As we progress into what is proving to be a muggy and rainy spring, the
Athenaeum has engineers crawling through the rafters and up onto the roof to
study ways that we can stabilize our south party wall which was weakened decades
ago when the two Regency townhouses to the south were demolished. At the
same time we are attempting to deal with third-floor windows which also require
major repairs so that the window glass will not fall out. One staff person
who works on the third floor has already experienced the shock of falling glass
on a windy day. Fortunately, he was not seriously injured; but we don't
want that to happen to other staff or to books stored on the third floor.
When the Superintendence Committee (Robert Linck and Hyman Myers) toured the
building last year, they called for the replacement of the windows; but, of
course, nothing is easy in a historic property. We first sought the skill
of Ted Nickles, who has replaced windows in many historic structures in
Philadelphia, including the John Bartram House, the Arch Street Meeting House,
and Grumblethorpe, among others. Nickles Contracting Company has replaced
one window as a demonstration of the way it should be done, and the worst part
of that window can be viewed below in a detail taken by Robert Linck. (note the hole where
birds used to peep in and attempt to nest!) We also include an
"after" view so that you can see what has been done to this particular
window. Each window will cost $3300 to replace, and we have 13 windows.
Will you help us with this important project by financing one or two windows?
If you would like to see the repaired window in place on the third floor, please
contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org);
and I'll arrange for a third-floor tour. Thank you for your help, and, as
usual, I hope to see all of you at the First Saturday for May, the Literary
Award presentation on May 6th, the Rebecca Yamin Lecture in June, or just around
Chandelier, Members Reading Room. Photo by Jim Carroll
Staff News: Congratulations
to Denise Fox, whose quilt "New Jersey Beauty" won first place in Small
Wall Quilts: 1st Entry in the American Quilter’s Society
Contest held in Paducah, KY.
Charles E. Peterson Fellowship
The Athenaeum's Peterson Fund and the Society of Architectural Historians have collaborated to award the first annual Charles E. Peterson Fellowship for the Buildings of the United States to Kate M. Kocyba of the University of Missouri-Columbia. The presentation took place in Pasadena, CA, at the Annual Meeting of the SAH. This award supports a student who will conduct research on American architecture and technology prior to 1860. Since Charles E. Peterson was an active and early member of the Society of Architectural Historians, even publishing an article in their first volume of the Journal of 1941 (when the SAH was still called the American Society of Architectural Historians), this award will continue into the 21st century his support of the research activities of the Society.
L-R: Athenaeum Executive Director Sandra L. Tatman with first Peterson Fellow Kate M. Kocyba, Karen Kingsley, Editor-in-Chief of the Buildings of the United States and Brian Clancy, Assistant Editor,
Dr. Robert J. Gill Retires from the
One of the longest serving
members of the Athenaeum Board, Dr. Gill purchased a share in the Athenaeum in 1958 and was proposed by the Reverend Ernest A. Harding. In 1966, while Edwin T. P. Boone, Jr., was Secretary for the Athenaeum, he agreed to serve on the Athenaeum Board and has remained an active member of the Board, for many years serving as the chair of the Literary Award Committee and most recently working very energetically on the Athenaeum Strategic Plan in 2008. Before retiring from active practice, Dr. Gill was a physician associated with the Department of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and Head of the Section on Vascular Disease and Hypertension at Pennsylvania Hospital. Dr. Gill’s rotation on the Board will be assumed by Shaun F. O’Malley, Chairman Emeritus, Price Waterhouse
Librarian Ellen Rose, Dr. Gill, Lea Carson Sherk and Jane D. McPherson discuss the Literary Award nominees, c. 1991-1992.
Literary Award Presentation
The Literary Awards Committee Invites you to the
Athenaeum Literary Award to be presented to Walter A. McDougall for Throes of Democracy: The American Civil War Era, 1829-1877. The sequel to
Freedom Just Around the Corner in which Dr. McDougall chronicled America’s beginnings,
Throes of Democracy opens with the fire of 1835 which destroyed Lower Manhattan and finishes with the election and Centennial celebration of 1876. Much more than just a traditional history of the period surrounding the Civil War,
Throes of Democracy casts a broad net, revealing surprising facts and developments that shaped this period.
May 6, 2009, 5:30pm
RSVP to Susan Gallo at email@example.com or
Society Hill Annual Open House and Garden
Hill’s Annual Open House and Garden Tour will take place on Sunday, May 31st,
from 1-5 pm Tickets are now on sale for this “must see” self-guided tour of
over ten private homes and gardens in one of our nation’s most historic
Each year, the Society Hill Tour offers a fresh line-up of exceptional homes and
gardens that range in style and décor from the 18th and 19th century periods to
the most contemporary.
Sponsored by the Society Hill Civic Association, in Center City Philadelphia,
proceeds from the tour are used for neighborhood improvement projects.
Advance purchases are encouraged. To purchase your ticket or to receive more
information, please call the Society Hill Civic Association at 215-629-1288 or
Tickets can also be purchased on the day of the tour — at Old Pine Street
Church, 412 Pine Street, Philadelphia.
Date: Sunday, May 31, 2009.
Time: 1 to 5 p.m.
Cost: $25 per ticket
Complimentary light refreshments
Comfortable shoes encouraged
Photographs not permitted
2: First Saturday, Athenaeum Open, 10:00am-2:00pm
6: "Reading Shakespeare" Seminar, 3:30pm
6: Literary Award Presentation, 5:30pm
12: Socrates Cafe, 11:00am
16: Book Arts Workshops
Calendar for details and additional