NEWS: April 2010

Vol. 3, No. 4

In This Issue:

Banner Image: Roof rigging for south wall stabilization. 3-31-2010. Photo by Bruce Laverty.




As you may have noticed, the Athenaeum has a few boarded-up windows and the Busch Room has three long open areas in the floor.  All of this is in pursuit of the stabilization of the Athenaeum south party wall.  In fact, if you look up, you will see scaffolding which will hang down to provide workers access to the Athenaeum attic, third floor, and second floor as the work progresses to stop the steady movement of the wall.  After a study by Keast & Hood, engineers, and with the work of J. S. Cornell & Son, Contractors, and with a generous donation from Athenaeum Board member Charles Savage, work is finally beginning on a problem that has existed for nearly 50 years.  Like any chronic problem, the south party wall de-stabilization has changed slowly over the years since 1956; but it has now reached a point where some action should be taken; and we thank Charles Savage for responding to our need.  However, even his generous donation will not cover all of the construction, so we are hoping that our members will contribute to the Athenaeum Building Fund.  The spring book sale and June tour are dedicated to adding contributions to the Building Fund, as we hope that our members will take up Charles Savage’s challenge and support the work on the building. 


Thank you!

Above:  An opening in the Busch Room floor.

Banner Image: Roof rigging for south wall stabilization.

Photos by Bruce Laverty, 3-31-2010.


New Books for April

Athenaeum Bookshelf  04-2010

194th Annual Report

The 194th Annual Report of The Athenaeum of Philadelphia is now available online. 


Click here to visit the annual report section of our website. 

Athenaeum Book Sale

Fiction, Non-Fiction, Collectibles, Paperbacks- all at reasonable prices.

April 29- May 1, 10:00am to 4:00pm

Members Only Preview and Reception

Wednesday, April 28, 2010, 5:30-7:30 PM

6:00 PM Remarks by Gordon S. Converse on the Athenaeum clock collection.

Athenaeum member Gordon S. Converse, an expert in antique clocks who has appeared on Antiques Roadshow, will talk about the Athenaeum clocks, which include works from the studios of Lukens, Hansell and others.

This event will benefit The Athenaeum of Philadelphia Building Fund. Our National Historic Landmark Athenaeum is a venerable building, with immediate needs for repair and maintenance. Work has already begun on the stabilization of the south wall, but windows, balconies, stair hall ceiling, and painted surfaces all need attention. A growing Building Fund will support these activities. 

To register for the Members Only Preview and Reception, Click Here. Donations to the building fund are also welcome if you are unable to attend.

We are still accepting donations of books for the sale.  If you have books that you would like to donate, please contact us at 215-925-2688.

Hidden Treasures

In 2009, Athenaeum Board Member Emeritus, James F. O'Gorman, donated items which document the Robert M. Lee House and Law Office at 109-111 N. 6th St.  The gift includes three drawings and eight photographs produced for the Historic American Buildings Survey, as well as one artifact  from the house, a wooden capital from one of the interior rooms.  The house was built in the 1770s and was demolished by the National Park Service in 1959 for the the creation of Independence Mall.

Above:  Wooden capital.   Photo by Jim Carroll.

Right: One of the capitals can be seen as part of an interior window frame in this HABS photo.


Building By The Book Exhibition

If you haven't seen our latest exhibition, be sure to stop in before the end of the month.


In conjunction with Philagrafika 2010: the Graphic Unconscious, The Athenaeum of Philadelphia, collaborating with the Philadelphia
Center for the Book, presents an exhibition of contemporary book arts produced in response to Athenaeum research collections. See the work of artists Aimee Denault, Karen Hanmer, John Magnan, Claire Owen, Pia Pizzo, and Donald Rattner. 

March 1 - May 1, 2010
Free Admission

Competition and Exhibition Generously Funded by the Beneficia Foundation.

Above: Diorama (2010) by John Magnan, a response to The Young Carpenter's Assistant by Owen Biddle (1805). Photo by Jim Carroll.


Save the Date:  

April 12: Annual Meeting, 5:30pm

April 13: Socrates Cafe, 11:00am

April 28: Athenaeum Book Sale Members Only Preview and Reception, 5:30pm

April 29-May 1: Athenaeum Book Sale, 10:00am-4:00pm


See the Event Calendar for details and additional events.

The Athenaeum is open 9:00AM to 5:00PM, Monday-Friday and the first Saturday of the month from 10:00AM to 2:00PM. The building is accessible to persons with disabilities.  Group tours and research visits are by appointment only. Please visit our website for more information, or call 215-925-2688.


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