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Private Tour: Longwood Gardens Main Fountain Restoration

Thursday, August 15, 2019
5:30 PM
Longwood Gardens
1001 Longwood Road
Kennett Square, PA 19348

Nowhere else in the world is there a setting that marries fountains, theater, and garden, establishing the Longwood Gardens’ Main Fountain Garden as the finest performance fountain in the world. After a three-year renovation by an all-star-cast of designers, this legendary space reopened to the public in the summer of 2017. The Institute of Classical Architecture & Art, Philadelphia Chapter is pleased to offer a private tour of the new Main Fountain Garden, led by individuals who worked on the major rehabilitation for the 80 year-old complex, which had been chronically compromised by numerous mechanical problems and aging infrastructure. Guests will also be given access to the pumphouse plaza, lobby, and tunnels―areas typically not made available to the public.

The tour will begin at 5:30PM and will offer guests the full context of the renovation project, covering such topics as stone restoration, horticulture, the innovation behind the new fountains, the inclusion of the grotto, and a rare peek into the tunnel infrastructure. Following the tour, guests are invited to enjoy the gardens—tickets include admission to Longwood’s celebrated Festival of Fountains performance once the sun sets.

Advanced registration is required. Purchase your tickets here.


ICAA Members: $30.00; General Admission: $45.00

Plein Air Sketch Tour of Carpenter’s Hall and Surrounding 18th Century Buildings

Saturday, September 14, 2019
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Carpenter's Hall
320 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19106

The characteristics of watercolor wash, with its transparency and ability to be graduated, make it ideal for conveying atmosphere and distance. In this one-day seminar and workshop, led by architect and watercolorist Cameron Macatavish (Voith & Mactavish Architects LLP), will cover techniques and best practices for applying traditional Beaux Arts sketch and watercolor techniques. Held at Carpenter’s Hall in Independence National Historic Park, the workshop will use a limited and portable palette and produce 2 different sketches from historic Old City Philadelphia’s built environment.

Schedule: 9:00-9:30 Registration at Carpenters’ Hall with pastry and coffee. 9:30-10:30 Brushes, palette and composition discussion. Demonstration of wash technique. 10:30-12:00 Individual sketching around Carpenters’ Hall 12:00-1:30 Lunch and critique/instruction (lunch will be provided) 1:30-3:00 Individual sketching 3:00-4:00 Refreshment and final discussion

Class size is limited to 12 students. Public transportation is easy and convenient and parking is available in the City Garage on 2nd Street. Students will be responsible for bringing their art supplies. A short list will be provided upon registration. Cameron J. Mactavish, AIA, LEED AP, is a founding partner of Voith & Mactavish Architects LLP with over thirty years of design experience through projects that range from large new buildings, such as Villanova University’s in-progress performing arts center, to smaller-scale projects, such as the restoration of Drexel University’s Furness-designed Peck Alumni Center. During a travel study trip through the highlands of Scotland in 1983, he refined his artistic technique for representing architecture and landscape elements through sketches and watercolor, which has become the backbone of his career as an architect.

Advanced registration is required. Purchase your tickets here.


ICAA Members: $50, General Admission: $60

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 in Rome: The 10th Anniversary Alvin Holm Lecture/Symposium

Saturday, November 9, 2019
The Union League of Philadelphia
140 South Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102

Featuring Stephen Harby, Frederick Fisher, and Steven Semes

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.


Tickets on sale soon!