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Athenaeum

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NEWS
July 15, 2010 | By Tom Stoelker, Inquirer Staff Writer
On the east side of Washington Square, a Renaissance Revival building has kept watch over the park since the mid-19th century. Gas lamps on posts flank its modest entrance, where brass plaques (discreetly) announce "The Athenaeum. " It would look at home on an Italian piazza. Kevin Ryan, a frequent passerby, has long wondered what's inside. "It appears to be a museum of some sort," he said one recent afternoon. Dog walker Meg Kennelly also was perplexed. She walks Duke, a yellow Lab, past the brownstone building every day. "I've asked a few people," she said, "and they don't know.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 22, 2015 | By Stephan Salisbury, Inquirer Culture Writer
It might seem a perverse exercise to some, but one of Philadelphia's most venerable institutions, the Athenaeum, has sponsored an architectural competition - Looking Forward : Reimagining the Athenaeum of Philadelphia - seeking designs for a new building. Not to worry. The bookish Athenaeum, situated in a splendid National Historic Landmark Italianate brownstone on Washington Square at 219 S. Sixth Street, is not really looking for a new home. It is not going anywhere.
NEWS
September 6, 1988 | By Ron Avery, Daily News Staff Writer
It was an elegant and venerable Philadelphia institution. Its membership list was a roll call of the city's creme de la creme. But 20 years ago, it seemed the Athenaeum on Washington Square was in the grips of advanced rigor mortis. "It was an ancient cultural institution that was going straight downhill," recalls George Vaux, president of the board of directors. "There was no more purpose. It was fuddy-duddying along. It needed a new direction. " After all, the Athenaeum had been founded in 1814 as a private library.
NEWS
January 3, 1993 | By Thomas Hine, INQUIRER ARCHITECTURE CRITIC
The doors are open at the Athenaeum of Philadelphia. When the historic private library on the east side of Washington Square is ready for business each day, the building's handsome, imposing, even forbidding doors are swung back, and new, simple, bronze-framed glass doors offer a view into the interior. "We used to see people standing outside on the sidewalk with guidebooks, wondering if the place was really open," said Roger W. Moss, the Athenaeum's executive director. "Much of the time they wouldn't dare open the door.
NEWS
January 30, 1994 | By Kay Raftery, INQUIRER CORRESPONDENT
Irv Glazer knows what he likes and what he doesn't, and one thing he simply won't tolerate is a miserable moviegoing experience. "I love movies," said Glazer, "but I can't stand it when the movie is out of focus, or those red exit signs cast a rosy glow over the screen, or the picture isn't framed properly, or the sound is too loud. " As president emeritus of the Theatre Historical Society, Glazer has spent a lifetime researching and collecting data on theaters, from burlesque houses to movie palaces and everything in between, and is an expert on what makes a good theater - and what doesn't.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 2, 2012 | By Victoria Donohoe, For The Inquirer
Our relationship to nature isn't a done deal or a set formula. As a reminder of that, we only need look at the appealing simplicity and interest of several featured artworks relating to ancient Egypt in an otherwise diverse display, "The Decorated Book: Continuing a Tradition," at the Athenaeum. One of these, a big "scarab" woodcarving (actually a beetle-shaped case for a book), immediately caught my eye. John Magnan recently handcarved this solid and well-conceived sculpture with movable parts.
LIVING
March 18, 1993 | By Peter Landry, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The voice is as deep as history, and as rich. George Vaux is talking ancients and ancestors, favorite subjects both, and, assuredly, this is first-name familiarity. There is never a moment's doubt: He is one with the past and the past is one with him. Look around. The walls of his Bryn Mawr home are a gallery of the prominent and prosperous, his yard hosts ghosts in the family cemetery and his bookshelves teem with friends and forebears, from Europe and America. "That," he says, gesturing to a floor-to-ceiling bookcase flanking one side of the door to his den, "is England.
NEWS
January 9, 1988 | By Andrew Stiller, Special to The Inquirer
One of the chief joys of having a pool of musicians organized into a chamber organization is the opportunity it affords to hear important works that do not fit the standard groupings of string quartet and trio, piano quartet and trio, or wind quintet. This was clearly demonstrated by the Philadelphia Chamber Ensemble in their performance at the Athenaeum of Philadelphia last night. A capacity crowd was on hand, despite the weather. Anyone who was dissuaded from attending by the snow can still catch this stimulating concert, for it is to be repeated at the Athenaeum tomorrow afternoon at 3. The first half of the program was entirely filled by Paul Hindemith's 1938 Quartet for clarinet, violin, cello and piano.
LIVING
March 27, 1996 | By Edward J. Sozanski, INQUIRER ART CRITIC
The demolition and construction that goes on around us continually charts the evolution of cities, as their economic and social circumstances change. In the short run, memory allows us to compare what was with what is. But for longer stretches of history, such as a century, we must rely on archival documents. Such material, on view at the Athenaeum of Philadelphia, tells us what Chestnut Street looked like in the middle of the last century. It also helps us to appreciate how the character of the city's business activity has changed over the years as the city's commercial center has moved slowly westward.
REAL_ESTATE
January 13, 1991 | By Alan J. Heavens, Inquirer Staff Writer
Although they've lived at their Woodpecker Lane address in Jenkintown since 1955, it wasn't until seven years ago that Leon and Mary Jane Clemmer were certain that their dwelling was designed by Frank Furness. "For years there was a story that Horace Trumbauer did it for Percy Madeira," a hunting partner of Theodore Roosevelt's, as a garage and stables, said Leon Clemmer, an architect whose office is in Elkins Park. "In fact, Trumbauer did some sketches for Madeira and included them among a list of his works at the Athenaeum" of Philadelphia.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
March 15, 2016 | By Bonnie L. Cook, Staff Writer
Lawrence S. Williams, 98, a prominent Philadelphia photographer who chronicled World War II, took pictures of two presidents, then focused his camera on the city's architecture, died Saturday, March 5, of pneumonia at Shannondell at Valley Forge. Mr. Williams worked with city planner Edmund Bacon and the Philadelphia City Planning Commission on an ambitious project to document the cityscape as its buildings changed after 1950. The fruits of that effort became the Williams Collection, a treasure trove of 250,000 images that the Athenaeum of Philadelphia acquired in 2001.
NEWS
May 18, 2015 | By Inga Saffron, Inquirer Architecture Critic
The Wagner Free Institute of Science is famed for its collection of animal and fossil specimens housed in rows of 19th-century glass cabinets. But one of the museum's greatest scientific works is neither animal nor vegetable. It's mineral: the patented iron-and-wood truss that holds up the roof. The Wagner's main exhibit hall is such a spectacular sight it's doubtful many visitors have paid much attention to the structure overhead. Yet the roof truss is what makes that immense, open-plan room possible.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 22, 2015 | By Stephan Salisbury, Inquirer Culture Writer
It might seem a perverse exercise to some, but one of Philadelphia's most venerable institutions, the Athenaeum, has sponsored an architectural competition - Looking Forward : Reimagining the Athenaeum of Philadelphia - seeking designs for a new building. Not to worry. The bookish Athenaeum, situated in a splendid National Historic Landmark Italianate brownstone on Washington Square at 219 S. Sixth Street, is not really looking for a new home. It is not going anywhere.
NEWS
May 30, 2014 | By Bonnie L. Cook, Inquirer Staff Writer
Steven A. Weixler, 60, of Society Hill, an interior designer, died Wednesday, April 30, of a rare neurological disorder at Penn Hospice at Rittenhouse. Born in Louisville, Ky., Mr. Weixler graduated with a bachelor's degree in architecture from the University of Kentucky. He moved to Chicago, and then to Philadelphia in 1981. Shortly after arriving, he met Walter Peterson, who became a close friend for more than 30 years. In 1983, they formed Peterson & Weixler, an interior-design firm.
NEWS
May 24, 2014 | By Bonnie L. Cook, Inquirer Staff Writer
Russell T. Harris Jr., 89, of Philadelphia, a federal court reporter for many years, died Friday, May 16, of dementia at Wissahickon Hospice. Mr. Harris served in the Navy during World War II and was stationed in Borneo. He graduated from stenography school and in 1955 became an official court reporter for the U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Early in his career, Mr. Harris was asked to transcribe interviews filmed by local TV stations. Among those whose words he chronicled were John F. Kennedy before he became president, Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, and Adlai Stevenson.
NEWS
February 10, 2014 | By Bonnie L. Cook, Inquirer Staff Writer
Richard E. Carter, 78, of Philadelphia, a pioneer and leader for more than 40 years in the field of continuing education for lawyers, died Monday, Jan. 27, of heart failure at his home. Mr. Carter came to Philadelphia in 1993 to serve as executive director of the American Law Institute-American Bar Association Committee on Continuing Professional Education. The group is a national provider of continuing legal education. Colleague Michael Greenwald said Mr. Carter was a comfortable person with whom to work.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 26, 2013 | By Sally Friedman, For The Inquirer
Sometimes, when guests step inside the Washington Square condominium of Gail Caskey Winkler and her husband, Roger Moss, there's a classic double-take moment. Past the typical 1960s architecture in the building's public spaces, a sudden sense of grandeur grabs you - all the way from antiquity forward. In the vestibule, a classic black-and-white patterned floor of marble and granite, rests a first-century B.C. amphora, a carrying vessel that looks its age. But on a wall nearby is an unmistakably modern steel sculpture.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 2, 2012 | By Victoria Donohoe, For The Inquirer
Our relationship to nature isn't a done deal or a set formula. As a reminder of that, we only need look at the appealing simplicity and interest of several featured artworks relating to ancient Egypt in an otherwise diverse display, "The Decorated Book: Continuing a Tradition," at the Athenaeum. One of these, a big "scarab" woodcarving (actually a beetle-shaped case for a book), immediately caught my eye. John Magnan recently handcarved this solid and well-conceived sculpture with movable parts.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 2, 2011
Special Events 10th Annual Taste of Success Featuring a dozen entrepreneurs competing for prizes in a cookoff and bakeoff contest. Jack's Firehouse, 2130 Fairmount Ave.; 215-232-9000. www.ewtasteofsuccess2011.eventbrite.com . $70; $27 students & clients. 12/2. 6-8 pm. Etc. Performance Series A work-in-progress series. Community Education Center (CEC Meeting House), 3500 Lancaster Ave.; 215 387-1911. $10; $8 seniors/students. Closes 12/4. Fairyland of Chemistry: Victorian Science Performance An original production based on 19th-century texts that helped Victorian-era children learn chemistry.
NEWS
June 24, 2011 | By Sally A. Downey, Inquirer Staff Writer
Nicholas K. Wyman, 44, of South Philadelphia, an architect with a passion for historic preservation and his adopted city, died of a rare form of lymphoma Thursday, April 14, at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. A native of Rhode Island, Mr. Wyman first arrived in Philadelphia in 1995 as an architect for the National Park Service at Independence National Historical Park. Among his projects there were repairing the tower of Independence Hall, documenting the interior of the Merchants' Exchange, and assessing the condition of the facade of the Second Bank of the United States.
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