Before and After the Act: Historic Preservation in Pennsylvania

In 1816 the City of Philadelphia purchased Independence Hall to save it from demolition. This was the first historic preservation effort in the United States. One hundred and fifty years later, the historic preservation movement found its footing as a national priority when President Lyndon Johnson signed the National Historic Preservation Act into law on October 16, 1966. The act codified the...
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From the Executive Director

Imagine a Pennsylvania without historic buildings and districts. The year 2016 marks the 50th anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act, federal legislation that has dramatically and positively impacted almost every community in the state. Today we take preservation for granted, but that wasn’t always the case. In post-World War II America it was easy to equate progress with concepts...
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Industrial Heritage Trails

America’s first significant industries date back to the 18th century with the iron plantations in Pennsylvania and the development of the factory system in New England textile mills. Preservation of our industrial heritage, however, is a fairly recent phenomenon, beginning for the most part after World War II. Prior to the war, federal programs and even private initiatives were designated...
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Pennsylvania Governors Residences Open to the Public

Pennypacker Mills Pennypacker Mills possesses a lengthy history dating to about 1720 when Hans Jost Hite built the fieldstone house and a gristmill near the Perkiomen Creek, Schwenksville, Montgomery County. Purchased in 1747 by Peter Pennypacker (1710-1770), the house was enlarged and a saw mill and a fulling mill were constructed. The property acquired its name for the three mills. Peter...
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Ike’s Sanctuary: The Eisenhower Farm in Gettysburg, An Oasis from the Pressures of the Presidency

In the spring of 1915 Dwight D. “Ike” Eisenhower (1890-1969), a cadet at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, visited the Gettysburg battlefield along with the rest of his class. The cadets had come to study Union and Confederate troop movements in an engagement that represented the farthest penetration of Gen. Robert E. Lee’s army onto northern soil before the Army of the Potomac repelled...
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Pennsylvania’s Architectural Heritage: The Preservation Movement in the Keystone State, 1950-1981

As the last in a four-part series about Pennsylvania s architecture, this conclusion focuses on the develop­ments which have occurred in the field of preservation over the past thirty years. Although this temporal division may seem disproportionate when com­pared with the one hundred fifty years covered in rite preceding article. it has been dictated by both the incentives and challenges to...
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Fayette at the Crossroads

Fayette County has always been at the crossroads, both literally and figuratively, its destiny shaped by its location, the incredible riches of its natural resources and the vi­tality of a people descended from al­most every nation of Europe. It has a son of dual personality, geo­graphically divided between mountains and lowlands, historically divided into two almost equal eras of economic...
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A Patriot Returns to Philadelphia: Restoration of a Thaddeus Kosciuzko Dwelling

He was the first of that group of foreign officers to offer his services in the cause of American liberty, and his labors earned him the reputation as the best military engineer that George Washington had. He was one of the first men of consequence in the colonies to shout for the freedom and education of black slaves, and in a will that was later broken, he left money to free and educate black...
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Pike County: A Peak of Natural Perfection

“I went through a constant succession of scenery that would have been famous had it existed anywhere in Europe.” – Washington Irving   Shaped roughly like a diamond, Pike County is situated in Pennsylvania’s Northern Tier, bordering the Delaware River on the cast across from the states of New York and New Jersey. The northwestern side of the diamond lies in Lake...
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Independence Hall, The Birthplace of a Nation

September 1824 was a busy month for Phila­delphians. The Mar­quis de Lafayette returned to America for the first time since the Revolution­ary War, and it was rumored that the high point of his tra­vels would be a visit to Penn­sylvania’s venerable State House. Naturally, much of the preparation for his visit cen­tered on the old red brick building where the events of the Revolution had...
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