Thank you to our 2017 Sponsors: Tague Lumber Inc. / Norwood Windows & Doors; Marvin Windows & Doors – Built Around You; North American Window and Door, Co.; John Milner Architects; Pinemar, Inc.; Rittenhouse Builders; Spire Builders; Kieffer’s Appliances; Cherokee Construction; Coventry Kitchens; Griffiths Construction, Inc.; Lighting by Design; Lyn Ross; McLoughlin Plumbing, Heating and Cooling; and The Sherwin-Williams Company

Money and Mansions: Suburban Residences by Horace Trumbauer

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This event is SOLD OUT

Saturday, September 23, 2017
9:00 AM - 4:30 PM

The residential manors that brought Horace Trumbauer fame, fortune, and an impressive number of clients and commissions are scattered throughout the Northeast, with some unique examples within short driving distance of Philadelphia. Join us for a day-long excursion to visit several Trumbauer-designed homes that have met various fates, from remaining occupied by the same family for over a century to adaptive reuse as an institutional building.

The tour will include a visit to Ardrossan with Barbara Eberlein of Eberlein Design Consultants, who spent more than a decade restoring the home’s interiors to their original state.

Grey Towers, which has been adapted as part of Arcadia University’s campus, will also be included in the tour. The group will have access to the first and second floors, as well as the stable block.

The group will meet at The Union League of Philadelphia and be transported by coach, with a lunch break in Elkins Park.

Jim Mundy is the Director of Education and Programming of the Abraham Lincoln Foundation of the Union League of Philadelphia. He is an alumnus of The Attingham Summer School for the Study of British Houses and Collections and the President of The Woodlands Cemetery Company and the Woodlands Trust for Historic Preservation. Jim has also given architecture tours for the Preservation Alliance.

This event is SOLD OUT.

Architectural Photography Workshop at Christ Church

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Saturday, October 14, 2017
1:00PM - 5:00PM
Christ Church
20 North American Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106

Learn how best to digitally capture the impressive Georgian architecture at Christ Church, where George Washington, Betsy Ross and Benjamin Franklin were regular parishioners. This hands-on workshop will be led by Tom Crane, Philadelphia’s leading architectural photographer. Both general instruction and individual feedback will be included, as well as a brief presentation about post-production methods by Benjamin Riley.

Christ Church is known as “The Nation’s Church” due to its impressive roster of Revolutionary parishioners. The church was founded in 1695 and the current Georgian style structure dates to 1727. Christ Church includes a steeple designed by Robert Smith and financed by a lottery organized by Benjamin Franklin, an original chandelier in use since installation in 1740, and the baptismal font in which William Penn was baptized among other treasures waiting to be captured in photographs.

Christ Church has had many great organs in its history, including the mid 1830s organ designed by Henry Erben and installed in the West Gallery. Christ Church is currently replacing this instrument and C.B. Fisk will be installing a mechanical action organ into the restored Erben organ case.  Fisk is working with Christ Church, John Milner Architects and other consultants to install this new instrument, which evokes organs of the past and will beautifully and rightly serve the liturgy in our time and the future. Christopher Miller AIA, Principal at John Milner Architects, will describe the project.

AIA continuing education credits are available for this course (4 LUs).

Tom Crane’s love of architectural photography began when he was a Peace Corps volunteer fascinated by the designs embedded into mud buildings in northern Nigerian villages. Upon returning to the United States he apprenticed with Ezra Stoller, the “grandfather of architectural photography”. Crane has been based in Philadelphia since 1971, and his independent architectural and interior photography practice has documented several regional projects. His studio has been located in a restored barn in Bryn Mawr for the past 30 years. Crane is currently a board member of the Philadelphia Chapter of the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art.


$65 General public $55 ICAA members $40 Students

Proportions Symposium

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Saturday, November 11, 2017
8:45 AM - 5:00 PM
Houston Hall
University of Pennsylvania
3417 Spruce Street
Philadelphia, PA

Proportion is a key to classical aesthetics, but remains the most misunderstood aspect of architectural design. According to Richard Sammons, an expert in the field of architectural proportion, “without an understanding of proportion and the closely related problem of scale, no architectural endeavor can be successful in the aesthetic sense.”

Join us for a day of theoretical learning and practical workshops on the subject of proportions, led by three internationally recognized practitioners - Richard Sammons, Steve Bass, and Joscelyn Godwin.

Morning lecture sessions:

Beyond Aesthetics - Proportion as a Link to the Cultivation of Consciousness
Steve Bass

Understanding proportion is key to classical aesthetics. But on further investigation, many of the same numerical relations informing the study of classical aesthetics also provide glimpses into the cosmology of Plato and Pythagoras. Their ancient system linked all elements of the physical and metaphysical worlds through the medium of proportion, or relationships, harmonizing seemingly unrelated aspects of existence.  Seen from today’s perspective, understanding and practicing proportion in this way may offer a way out of modernist alienation, reductionism, despair and terror.

Theory of Proportion in Architecture Refined
Richard Sammons

Few will disagree of the importance of good proportions, but achieving it in design is often elusive, even for seasoned designers. As an aesthetic phenomenon, it is something that all can recognize, but why it works has led to numerous and seemingly contradictory conclusions and spurious theories abound.  The one thing that is clear is that we are speaking of a physical phenomenon.  We respond to an object as beautiful because of its physical characteristics, of which one fundamental component are the proportional relationships

This lecture will lay out a unified theory of proportion in architecture that can be practically applied in everyday design work.  It will present a corollary to historic practice which will remove the otherwise seemingly contradictory aspects of the literature on the subject.

Musical Semicircles in the Architecture of Mauro Codussi
Joscelyn Godwin

The buildings of Mauro Codussi (or Coducci, 1440-1504), Venice’s first Renaissance architect, use shapes and formations with a remarkable similarity to the diagrams in Boethius’s treatise on music that was circulating in Venice at the same time. There is no documented evidence or scholarly opinion that Codussi was influenced by these diagrams. However, the humanistic elite who had set eyes on both Boethius’s treatise and Codussi’s buildings (or plans) could not have missed the similarity. The coincidence seems emblematic of the mentality of the time, in which musical and architectural proportions were thought to embody the same archetypes.

Afternoon workshops:

Proportional Porticos
Steve Bass

The portico is the center and starting point for expanded classical architectural compositions.  In this workshop a variety of applied proportional techniques for designing four, six and eight columned porticos using Geometric, Arithmetic and Harmonic Ratio methods will be demonstrated.  Participants may, if they wish, bring compass, straight edge, pen or pencil, and paper or notebook, 9 x 12 or 11 x 17.

Compositional Derived Proportions
Richard Sammons

The workshop will be practical exercises in compositional derived proportions. Students will deal with the geometric manipulation of the architectural orders and briefly touch Romanesque, Byzantines and Gothic geometrics.

Theory and Practice of the Monochord
Joscelyn Godwin

While geometry makes proportions visible, harmony makes them audible. The monochord is the equivalent to the ruler and compass, demonstrating the basic propositions that underlie the musical system, and their development into intervals and scales. If time permits, we will also do an experiment with paper-folding that demonstrates the rationale and need for tempered tuning.

Presenter biographies:
Born and raised in New York City, Steve Bass studied architecture at Pratt Institute and traditional arts in London at the Royal College of Art. He has maintained a modest practice in architecture for almost forty years while also teaching at the University of Notre Dame,, the Institute for Classical Architecture and Art, the Grand Central Academy of Art, the New York Open Center and other venues. Steve also lectures widely for the ICAA in its chapters around the country.  His book, ‘Beauty Memory Unity - A Theory of Proportion in Design’ is currently in preparation by Lindisfarne Books.

Joscelyn Godwin was born in England and trained as a musicologist at Cambridge and Cornell Universities. He taught at Colgate University from 1971 until his retirement in 2016. Beside his musical publications (including Harmonies of Heaven and Earth, Music, Mysticism and Magic, Harmony of the Spheres, Cosmic Music, Music and the Occult, and The Mystery of the Seven Vowels), he has translated the architectural-erotic epic of 1499, Hypnerotomachia Poliphili and written on esoteric aspects of the Renaissance and early modern periods, notably Robert Fludd, The Pagan Dream of the Renaissance, and Athanasius Kircher’s Theatre of the World. Some recent works touch on regional architecture: The Spirit House in Georgetown, New York, Upstate Cauldron: Eccentric Spiritual Movements in Early New York State, and Symbols in the Wilderness: Early Masonic Survivals in Upstate New York (co-authored with Christian Goodwillie)

Richard Sammons has a rich background in traditional period design and is an internationally recognized expert in the field of architectural proportion, having taught at The Prince of Wales’ Institute of Architecture in London, Pratt Institute in New York and The University of Notre Dame in Rome. His contributions include the forward of the book “The Theory of Moulding” by C. Howard Walker, and collaboration on the recently published book, “Get Your House Right”. Sammons began his career in Venice, Italy, at the offices of Antonio Foscari and then with David Anthony Easton in New York. He is a founding director of The Institute of Classical Architecture & Classical America, a board member of the Sir John Soane Museum Foundation, and the Merchant’s house Museum.

AIA continuing education credits (7 HSW/LUs) are available for this symposium, and it counts toward the ICAA Certificate in Classical Architecture.

Registration (includes lunch and light refreshments throughout the day):
$109 for Students registered by August 30th/$129 after August 30th
$129 for ICAA members registered by August 30th/$149 after August 30th
$149 for general public registered by August 30th/$169 after August 30th
To register, please click here. Advance registration required.


$129 for students $149 for ICAA Members $169 for general public Advance registration required

Ardrossan: The Last Great Estate on the Philadelphia Main Line

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Monday, November 13, 2017
6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
The Union League of Philadelphia
140 South Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102

Few houses remain that are like the Georgian Revival “Big House” on the Ardrossan estate, designed by celebrated classical architect Horace Trumbauer and commissioned by Robert Montgomery. A sumptuous representation of grand country architecture at the turn of the 20th century, the house is the centerpiece of the impressively expansive Ardrossan estate. In this illustrated lecture combining both archival and newly commissioned photographs, David Wren will present highlights of his recently published book about Ardrossan, its architecture, and the family that has called it home for over a century.

Wren’s monograph comprises the first book about the history of Ardrossan, and assembles materials preserved at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Athenaeum of Philadelphia, and the Montgomery-Scott-Wheeler family archive. As Ardrossan’s leading historian, Wren has had unprecedented access to the estate and intimate family history.

The White Allom and Company interiors, faithfully restored by Eberlein Design Consultants, received the 2016 Trumbauer Award for Residential Interior Design.

The lecture will take place in the historic Union League of Philadelphia. Please note that copies of the book will be available for purchase and signing at the event. Beverages will be available for purchase during the reception preceding the lecture. The dress code at the Union League is business casual (i.e. collared shirt and slacks for men and something comparable for women). Jeans and sneakers are not permitted.

David Nelson Wren is an independent scholar who focuses mainly on history and art. In the late 1980s, Wren, a native of Dallas, Texas, relocated to Philadelphia, where his love affair with Ardrossan began. He currently divides his time between Philadelphia and Trumansburg, New York, where he and his husband own Halsey House, a landmark Greek Revival farmhouse that is one of the top-ranking inns in the Finger Lakes region. Wren writes a twice-monthly column for the Ithaca Journal and is a longtime member of several of Philadelphia’s more venerable institutions, including the Athenæum of Philadelphia and the Franklin Inn Club.


$20 ICAA members $25 General public Free admission for Union League members and students with current ID