Pennsylvania Heritage Foundation Newsletter

Topics in the Winter 2016 Newsletter: PHF Hosts the 50th Anniversary Gala for The State Museum and Archives Complex The Giving Circle Pennsylvania Turnpike Exhibit Opens Pennsylvania Turnpike Exhibit Sponsors PA Modern Exhibit Opens Join the Pennsylvania Heritage Foundation  ...
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Back in Plain Sight: Restoring the Midcentury Modern Furnishings at The State Museum and Archives Complex

October 14, 1964 With the construction of the new William Penn Memorial Museum and Archives Building (now The State Museum and Archives Complex) in Harrisburg, Dauphin County, PHMC Executive Director S.K. Stevens penned an urgent memo to the commonwealth’s secretary of property and supplies requesting nearly $25,000 worth of “chairs, sofas, and upholstered benches,” as well as numerous...
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Modernizing Center City: Philadelphia’s Penn Center

Modernism came to Philadelphia in September 1947. It had been creeping up on the city for some time, but that’s when the citizenry who for decades had come to expect little from the machine that controlled city politics came to see how a modern Philadelphia could look. It was a 10-part vision of Modernism presented by the City Planning Commission’s Better Philadelphia Exhibition that was...
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Editor’s Letter

Throughout 2015 PHMC has been celebrating the 50th anniversary of The State Museum and Archives Complex in Harrisburg with initiatives to preserve the original Midcentury Modern features of the buildings, both outside and inside, from architectural elements to original furnishings (see Hands-On History). A concurrent effort to update and revitalize the museum’s galleries also has been underway,...
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Pennsylvania Heritage Foundation Newsletter

Topics in the Spring 2015 Newsletter: Restoration of Mammal Hall – Your Help is Needed! The Giving Circle Trails of History Sites and Museums Inaugural Exhibit of Pennsylvania Arts The State Museum Opens New Nature Lab Pennsylvania Modern Architecture Save the Date – 50th Anniversary Gala Join the Pennsylvania Heritage Foundation  ...
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Midcentury Modern Trails

From the 1950s into the 1970s, when Midcentury Modern architecture was at its height, a flurry of new construction took place on the Trails of History. Many of the visitor centers and museums from this period echoed historic forms appropriate to the sites where they were built. The visitor center at Ephrata Cloister, constructed in the late 1950s to mid-1960s, is complementary to the surviving...
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Kennywood in the Space Age: How a Traditional Amusement Park Raced into the Future

Every year, at any amusement park, the first thaw of spring brings excitement for the new season. As the days got longer in 1990 Kennywood Park began tearing off the bright blue front of its Racer roller coaster. The goal was to rebuild it in the style of the 1927 original, with lattice work around an archway fronting a curved roof that extended back over the loading platform. For three decades...
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A Home for History: S.K. Stevens and the Campaign for the William Penn Memorial Museum and Archives

by Curtis Miner On December 23, 1959, Dr. S.K. Stevens (1904-74) sent out a final, end-of-the-year message to members of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC). It came in the form of a brief, typewritten memo, informing them that Governor David L. Lawrence (1889-1966) had that morning signed a spending bill for the construction of a museum and archives building. “I think this...
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Editor’s Letter

Names and dates. To some they’re the dreaded stuff of high school history exams. To those of us who study and preserve history, however, they’re essential keys for understanding the past. As we continue our commemoration of the 50th anniversary of The State Museum and Archives Complex at PHMC, a clarification of certain names and dates may be in order for understanding exactly what...
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Pennsylvania Heritage Foundation Newsletter

Topics in the Winter 2015 Newsletter: PHF and PHMC Identify Fundraising Priorities for 2015 The Giving Circle Trails of History Sites and Museums Winter Learning Opportunities PHF Elects New Officers Exploring the Records of the Fall Brook Coal Company and Fall Brook Railroad Coming Soon! Welcome New PHF Members Welcome New State Museum Affiliate Members Join the Pennsylvania Heritage Foundation...
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