Restoration of Marian Anderson House and Museum Advances
The Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia and the Marian Anderson Historical Society are pleased to announce the selection of a consulting team to prepare a restoration planning study for the Marian Anderson House and Museum at 762 Martin Street in Philadelphia.

The consulting team will be led by Preservation Design Partnership, a Philadelphia-based, WBE and MBE architecture and preservation firm established in 1995.

The final report, due in May, will position the Marian Anderson Historical Society to secure grant funding for a complete historic restoration. The property suffered serious damage last summer when a boiler pipe burst, flooding the basement and first floor.

“We are so grateful that the community is coming together to celebrate the legacy and impact of the great Marian Anderson by helping to restore her historic Philadelphia home,” said Jillian Pirtle, executive director of the Marian Anderson Historical Society.

The planning study is funded by the Poor Richard’s Charitable Trust and the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
Marian Anderson (1897-1993) was an American contralto and public figure who had a tremendous and lasting impact as a recording artist, performer, and advocate for civil rights. In 1923, Ms. Anderson purchased a two-story row home in South Philadelphia and owned it continuously until her death in 1993.

The Marian Anderson House and Museum is operated by the Marian Anderson Historical Society (MAHS), a 501(c)3 non-profit organization founded in 1998.
Hallahan Catholic Goes Before Committee on Historic Designation
Photo: Adrian Trevisan
John W. Hallahan Catholic Girls High School, 319 N. 19th Street, is the first Diocesan all-girls Catholic high school in the United States. Designed by Ballinger and Perot and completed in 1911, the school has educated generations of young Catholic women from the City of Philadelphia and surrounding region. The neighboring Cathedral Parish School (312 N. 18th St), completed in 1914, has since been incorporated into the main high school facility.
Late last year it was announced that the school would cease operations at the end of the 2020/2021 school year. In the wake of that news, alumnae organized to safeguard the historic property, and the Preservation Alliance prepared a nomination to the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places. The nomination will be considered on Wednesday, March 3, before the Committee on Historic Designation. Philadelphia Historical Commission meetings continue to be hosted virtually. As always, meetings are open to the public and anyone who wishes to offer public comment is invited to do. Meeting details and full agenda here.
National Trust’s Forum Webinar Series Considers 117th Congress
The National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Forum Webinar Series is an ongoing resource for information gathering, sharing of best practices, and advocacy updates on the national level. Next Thursday, March 4, the series will consider “Historic Preservation Advocacy Requests in the 117th Congress.” National Trust staff and partners will discuss efforts to “fully fund the Historic Preservation Fund, how historic tax credits are helping preserve and create affordable housing, key opportunities to protect cultural places, and strategies for effective federal engagement by state and local preservation partners.” As Congress considers further COVID relief stimulus packages, historic preservation policy and funding are very much part of the considerations. Register here.
Inquirer OpEd Calls for Greater Emphasis on Sustainability via Preservation
Writing in The Philadelphia Inquirer, on the heels of the city’s release of its “Climate Action Playbook,” local preservationists Starr Herr-Cardillo (a frequent Extant contributor) and Dana Fedeli argue for the necessity of demolition review and deconstruction practices to help further mitigate climate change and better recognize cultural heritage in our region. Despite some welcome and ambitious ideas, the City’s “Climate Action Playbook” makes scant mention of the value of building reuse and/or leveraging embodied energy/carbon toward climate mitigation. An excellent read with many ideas we’d wholly support.
Photo: Wong Kim, Philadelphia Inquirer
Deep Dive Into Musical Fund Hall 
Writing in Hopkinson House’s seasonal newsletter, On the House, Joseph Quinn offers this fascinating look into the deep history of Washington Square’s Musical Fund Hall. Originally constructed in 1824 for the Musical Fund Society, with a design by none other than William Strickland, the handsome edifice was remodeled in 1847 by Napoleon LeBrun. The property is perhaps most noted as the site of the 1856 Republican National Convention. The façade was further altered in 1891, with a design by Addison Hutton. Read more about this property’s many faces and historic inhabitants here.
Architectural Quizzo - This Friday!
February 26th, 6:30pm
Which famous Philadelphia architect won the Medal of Honor during the Civil War? Who designed the Ben Franklin bridge? If you know the answers, and even if you don't, join us in Philadelphia’s first-ever Architectural Quizzo!

Sign up individually, or better yet with friends, to test your knowledge of Philadelphia’s architectural icons, planning and infrastructure, suburbs, and popular culture. Nothing like that boring Art History 101 course! You'll work in teams to answer five exciting rounds of questions - with prizes for the winning team!

Free for members (plus 1 guest) of the Philadelphia Chapter SAH, of the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia, and of the Young Friends of the Preservation Alliance. $5 for non-members.

Co-sponsored by the Philadelphia Chapter, Society of Architectural Historians and the Young Friends of the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia. 

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