November 13, 2017


The Last Great Estate on the Philadelphia Main Line

The Union League of Philadelphia
140 South Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102
6:00PM – 7:30PM

ICAA Members: $20 | General Public: $25 | Free admission for Union League Members and Students

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.