Revitalizing a Historic Center for Political Action
The Union League of Philadelphia was founded in 1862 as a patriotic society and city club that supported the Union and policies advocated by Abraham Lincoln. We were asked to design its new Heritage Center, which is located on the ground floor of the original Union League Building, a National Register Building constructed in 1865. We restored the two major public rooms of the Center to their original configuration, reopened historic windows and removed various layers of insensitive renovations made over the last century.
Although most of the original Victorian finishes were removed in previous renovations, our design recreated selected features as integral components of the new design. The interior decoration of the space incorporates furnishings original to the building that were restored for use in the Heritage Center.
The facility includes historic research and collection storage areas designed to meet contemporary museum standards, a formal reading room and executive administration areas. An exhibition space for the display of the League’s historical collection includes an important set of Abraham Lincoln documents, Civil War books, manuscripts, and objects, as well as the archives and memorabilia of this important institution. The Center’s formal rooms are designed to accommodate special events, presentations and meetings.
Owner’s Project Manager: Aegis; Structural Engineer: Keast & Hood; MEP Engineer: Urban; Interiors: Eberlein Design Consultants; Construction Manager: DJ Keating; Photography: Halkin Mason, Rick Echelmeyer
"Atkin Olshin Schade Architects had the knowledge and patience to make our unique, historic space, into a museum quality exhibit and special collections library. Their ... attention to detail resulted in a high quality, on-budget, on-time project." John J. Meko, Jr., Executive Director, The Foundations of The Union League of Philadelphia