Thank you to our 2019 Sponsors: North American Window and Door; Pinemar; Archer & Buchanan Architecture; Ernst Brothers-Builders; Freeman’s Auctioneers and Appraisers; John Milner Architects; Marvin Windows and Doors; Rittenhouse Builders; Spire Builders; Tradewood Architectural Windows & Doors; DURATION Moulding and Millwork; Griffiths Construction; Pella Window and Door Company; Bright Light; Pohlig Custom Homes; Cherokee Construction; Coventry Kitchens; Eberlein Design Consultants; Ferguson Showrooms; John Neill Painting & Decorating; Joseph Manero & Sons, Inc.; Mansueto Hardwood Flooring; Marble Crafters; McLoughlin Plumbing, Heating and Cooling; and Rittenhouse Electric Supply Company

Contemporary Classical Architecture with John B. Murray, AIA

Tuesday, September 24, 2019
Cocktail Reception (cash bar) at 6:00 PM, Program at 6:30 PM, Book signing at 7:30 PM
The Union League of Philadelphia
140 South Broad Street
Philadelphia PA 19102

Join us for this special talk by John B. Murray, AIA — a recognized leader in adapting classical design principles for contemporary life, creating elegant and gracious urban and country residences. His firm, John B. Murray Architect, is committed to a timeless aesthetic, a simplicity of form, and superb craftsmanship enriched by an inventive interpretation of classical details.

Schedule: 6:00pm / Cocktail reception (cash bar) 6:30pm / Program 7:30pm / Book signing

In Contemporary Classical Architecture, written by Elizabeth Heilman Brooke Murray, architect John B. Murray, AIA reveals an extraordinary mastery of the classical vocabulary and a sensitivity to proportion and scale. Within that framework, he inserts the comforts of contemporary living in a way that is seamless and completely logical. Projects range from New York City apartments with breathtaking terraces and Central Park views to a shingle-style house on Long Island, a pristine neoclassical retreat in Dutchess County, a family barn in Kinderhook, New York. John B. Murray Architect has received multiple Stanford White and Palladio awards. The firm’s work is regularly published in AD, Luxe and Elle Décor. In addition, Murray serves on the national board of the ICAA.

Please take note of the Union League Dress Code: Summer Dress: Except for the 1862 dining room and bar, business casual attire may be worn throughout the League House from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Business casual attire: Defined as a collared shirt and pressed slacks for men and comparable attire for women. Unacceptable Attire: the following attire is never acceptable on the first or second floors of the League House - denim, tee shirts, athletic wear, tank, halter or jogging tops, untucked shirts, collared shirts unbuttoned more than one button or two inches from the neck line, wrinkled clothing, ripped clothing, shorts, baseball caps, spandex, open midriffs, leggings, extremely short hemlines, sneakers, extremely casual or beach footwear.

Advanced registration is required. Purchase your tickets here.


ICAA Members: $20.00 General Admission: $25.00 Students: $15.00

Athens on High Street: Walking Tour of West Chester, Pennsylvania

Sunday, October 6, 2019
Group meets at 2:00 PM
Chester County Historical Society
225 N. High Street, West Chester 19380

This two hour walking tour, guided by Anne Krulikowski, PhD, Associate Professor of History at West Chester University, explores the varied and sometimes impressive architecture of the borough of West Chester with a special emphasis on Classical Revival Architecture.

The highlights of the tour are a number of buildings by Philadelphia-born architect Thomas Ustick Walter (1804-1887), whose work includes Founder’s Hall at Girard College and the U. S. State Capitol Dome. One of his earliest commissions was the First Presbyterian Church (1832) in West Chester and the town became a showcase of Walter’s work in the 1830s and 1840s; the last building he designed was Horticultural Hall (1848).

The tour begins a block north of the commercial district, in front of the Chester County Historical Society, formerly Horticultural Hall; Walter’s final West Chester commission was the only one not in a classical revival style. But the former Horticultural Hall, where all the famous lectures like Ralph Waldo Emerson and Sojourner Truth spoke before the Civil War, was the centerpiece of intellectual life in the borough. Thus, this building appropriately connects the cultural life of borough residents with the physical landscape in the historic district of brick Federal buildings with classical decorative elements punctuated by grander classical essays in white granite. The tour then proceeds through the center of town and stays mainly though not entirely within the historic district, which is still oriented to the Walter-designed courthouse, to get a sense of the preserved scale of the town, predominantly 2 and 3-story brick buildings.

In addition to the Walter buildings and a few Samuel Sloan (or attributed), we will see the two earliest federal houses in today’s commercial district; one is the house of Dr. Stephen Darlington, who began the famous herbarium. The First Bank of West Chester (Walter), a Beaux Art bank from 1913, several classical revival banks from the 1960s/70s that replaced many of the original buildings torn down in the interests of modernization, the first purpose-built business building (Federal style, home of the Chester County Time, which printed the first biography of Abraham Lincoln), the first and until a few years ago only skyscraper, and Colonnade row on Minor Street.

Advanced registration is required. Purchase your tickets here.


ICAA Members: $20, General Public: $30, Students: $15
Maximum Attendees: 25

Robert Venturi's Rome: The 10th Anniversary Alvin Holm Lecture/Symposium

Saturday, November 9, 2019
8:30 AM to 2:30 PM
The Union League of Philadelphia
140 South Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102
Directions and Parking

Perhaps no other Philadelphia architect has received more recognition and wielded more influence in the second half of the 20th century than did Robert Venturi (1925-2018). His 1966 “gentle manifesto,” Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture, catapulted him into the forefront of American architecture and architects. As one of the most significant theoretical works on architectural theory, this book has been recognized to be heavily influenced by Venturi’s two-year tenure at the American Academy of Rome from 1954 to 1956 and uses many Roman buildings to illustrate his theories. In 2017, two more recent Rome Fellows and architects, Frederick Fisher and Stephen Harby, published their book, Robert Venturi’s Rome, which re-examines the Roman buildings and places that exemplified Venturi’s ideas with the perspective of fifty years of architectural advancements. The book includes exclusive watercolor illustrations inspired by the black and white illustrations by Venturi in Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture.

Join us for the 10th Anniversary Alvin Holm Lecture/Symposium which will feature Frederick Fisher and Stephen Harby, joined by their fellow architectural colleague, Steven Semes, as they discuss Robert Venturi’s Rome. In addition to the lectures, there will be a small exhibit of the original watercolors done by Fisher and Harby to illustrate their book.


8:30am - Doors open; Seated breakfast begins

9:30am - Welcome

9:40am - Stephen Harby

Harby will review Robert Venturi’s time and experience in Rome, and how Complexity and Contradiction influenced students and young architects. He will discuss how the idea for a book emerged and interfaced with Frederick Fisher’s own work during his Rome Prize Fellowship in 2008. The session will conclude with an overview introduction of Robert Venturi’s Rome.

10:30am - Q&A; Break

10:55am - Frederick Fisher

Fisher will focus on the drawings created both during the initial time in Rome, and subsequently, once Robert Venturi’s Rome had taken shape and was being written. He will conclude with a speculation on the meaning and significance of Rome to himself and Harby, their students, and on the architecture profession as a whole, today and going forward.

11:45am - Q&A

12:00pm - Seated Lunch

1:00pm - Welcome

1:05pm - Steven Semes

Robert Venturi’s Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture was, for many of us, the first introduction to two of the greatest traditionalist architects of the twentieth century: Sir Edwin Lutyens in Britain and Armando Brasini in Italy. In the years since Venturi’s book appeared, Lutyens has been recognized as a great international master but Brasini still remains little known outside of Italy. Brasini, like his contemporary Lutyens, was one of many architects who continued to practice in the classical language of architecture well into the twentieth century, producing some of the most innovative and expressive work since the days of Borromini. Much of this work was still fresh when Venturi studied in Rome in the 1950s. Given the importance that Venturi attached to formal expression in architecture, Semes will take a closer look at the work that inspired him in his writing, as well as to better understand why he was so attracted to it. In the process, the ongoing importance of Rome as the primary textbook of architects today will be revealed.

1:55pm - Q&A

2:05pm - Panel Wrap Up (featuring all three speakers)

2:25pm - Closing remarks

2:30pm - Event ends

About Stephen Harby

Stephen Harby is an architect, educator and watercolorist. Educated at Yale, he was associated with the late Charles Moore’s architectural practices for eighteen years, where he directed a series of civic and campus projects. He currently maintains his own practice in Santa Monica, CA and was a Visiting Lecturer at the Yale School of Architecture, where he directed the school’s program in Rome from 2002 to 2018. He also conceives and leads cultural and artistic tours for small select groups to exotic destinations all over the world. He is the recipient of numerous awards and distinctions, which include: the Gabriel Prize, a fellowship at the MacDowell Colony and the Rome Prize in Architecture at the American Academy. As a watercolorist, he travels and sketches extensively and has exhibited his work widely. His work and teaching was the subject of a feature article in the publication American Artist in May of 2009 and Watercolor in 2018.

About Frederick Fisher

Driven to create fulfilling environments, Frederick Fisher approaches architecture as a collaborative process. Frederick gained stature in the art and academic worlds by designing exceptional spaces for the practice and exhibition of art. He is a Fellow of the American Academy in Rome, where he combined his passions for art and architecture in the exploration of museum meaning and design. A registered architect since 1978, Fisher received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Oberlin College in Art and Art History and a Master’s of Architecture from UCLA.

About Steven Semes

Steven W. Semes is Associate Professor at the University of Notre Dame School of Architecture and Academic Director of its Rome Studies Program. A practicing architect for over thirty years, he has designed a wide variety of projects for preservation and new construction throughout the United States. He is also the author of The Architecture of the Classical Interior (Norton) and a contributor to The Elements of Classical Architecture (Norton). His essays and reviews have appeared in the National Trust Forum Journal, Traditional Building, Period Homes, and American Arts Quarterly. He is a Fellow Emeritus of the Institute of Classical Architecture & Classical America.

About Alvin Holm

Alvin Holm AIA is a founding member of the Philadelphia Chapter of ICAA where he served as President for 28 years. Thoroughly grounded in the Modern Movement (Yale ‘58 and Penn ‘62) Holm was project designer at Vincent G Kling Associates for ten years while teaching the Bauhaus Foundation Program at the Philadelphia College of Art and studio courses at Drexel University. In 1976 he established his own office focused on historical architecture and restoration. Then, directly influenced by Henry Hope Reed (and by his amazing book, The Golden City) he redirected his practice totally to the tradition of classical design. Concurrently he taught the Principles of Classical Architecture at the National Academy of Design in New York for 15 years, and later for 12 years in Philadelphia at Moore College of Art and Design where he remains on the Advisory Board today.

Advanced registration is required. Purchase your tickets here.


ICAA Members: $100 | General Admission: $125 | Students: $90

Includes seated breakfast and lunch. Please note The Union League’s Dress Code: Business casual attire: defined as a collared shirt and pressed slacks for men and comparable attire for women. No jeans, athletic wear, or sneakers.