlements across Latin America. The first outcome of this project is the co-edited book Informality and the City. Theories, actions, interventions (Springer Rotterdam, Spring 2022), a critical review of informality in the Global South. He resides in Philadelphia.

Paula Spilner, Tatum Committee Chair
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 and her article on the Palazzo Vecchio, Florence, clarified its construction history.  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 managed the tour program and lecture series for several years.  She has lectured on a variety of topics for the Foundation and its successors, the Philadelphia Society for the Preservation of Landmarks and the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia as well as the SAH Philadelphia Chapter.   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.  She lives in Queen Village.

Daniel Vieyra, Program Co-Chair
Daniel Vieyra, PhD, AIA, taught architecture for over thirty years in Ohio before relocating to ,the Philadelphia area.  He and his wife Katherine are currently involved in grand-parenting and in preserving and somewhat irreverently updating a mid-century modern ranch/farmhouse outside Media.  Daniel has long been involved SAH; his earliest research, focusing on the everyday built environment, was presented at SAH national conferences; he also served as president of the Western Reserve SAH.  He currently serves on the Board of DOCOMOMO Philadelphia as they advocate for the preservation of both “High Style” and “Mom + Pop” Modernism.  Daniel is assisting our SAH Philadelphia Chapter with its new series, The Elusive Philadelphia School, The Many Guises of Philadelphia’s Modernism.  Any suggestions for any such Modernist architects we might get to know better are very welcome!

Email any questions or comments to info@philachaptersah.org