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UCHS | PO Box 31927, Philadelphia, PA 19104 | ph +1 215-387-3019 | www.facebook.com/UCityHistoricalSociety

Welcome to the University City Historical Society | Then and Now

"In a West Philadelphia neighborhood, young families find the joy of city life amid architectural treasures."

"Architectural Treasures" of University City

A variety of building styles spanning a century of West Philadelphia development were on view for this year's tour of University City Houses, as depicted in illustrations by Sylvia Barkan who was an artist and founding member of UCHS. Sylvia's drawings were published in the October 10, 1971 edition of Discover, which was the magazine of the Philadelphia Sunday Bulletin, a major Philadelphia newspaper that closed in the early 1980s.

The cover of that issue featured the "Architectural Treasures" of University City in a mosaic of details captured in color photographs by Sylvia Barkan. The cover was a beautiful representation of many of the architectural details of the area (most still with us) and the inscription was as telling then as now, "In a West Philadelphia neighborhood, young families find the joy of city life amid architectural treasures."

Join us next year for another UCHS Spring House Tour.

Headlines for May–Jun 2014

  • Ask the Experts: Tips for planning to paint a University City house; picking the best contractor to do the job right; complying with recent Federal laws for best practices in preventing lead contamination.
  • Did You Know? Baltimore Avenue and Woodland Avenue ...
  • University City Then & Now: 4600 block of Locust (1914 & 2014).
  • Featured Historic House: Hermann Herzog House, corner of 41st and Pine Street.
  • Profiles in Architecture: Frank Miles Day (1861–1918) was part of a new generation of city architects who disparaged the excessive ornamentation and historically inaccurate combinations of the late-Victorian era.
  • UCHS Roaring Twenties Dinner Wrap Up.
  • 4224 Baltimore Avenue Update.

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UCHS Seeks New Board Members

The University City Historical Society, which is a group dedicated to encouraging good stewardship of historic properties in the University City area of West Philadelphia, is seeking new Board members.

Responsibilities include attendance at monthly meetings (every second Wednesday of the month), participation in at least one committee, and a willingness to develop productive ways to reach out to our community and advocate for respect and protection of historic properties.

We want to hear your ideas on how to make our organization even more effective at preserving our neighborhood's amazing historic character. Board service will allow you to contribute in a variety of areas including, but not limited to: strategic planning, event planning, community outreach, architecture, grant writing, history, building technologies and trades, marketing, communications, and social media. If you have an interest or expertise in any of these areas and are looking for ways to make a meaning contribution to a neighborhood like ours, we are looking for you!

We deal with a mixture of serious and fun events and are looking for current members (or soon-to-be members) who are willing to volunteer some time and effort towards helping with the oversight and management of our organization.

Please contact our Nominating Committee at UCityHistoricalSociety@gmail.com. Please explore our website or Facebook page if you would like to learn more!

Melani Lamond
President, U.C. Historical Society
June 14, 2014

Thanks to all for a very successful House Tour!

Here's a note to thank the twelve homeowners and ZED's Last Minute Gifts, who graciously opened up their places to so many visitors today. The houses looked great! And the write-ups provided by the homeowners for the brochure were heartwarming; it was wonderful to see how much everyone cares about their houses and our neighborhood. The weather cooperated perfectly, for a change—a big difference from last year, when it drizzled on the tour and pretty much rained us out. And the flowers were all in bloom! A perfect day for a tour!

We had a strong turnout, so it was a very successful fundraiser for UCHS. But even more important was the good will generated and the spreading of the word about taking care of old houses in University City! Thanks to all of you who made it possible.

While my husband and I walked around on the tour, we heard so many enthusiastic comments from tour visitors! And we hope that the homeowners enjoyed the tour guests' compliments and encouragement, as much as the guests enjoyed seeing the houses. It's always wonderful to see our neighborhood this way—a place where friendly homeowners welcome other old-house lovers into beautiful houses filled with special treasures. I think we are so lucky to live here.

Thanks again to the homeowners and the tour participants for all that you did today, and thanks also to Joe Minardi and the other members of the UCHS Board for their work to make the tour successful.

Melani Lamond
President, U.C. Historical Society
June 1, 2014

UCHS | PO Box 31927, Philadelphia, PA 19104 | ph +1 215-387-3019 | www.facebook.com/UCityHistoricalSociety