Lost and Found features brief profiles of historic landmarks and structures, one lost and one saved.


For their country estates, many affluent Americans favored the Italianate style, which became es­pecially popular for suburban mansions by the mid-nineteenth century. Noted Philadelphia architect John Notman (1810-1865) designed Alverthorpe in Abington Township, Montgomery County, for Joshua Francis Fisher. One of the most distinctive features of the mansion, erected in 1850, was its unusual five-story tower. Alver­thorpe was photographed by Ian McLaughlin for the Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) in 1937, the year it was demolished. The mansion is included in Pennsylvania Architecture: The Historic American Buildings Survey, 1933-1990, recently published by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.



Industrialist and philanthropist I.Asa Packer (1805-1879) most likely based the architectural style of his eclectic residence in Mauch Chunk (now Jim Thorpe), on published designs by Philadelphia architect Samuel Sloan (1815-1884). Built in 1852 on a hillside overlooking the Carbon County seat, the mansion is primarily Italianate in style. The mansion is capped by an octago­nal belvedere from which, legend contends, Packer would survey his vast empire. Described by HABS as “one of the best pre­served mid-nineteenth-century houses in [the] country,” the Asa Packer Mansion – also featured in Pennsylvania Architecture – is well known for its original Packer family furnishings, including highly carved furniture, unusual lighting fixtures, and extensive services of china, porcelain, and silver.