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Banner Image: A 1975 Chrysler Imperial LeBaron parked in front of the Athenaeum in 1976.

Membership        New Books        Donate        Current Exhibition        Event Calendar

Banner Image: A 1975 Chrysler Imperial LeBaron parked in front of the Athenaeum in 1976.


Construction at the Athenaeum


As many of you will have noticed, the Athenaeum is still actively at work on building repairs, with the hope that much of the most intrusive work may be accomplished before we launch our programs on September 7th.

The two sample windows in the Reading Room, undertaken first because those windows present a complicated system to be repaired, have been completed; and the heavy plastic protection has been removed. Your Superintendence Committee is now completing its proposal for the rest of the windows in the Reading Room.


The east balcony continues and will remain an active project, probably through September. Scaffolding and the use of the garden as a staging area prevent any parking behind the building.

Plaster and paint repair in the Reading Room should be finished this week. Last week saw the restoration of the plaster cornice on the west side, and this week the painters will complete the re-painting of the cornice.


The engineers have completed their study of the cracked joists supporting Periodicals 3 on the third floor, and that project will proceed to the bid stage in the next two weeks. In the meantime, since the work will be implemented through the ceiling of the old Directors Room, fragile objects have been carefully removed from that space.



Top: Before and after photos of  Reading Room Window.  Before photo by Hyman Myers, 2007, after photo by Mike Seneca, 2012.

Bottom: Before and after photos of damage to plaster cornice in the Members' Reading Room. Photos by Jim Carroll.


Summer Interns

The Athenaeum is pleased to have Stephen W. Howard return to us this summer to reprise his Peterson internship.  Stephen is currently a graduate student of architecture at University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, His duties have included processing of book sale materials, and the inventory of the architectural collection of long-time shareholder, Henry J. Magaziner, who passed away late last year.

Joining Steven in this effort is Cole Altmann.  Cole has been dividing her time this summer between internships here, at the Franklin Institute, and at the Hereford Lighthouse in Wildwood NJ.  A 2012 graduate of Arcadia University with a BA in history, she will begin her graduate career at the Johns Hopkins University Museum Studies Program this fall.  Cole inventoried a number of collections including gifts from members David A. Doret and Hugh McCauley.  Both Cole and Stephen bore the brunt of the work required for inventorying, boxing and removing more than seven tons of periodicals when engineers found broken floor joists under the third floor.

Above: Peterson Interns Cole Altmann (L) and Stephen Howard (R).  Photo by Jim Carroll.

Athenaeum Acquires Early Photo of St. Clement Church

Like many of us, the Athenaeum occasionally makes purchases on Ebay for its collections. Shown here is our latest find. This image appeared on a carte de visite albumen photo by McAllister & Bro. of Philadelphia. According to architectural historian Michael J. Lewis, this is an 1864 drawing by architect George W. Hewitt (1841-1916) for the chapel and parish building of the St. Clementís Church on 20th Street above Arch. At the time of this project, Hewitt was in the office of the Athenaeumís own architect, John Notman (1810-1866). Lewis believes that this image is the earliest known surviving design by Hewitt. Thanks Mike, for both the lead to the Ebay find, as well as the information concerning it.

Left: "Chapel and Parish Building, St. Clement Church, J. Notman, Architect."




Exhibition Update

Current Exhibition: "All Aboard! Paul P. Cret's Train Designs" runs through August 24th. Exhibition hours are Monday-Friday, 9:00am-5:00pm.  When you visit the exhibition, fill out a survey to receive a free exhibition poster.

Upcoming Exhibition: "Three Generations of Book Collectors: The Evan Turner Gift at The Athenaeum of Philadelphia" opens on September 7th and runs through November 7th.  The Athenaeum will be open until 7:00pm on September 7th for First Friday and the opening of this rare book exhibition.  Remarks will be made by the curators at 5:30pm.


Monday-Friday:  9:00am-5:00pm

First and Third Saturdays:  11:00am-3:00pm (excluding July and August)



219 S. 6th Street

Philadelphia, PA  19106 



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