February 24, 2009 |
Denis Michael McDowell Sr., 62, of Mount Airy, the director of technical services for the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office who helped crack cases as a a video-surveillance expert, died of brain cancer Thursday at home. "Denis was the go-to guy for radios, beepers, cell phones, cameras, computers - any kind of technical gadgets," District Attorney Lynne M. Abraham said. "He was so helpful to young lawyers who needed technical assistance in court as well as to investigators in the field.
February 22, 2009 |
The Chester County Historical Society has already cut all salaries by 20 percent and reduced its days of operation to four a week. Johnson House, a way station on the Underground Railroad and now a National Historic Landmark in the 6300 block of Germantown Avenue, is open only three days and has no executive director. Nearly two dozen state-run historic sites in Pennsylvania, including the Daniel Boone Homestead in Berks County, Washington Crossing Historic Park in Bucks, and Lancaster's Ephrata Cloister, face closure.
November 30, 2008 |
Whether it was a refueled sense of patriotism, the urge to avoid holiday shoppers, or the desperate need to do something with family still visiting for Thanksgiving, the city's notable sites yesterday saw a steady stream of people looking to tour history. "I wanted to have a historical weekend," said Jacob Kelly, standing with his wife, Kristin, at the entrance of the "Headed to the White House" exhibit at the National Constitution Center. The Kellys, from Bloomsburg, came to celebrate Jacob's 24th birthday.
October 30, 2008 |
The Philadelphia Parks Alliance's proposal to merge the Fairmount Park Commission with the Department of Recreation is nearsighted, political, ill-conceived, and not in the best interests of park users. While the Fairmount Park Commission could benefit from some reform measures, such as more transparency, the alliance's proposal is drastic and hasty. People will awake to find they have no power to protect our parks, and there will be no turning back. There will be no truly independent commission to protect our public lands and the Schuylkill watershed, which provides our drinking water.
July 24, 2008 |
The Patriots Path, a walking trail that would connect three Chester County Revolutionary War sites, is one step closer to actualization. On July 15, the three affected townships, Tredyffrin, Malvern, and East Whiteland, began the approval process to hire a consultant to undertake a multi-municipal trail study for the Eastern Great Valley. The Patriots Path, if completed, would link Valley Forge National Historic Park with the Paoli Memorial Grounds and Paoli Massacre site in Malvern and end at the site of Battle of the Clouds Park in East Whiteland Township.
May 28, 2008
In several of the region's smallest downtowns, great old movie theaters have been rescued - such as the Ambler Theater, Jenkintown's Hiway, and Media's Theatre for the Performing Arts. So why can't Philadelphia find a way to preserve its last great movie palace, the Boyd Theater? The shuttered, 2,350-seat art-deco beauty on Chestnut Street near 19th is on the auction block for the second time in three years. The National Trust for Historic Preservation just placed the Boyd on its annual list of the 11 most endangered historic sites in the nation.
May 23, 2008 |
The Colonial Kids' Quest to help Colonial Philadelphia personality Phineas Bell find his copy of the Declaration of Independence begins Saturday at the Independence Living Center. Transported back in time, families can try a one-hour detective route to various historic sites searching for the clues that will help them find and preserve the Philadelphia treasure, to be read by Colonel Nixon publicly for the first time on July 8, 1776. Along the way, junior detectives will be challenged to find Bell's runaway dog, Freedom, and will meet characters such as Hannah Lee and her puppet frog Francois; Cuban Cook Isabel from City Tavern with her pet goose, Graciela; and Sister Elizabeth, a Quaker woman with her pet mouse Nibbles, along with Sansom the Printer and his cat Broadside.
May 22, 2008 |
As post-graduate degrees go, Lorna Howley's requires an intimate knowledge of the arcane and mundane. How many people, after all, have to know Ben Franklin's itinerary on the day he arrived in Philadelphia and the closest place to get an authentic Philly cheesesteak? It's all part of the learning curve for about 80 actors who graduated yesterday from the "Benstitute," the three-week course run by Historic Philadelphia Inc. "When I first got this job, I had no idea what it was going to be like," said Howley, 46, of West Philadelphia, an actor-director for 20 years who moved here from Atlanta four years ago. Howley said she found the work so enriching that she wanted to return for a second year.
May 20, 2008 |
With the celebrated Boyd Theater once again for sale, the National Trust for Historic Preservation has placed the art deco movie palace on its annual list of the 11 most endangered historic sites in America. The sad, yet coveted, designation comes at a low moment for the shuttered 2,350-seat Chestnut Street theater, also known as the Sameric before closing in 2002. Only three years ago, Live Nation, a subsidiary of Clear Channel Communications, bought the run-down Boyd with the intention of turning it into a sumptuous venue for music shows.
March 28, 2008 |
Center City tour guides will have to hit the books and qualify for official certifications under a bill that City Council passed yesterday. Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown's bill, expected to be signed by Mayor Nutter, requires guides to pass a test "designed to test the applicant's knowledge of the geography, history, historic sites, historic structures, historic objects and other places of interest in the Center City Tourist Area....