CHHS announces a long-awaited achievement...
Preservation Alert: The Vanna Venturi House was added to the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places today!
Photo: Matt Wargo (courtesy of the Architectural Archives, University of Pennsylvania)
The Vanna Venturi House (1962-64), a one-and-a-half story house at 8330 Millman Street in Chestnut Hill, has been called "the biggest small building of the second half of the twentieth century" and one of "the 10 buildings that changed America." Designed by Robert Venturi early in his career for his mother, it is undoubtedly one of the world's most architecturally celebrated buildings. Yet, until today, it enjoyed no formal preservation protection, aside from the excellent stewardship of its owners to date.

As reported earlier this year, a nomination to the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places was created by Emily T. Cooperman and Kathleen Abplanalp for the Chestnut Hill Historical Society, with funding from the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia.  On November 10, the Philadelphia Historical Commission approved our nomination. We thank our members and donors who believe in the value of the great architecture in our community and supported this work!
why is designation important?

To protect the historic fabric and the significant values of the Vanna Venturi House, the Philadelphia Historical Commission will review, in perpetuity, all proposed changes to the exterior and alterations that require a building permit. 

Protection will be important in the future. Former owners, the Hughes family, friends of Venturi and his partner Denise Scott Brown, loved the home "like family" over four decades. The property's new owner has continued this tradition of providing exceptional care. And now, we have certainty that future owners will too. 

What is important is that, no matter the hands through which it passes over time, the "Mother's House" will retain the essential features that make it an icon worldwide, inspire legions of fans, and give it its singular place in architectural history.
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