PHILLY-ROOTS-L ArchivesArchiver > PHILLY-ROOTS > 1997-10 > 0877885706
From: "Susan Pettit" <>
Subject: (Philadelphia) Historical Society of Pennsylvania News
Date: Sun, 26 Oct 1997 09:08:26 -0800
10/4/97 Philadelphia Inquirer -
Historical society to go ahead with renovations
By Stephan Salisbury
INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Board members of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania yesterday agreed to
move forward with a $7.5 million construction program designed to upgrade
the society's building, increase storage areas and accommodate plans to
become a library-only research facility.
"These renovations are not about physical appearance but the physical care
and conservation of the documentary collections," Susan Stitt, society
president, said in a statement issued after the meeting. "With our storage
and service facili ties at full capacity, these steps needed to be taken
The vote of the two-dozen-mem ber board was unanimous, according to a
society spokeswoman. No board member was available for comment.
In a related action, the board voted to form a committee that will seek
ways to keep the society's important collection of art and artifacts intact
and in Philadelphia. Society officials have said that the art and artifacts
must go if the society seriously intends to focus on its vast collections
of documents and books.
Some of the art and artifacts will be sold to cover part of the cost of the
In June, the society filed a petition in Philadelphia Orphans' Court,
seeking permission to sell a well-known double portrait by colonial painter
John Singleton Copley, as well as some of Thomas Jefferson's personal
effects. At that time, the society also said it intended to disperse the
entire 10,000-item collection. The society announced earlier this month
that it would with draw the court petition but still pursue sale of the
Copley portrait and Jefferson artifacts.
Public clamor over the court filing and the release of some highly critical
consultant reports have prompted some board members to question the course
set by Stitt and board chairman Howard Lewis.
In an interview earlier this week, Lewis said he would resign if the board
did not give a green light to the renovations, which are scheduled to begin
|(Philadelphia) Historical Society of Pennsylvania News by "Susan Pettit" <>|