ON THE WEST SIDE
THE UNIVERSITY CITY HISTORICAL SOCIETY
SEPTEMBER 2002


MIKE HARDY, EDITOR


SECOND CHANCES

...to hear a discussion of “Early 20th Century West Philadelphia” will be yours as Robert Morris Skaler presents a slide lecture and book signing on Thursday, October 3, 2002 at 7 p.m. at the historic New Century Guild, 1307 Locust Street. Open to UCHS members and the general public, forensic architect/historian/collector Skaler will present a nostalgic slide tour of Philadelphia’s first “streetcar suburb.” Mr. Skaler’s first presentation to the society and to other residents of University City attracted a sold out crowd in April of this year. Those who missed that opportunity have a second chance to share Mr. Skaler’s discussion and presentation of more of his extensive collection.

Many of the remarkably rare photos appear in Mr. Skaler’s new book, West Philadelphia: University City to 52nd Street (Arcadia Publishing), now in its second printing. The book will be available for sale and signing following his presentation for $20/copy. The book sale will benefit UCHS’s Historic Districts Nomination Fund. If you'd like to purchase a copy from UCHS, an order form is available by clicking here.

“If you care about cities, you’ll care about historic buildings and vice versa,” says John Dowlin, of Powelton Village, Vice President of the Guild and the organizer of the event. “One of West Philadelphia’s most interesting murals, and one of my favorites, is at 39th and Chestnut Streets. It has no name, no credits, no dedication date, just a quote from Konrad Smigielski: ‘A city without old buildings is like a person without a memory.’”

An optional catered dinner will be served at 5:30 p.m. at $10 per person. For reservations, call the Guild by Oct. 1 at (215) 735-7593. For details about the program, contact John Dowlin at (215) 222-1253.

ELECTIONS AND OFFICERS

The Board of Governors of UCHS began a new season of monthly meetings with the addition of newly elected members, Joanne Aitken, 918 S. 48th Street; Carol Dubie, 504 S. 46th Street; Melani Lamond, 1006 S. 46th Street; Sharon Ravitch, 330 S. 46th Street and Stephen Wagner, 4506 Chester Avenue. Elected as the President of UCHS for 2002-2003 was Board member, Gregory Montanaro, a ten-year resident of University City and five-year homeowner of 4222 Pine Street. Mike Hardy, 446 S. 43rd Street, continues as VP, as does Nadine Landis, 4054 Spruce Street, as Secretary, while John Hayden, 206 S. 43rd Street, was elected as Treasurer for the coming year. The former Treasurer, Warren Cedarholm and Interim Co-Presidents, Tim Wood and Kathy Dowdell were thanked for their great contributions to the society.

Besides the proposed Spruce Hill Historic District, new awards and commendations for “Gifts to the Streets” for 2002, and the ongoing PRIMER programs, discussions of possible new priorities for UCHS included providing additional technical assistance for property owners in University City’s historic districts, historic streetcar markers, a highway marker for Clark Park and a petition to insure the survival of historic street paving materials from the area’s streetcar lines.

Jeremy Wells, a local resident and Historic Preservation Penn graduate student has volunteered to compile a “Primer on Windows,” informed opinions and concrete information about obtaining materials and services relating to window repair and replacement options available to homeowners. If members are willing to share their own experiences and sources on this topic with Jeremy, please write or email him at UCHS, P. O. Box, 31927, 19104 or info@uchs.net.

THANKS

to new Sustainers of UCHS: Sherman Maintenance Company; new Friends of UCHS: Clay & Clara Armstrong; M/M George M. Cheston; Carol Dubie; E. David Horwitz; Mary Anne & Jack Hunter; Sue & Jack Minnis; Betty & Joe Moloznik; Jeffrey Berger & Danielle Rice; Director, Youth Services Inc.; Urban & Bye Realtors; Mark Wagenveld; Joan Weiner

WINDOW WEAR & WARNINGS

...are also the focus of the Fall, 2002 PRIMER series of workshops developed by D-L Wormley, UCHS Board Member and The University City District’s Director of Neighborhood Initiatives. Beginning on Monday, October 7, from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m., experienced chimney sweep and chimney contractor, Bob Hughes, will be discussing “Maintenance and Repair of Fireplaces and Chimneys” with attention given to the safety concerns surrounding operating a functional chimney in an historic home. Learn how often you need a chimney sweep and other chimney safety issues.

The remaining two programs involve questions related to repairing and replacing windows in period homes. On Monday, October 14, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., restoration architect, Bob Thomas of Campbell-Thomas Architects will consider “Affordable Rehab Materials and Approaches to Rehab” suggesting what materials are both appropriate & affordable when rehabbing a Victorian-era home. The warning here is to consider ALL the alternatives to replacing existing wooden windows before resorting to cheap, short lived vinyl products sold with much the same “siren-song” promises of permanent, low maintenance results claimed for vinyl siding and other such building materials with undesirable and potentially costly consequences.

The parts of a windowLocal homeowners who have done the job and can talk with authority about “Re-glazing Windows” will lead a hands-on session in a private home from 10 a.m to noon on Saturday, October 19 demonstrating how to repair your existing windows. Bring your window and the glass if you wish. Maybe you can save that window for decades more of service. Pre-registration for this session is required; it will not be at the UCD.

All the other sessions will take place at the UCD, 3940 Chestnut Street, on payment of $5/session for UCHS members, a 50% discount from the regular price of $10/person. Checks should be made to “UCD” and mailed to D-L Wormley using the form attached or faxed to (215) 243-0557 with payment on the day of the session. But, don’t wait, these programs sell out quickly.


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