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Henry A. Dreer Seed Company
714 Chestnut Street
Pyramid Club
1517 W. Girard Avenue

ADVOCACY UPDATE: Two More Added to the Local Register

We’re pleased to announce that two more Alliance nominations have been formally approved and listed on the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places. 714 Chestnut St., the former headquarters of the Henry A. Dreer Seed Co., and 1517 W. Girard Ave., the former Pyramid Club, were both reviewed and approved at the Friday, August 13, meeting of the Philadelphia Historical Commission.

714 Chestnut St. served as the headquarters of the Henry A. Dreer Seed Company between 1863 and 1924 and remains largely unchanged from its 1892 appearance. Dreer was among Philadelphia’s leaders of seed and horticulture manufacturers/distributors, and the city itself was a national center of the American seed market at the turn of the century.
From 1940-1965, 1517 W. Girard Ave was home to the Pyramid Club, one of Philadelphia’s preeminent, Black-organized social clubs. Most famously, the club hosted a series of celebrated art exhibitions in the mid-twentieth century, featuring such luminaries as Horace Pippin, Dox Thrash, Laura Wheeling Waring, and Henry Ossawa Tanner. The building is also partially the work of William Lightfoot Price, one of the region’s celebrated designers of suburban residential architecture, Arts & Crafts, and shorefront resorts.
Nine additional properties/districts were also added to the Register at last week’s meeting, including the latest “mini” district, 3611-31 Spring Garden Street. Meeting minutes, a video recording of the remote meeting, and all successful nomination documents are available on the Commission’s website. Thanks and kudos to all nominators for their efforts.
On the legislative front this month, nine members of Philadelphia City Council signed a letter to Mayor Kenney requesting additional funding to increase the capacity of the Philadelphia Historical Commission, which the current fiscal year City budget left unchanged at seven full time employees. We are anticipating that City Council will consider a midyear budget transfer to appropriate additional funding to the Commission when they reconvene in the fall.

September Preservation To-Do List

This month enjoy the festivities with Friends of 2125 Chestnut or experience the Revolutionary Germantown Festival. Catch a tour with historic sites like Cliveden, Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion, BOK, and much more! 

Don’t forget to register for our 2021 Fall Speaker Series starting on September 28th.

Click here to view more preservation-related events around town this month. 

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