ICAA Chapter News


The Philadelphia Chapter is looking forward to its 2014-2015 program year, which started with an outstanding event at the end of September, the one-day Henry Hope Reed Symposium “The Future of the Golden City.”  An exceptional panel of a dozen speakers, including Chapter members John Blatteau and Alvin Holm, spoke on what Henry’s legacy is and what the future holds for the Golden City. The event at the Franklin Inn Club concluded with a cocktail social for speakers, attendees, and Chapter members, where the spirited conversation continued, including the possibility of another gathering in 2015 in celebration of Henry’s centennial.  

Following on the heels of this spectacular start to the season, we will be welcoming Peter Archer, AIA for our third presentation of “It’s a Classic: Timeless Tradition in Today’s Architecture” on October 15 at the Center for Architecture. Held in conjunction with the annual DesignPhiladelphia festival, this series highlights contemporary designs in the Philadelphia region that are inspired by traditional design principles to create buildings which are modern, technologically advanced, and forward-looking. We will also present the next installment of our Conversations with Philadelphia’s Radical Traditionalists, focusing on “The Offices.” To be held on November 13 at the Franklin Inn Club, we will focus on local architects who were deeply influenced by their early mentors in the classical tradition, and who in turn have become successful practitioners as they shape the next generation.  This session will be complemented in February with another session dedicated to “The Educators,” presenting them with the opportunity to reflect on their influences and the impact they have had on the practice of architecture both locally and nationally. Other events being planned for the Spring include the Annual Alvin Holm Lecture and an insider’s tour of the spectacular Bryn Athyn Cathedral, before concluding with the ever-popular Spring Cocktail Social.

Details of all our events will be sent to our friends and members via e-mail, and will be posted at our new website at classicist-phila.org.  Additional notices are also shared on our Twitter account at the address @icaaphila and on Facebook at ICAA-Philadelphia.  And you can always contact us at (215) 609-8357 or e-mail us at [email protected].

New members are always welcome, and we gratefully thank our current members and sponsors for their continued support of the Chapter, especially our previous season sponsors Gale Nurseries and Lundy Beldecos & Milby.  

John Milner, FAIA spoke at the wonderful Webb Farmhouse at Longwood Gardens, newly restored by his firm John Milner Architects. Photo by Brenna Decker.

John Milner, FAIA spoke at the wonderful Webb Farmhouse at Longwood Gardens, newly restored by his firm John Milner Architects. Photo by Brenna Decker.

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Past Events

The Philadelphia Chapter gives a hearty welcome to three new board members this year. William David Brown, MFA in Painting, is an Associate Professor, Lindback Foundation Distinguished Teacher, and former department Chair of the Illustration Program at Moore College of Art & Design, where he teaches classical and narrative drawing approaches. Edwin B. Mahoney is a third generation builder who specializes in the construction of custom homes and renovations in the greater Philadelphia area. J. Scott O’Barr, AIA is a Senior Associate at John Milner Architects, where he helps lead the firm’s multi-disciplinary approach to new design, as well as restoration and adaptive re-use of historic buildings and sites.

Our Winter/Spring calendar began with our fourth installment of the Conversations with Philadelphia’s Radical Traditionalists, with a unique presentation entitled “Architecture on the Couch: Liberation and Longing in America’s Built Environment,” where psychologist Dr. Michael Britton guided the captivated audience through a group discussion of causes in the shift from traditional to modern architecture and its implications today. March brought us the fifth annual Alvin Holm Lecture, featuring professor Nancy S. Steinhardt and her book Chinese Architecture and the Beaux-Arts, which focuses on the influence of classical training in post-Imperial China in the early 20th century. Our season was bookended by a reception and “sneak peek” tour of the freshly restored 18th Century Webb Farmhouse and Meadow offered by architect John D. Milner and landscape architect Jonathan Alderson at the fabulous Longwood Gardens.

We thank a new season sponsor, Gale Nurseries, for their backing of all of these ICAA events. And, as always, we continue to support the wonderful lectures of the Royal Oak Society at the Union League of Philadelphia.

Dr. Michael Britton presenting the fourth installment in the Conversations with Philadelphia’s Radical Traditionalists series, entitled “Architecture on the Couch: Liberation and Longing in America’s Built Environment.”

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