Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park
The Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park is a four-acre memorial to Franklin D. Roosevelt that celebrates the Four Freedoms he articulated in his 1941 State of the Union address, it is located adjacent to the historic Smallpox Hospital in New York City at the southernmost point of Roosevelt Island, in the East River between Manhattan Island and Queens. It was designed by the architect Louis Kahn. President Roosevelt made his Four Freedoms speech to the United States Congress in 1941; the Four Freedoms speech has inspired and been incorporated in the Four Freedoms Monument in Florida, the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial in Washington, D. C. and Norman Rockwell's series of paintings called the Four Freedoms. Roosevelt Island was named in honor of the former president in 1973, the planners announced their intention to build a memorial to Roosevelt at the island's southern tip. In 2005, William J. vanden Heuvel, a former U. N. ambassador and a founder of the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute, launched the effort to get the four-acre park built to Kahn's specifications, gathering more than $50 million in private and public funds.
The Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute subsequently kept the project going over time. Two foundations that became major donors, the Reed Foundation and the Alphawood Foundation, initiated a lawsuit against the corporation that managed the development of the memorial in a dispute over how their contributions should be acknowledged; the foundations said. Those responsible for the memorial's construction did not dispute that. Rather, vanden Heuvel said: "Yes, we have a contract; as we came to the spring of 2012, we understood that we had a work of art, the forces that represent the artistic and cultural integrity of the project are concerned about preserving that work. The purity and integrity of the Kahn memorial is what made it so stunning." Louis Kahn was asked to design the monument in 1972. Four Freedoms Park is one of Kahn's last works, he was carrying the finished designs with him when he died in 1974 in Pennsylvania Station in New York City. After Kahn's death, his designs were continued by Mitchell | Giurgola Architects, who kept to Kahn's original intentions.
An exhibition at Cooper Union in 2005 brought additional attention and helped to advance the project. In 2006, ENYA made the island's abandoned southern end the subject of one of its annual competitions. Groundbreaking took place in 2010. However, the park was tied up in litigation during its construction; the park was dedicated in a ceremony on October 17, 2012. Tom Brokaw served as master of ceremonies. Participants included former President Bill Clinton, Governor Andrew Cuomo, former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, relatives of Roosevelt. Cuomo said that "New York became the laboratory of progressive democracy, F. D. R. was the scientist creating formulas for a broad range of national problems and social ills." He praised vanden Heuvel as a "juggernaut of determination". Clinton noted the memorial's location: "As we look out on this bright new day, we are close to the U. N. which he, more than any other soul, created." Four Freedoms Park became a New York State Park when it opened to the public on October 24, 2012.
In a 1973 lecture at Pratt Institute, Kahn said: I had this thought that a memorial should be a room and a garden. That's all. Why did I want a room and a garden? I just chose it to be the point of departure; the garden is somehow a personal kind of control of nature. And the room was the beginning of architecture. I had this sense, you see, the room wasn't just architecture, but was an extension of self; the four-acre park stands at the southernmost point of Roosevelt Island. Looking south, the visitor has a clear view of the United Nations building. Approaching from the north, the visitor passes between a double row of trees that narrow as they approach the point, framing views of the New York skyline and the harbor; the memorial is a procession of elegant open-air spaces, culminating in a 3,600-square-foot plaza surrounded by 28 blocks of North Carolina granite, each weighing 36 tons. The courtyard contains a bust of Roosevelt, sculpted in 1933 by Jo Davidson. At the point, the monument itself is a simplified, roofless version of a Greek temple in granite.
Excerpts from Roosevelt's Four Freedoms speech are carved on the walls of this room-like space, open to the sky above. The memorial is constructed in Mount Airy Granite sourced from the North Carolina Granite Corporation. Over 140,000 cubic feet of Mount Airy Granite was used in the memorial's construction. In contrast with the hard granite forms, Kahn placed five copper-beech trees at the memorial's entrance and 120 little-leaf lindens in allées leading up to the monument. List of New York state parks Notes Further reading Official website FDR Four Freedoms Park digital education resource NYS Parks website Four Freedoms Park
National Historic Landmark
A National Historic Landmark is a building, object, site, or structure, recognized by the United States government for its outstanding historical significance. Of over 90,000 places listed on the country's National Register of Historic Places, only some 2,500 are recognized as National Historic Landmarks. A National Historic Landmark District may include contributing properties that are buildings, sites or objects, it may include non-contributing properties. Contributing properties may or may not be separately listed. Prior to 1935, efforts to preserve cultural heritage of national importance were made by piecemeal efforts of the United States Congress. In 1935, Congress passed the Historic Sites Act, which authorized the Interior Secretary authority to formally record and organize historic properties, to designate properties as having "national historical significance", gave the National Park Service authority to administer significant federally owned properties. Over the following decades, surveys such as the Historic American Buildings Survey amassed information about culturally and architecturally significant properties in a program known as the Historic Sites Survey.
Most of the designations made under this legislation became National Historic Sites, although the first designation, made December 20, 1935, was for a National Memorial, the Gateway Arch National Park in St. Louis, Missouri; the first National Historic Site designation was made for the Salem Maritime National Historic Site on March 17, 1938. In 1960, the National Park Service took on the administration of the survey data gathered under this legislation, the National Historic Landmark program began to take more formal shape; when the National Register of Historic Places was established in 1966, the National Historic Landmark program was encompassed within it, rules and procedures for inclusion and designation were formalized. Because listings triggered local preservation laws, legislation in 1980 amended the listing procedures to require owner agreement to the designations. On October 9, 1960, 92 properties were announced as designated NHLs by Secretary of the Interior Fred A. Seaton; the first of these was a political nomination: the Sergeant Floyd Monument in Sioux City, Iowa was designated on June 30 of that year, but for various reasons, the public announcement of the first several NHLs was delayed.
NHLs are designated by the United States Secretary of the Interior because they are: Sites where events of national historical significance occurred. More than 2,500 NHLs have been designated. Most, but not all, are in the United States. There are the District of Columbia. Three states account for nearly 25 percent of the nation's NHLs. Three cities within these states all separately have more NHLs than 40 of the 50 states. In fact, New York City alone has more NHLs than all but five states: Virginia, Pennsylvania and New York. There are 74 NHLs in the District of Columbia; some NHLs are in U. S. commonwealths and territories, associated states, foreign states. There are 15 in Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, other U. S. territories. S.-associated states such as Micronesia. Over 100 ships or shipwrecks have been designated as NHLs. About half of the National Historic Landmarks are owned; the National Historic Landmarks Program relies on suggestions for new designations from the National Park Service, which assists in maintaining the landmarks.
A friends' group of owners and managers, the National Historic Landmark Stewards Association, works to preserve and promote National Historic Landmarks. If not listed on the National Register of Historic Places, an NHL is automatically added to the Register upon designation. About three percent of Register listings are NHLs. American Water Landmark List of U. S. National Historic Landmarks by state List of churches that are National Historic Landmarks in the United States Listed building, a similar designation in the UK National Historic Sites and Persons, similar designations in Canada National Natural Landmark United States Memorials United States National Register of Historic Places listings Official National Historic Landmarks Program website A History of the NHL Program List of National Historic Landmarks National Historic Landmarks: Archaeological Properties Historical Landmarks - United States Lighthouses
University of Pennsylvania
The University of Pennsylvania is a private Ivy League research university located in the University City neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is one of the nine colonial colleges founded prior to the Declaration of Independence and the first institution of higher learning in the United States to refer to itself as a university. Benjamin Franklin, Penn's founder and first president, advocated an educational program that trained leaders in commerce and public service, similar to a modern liberal arts curriculum; the university's coat of arms features a dolphin on its red chief, adopted from Benjamin Franklin's own coat of arms. University of Pennsylvania is home many professional and graduate schools including, the first school of medicine in North America, the first collegiate business school and the first "student union" building and organization were founded at Penn; the university has four undergraduate schools which provide a combined 99 undergraduate majors in the humanities, natural sciences and engineering, as well twelve graduate and professional schools.
It provides the option to pursue specialized dual degree programs. Undergraduate admissions is competitive, with an acceptance rate of 7.44% for the class of 2023, the school is ranked as the 8th best university in the United States by the U. S. News & World Report. In athletics, the Quakers field varsity teams in 33 sports as a member of the NCAA Division I Ivy League conference and hold a total of 210 Ivy League championships as of 2017. In 2018, the university had an endowment of $13.8 billion, the seventh largest endowment of all colleges in the United States, as well as an academic research budget of $966 million. As of 2018, distinguished alumni include 14 heads of 64 billionaire alumni. S. House of Representatives. Other notable alumni include 27 Rhodes Scholars, 15 Marshall Scholarship recipients, 16 Pulitzer Prize winners, 48 Fulbright Scholars. In addition, some 35 Nobel laureates, 169 Guggenheim Fellows, 80 members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, many Fortune 500 CEOs have been affiliated with the university.
University of Pennsylvania considers itself the fourth-oldest institution of higher education in the United States, though this is contested by Princeton and Columbia Universities. The university considers itself as the first university in the United States with both undergraduate and graduate studies. In 1740, a group of Philadelphians joined together to erect a great preaching hall for the traveling evangelist George Whitefield, who toured the American colonies delivering open air sermons; the building was designed and built by Edmund Woolley and was the largest building in the city at the time, drawing thousands of people the first time it was preached in. It was planned to serve as a charity school as well, but a lack of funds forced plans for the chapel and school to be suspended. According to Franklin's autobiography, it was in 1743 when he first had the idea to establish an academy, "thinking the Rev. Richard Peters a fit person to superintend such an institution". However, Peters declined a casual inquiry from Franklin and nothing further was done for another six years.
In the fall of 1749, now more eager to create a school to educate future generations, Benjamin Franklin circulated a pamphlet titled "Proposals Relating to the Education of Youth in Pensilvania", his vision for what he called a "Public Academy of Philadelphia". Unlike the other Colonial colleges that existed in 1749—Harvard, William & Mary and Princeton—Franklin's new school would not focus on education for the clergy, he advocated an innovative concept of higher education, one which would teach both the ornamental knowledge of the arts and the practical skills necessary for making a living and doing public service. The proposed program of study could have become the nation's first modern liberal arts curriculum, although it was never implemented because William Smith, an Anglican priest who became the first provost and other trustees preferred the traditional curriculum. Franklin assembled a board of trustees from among the leading citizens of Philadelphia, the first such non-sectarian board in America.
At the first meeting of the 24 members of the Board of Trustees, the issue of where to locate the school was a prime concern. Although a lot across Sixth Street from the old Pennsylvania State House, was offered without cost by James Logan, its owner, the Trustees realized that the building erected in 1740, still vacant, would be an better site; the original sponsors of the dormant building still owed considerable construction debts and asked Franklin's group to assume their debts and, their inactive trusts. On February 1, 1750, the new board took over the building and trusts of the old board. On August 13, 1751, the "Academy of Philadelphia", using the great hall at 4th and Arch Streets, took in its first secondary students. A charity school was chartered July 13, 1753 in accordance with the intentions of the original "New Building" donors, although it lasted only a few years. On June 16, 1755, the "College of Philadelphia" was chartered, paving the way for the addition of undergraduate instruction.
All three schools shared the same Board of Trustees and were consider
Salk Institute for Biological Studies
The Salk Institute for Biological Studies is an independent, non-profit, scientific research institute located in the La Jolla community in San Diego, California. It was founded in 1960 by the developer of the polio vaccine. Building did not start until spring of 1962; the institute ranks among the top institutions in the US in terms of research output and quality in the life sciences. In 2004, the Times Higher Education Supplement ranked Salk as the world's top biomedicine research institute, in 2009 it was ranked number one globally by ScienceWatch in the neuroscience and behavior areas; the institute employs 850 researchers in 60 research groups and focuses its research in three areas: molecular biology and genetics. Research topics include aging, diabetes, birth defects, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, AIDS, the neurobiology of American Sign Language; the March of Dimes continues to support the institute. Current research is funded by a variety of organizations, such as the NIH, the HHMI and private organizations such as Paris-based Ipsen and the Waitt Family Foundation.
In addition, the internally administered Innovation Grants Program encourages cutting-edge high-risk research. In 2016 Ted Waitt, founder of computer manufacturer Gateway, Inc. became chair of the board of directors, replacing Qualcomm co-founder Irwin M. Jacobs, who had served for 10 years; the institute appointed genome biologist Eric Lander and stem cell biologist Irving Weissman as non-resident fellows in November 2009. The institute served as the basis for Bruno Latour and Steve Woolgar's 1979 book Laboratory Life: The Construction of Scientific Facts; the campus was designed by Louis Kahn. Salk had sought to make a beautiful campus. Salk and Kahn – having both descended from Russian Jewish parents that had immigrated to the United States – had a deeper connection than just mere partners on an architectural project; the original buildings of the Salk Institute were designated as a historical landmark in 1991. The entire 27-acre site was deemed eligible by the California Historical Resources Commission in 2006 for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.
The institute has two Nobel laureates on its faculty: Roger Guillemin. Four of Salk's 11 Nobel laureates are now deceased: Francis Crick, Robert W. Holley, Renato Dulbecco, Sydney Brenner. Another five scientists trained at Salk have gone on to win Nobel prizes; the institute is organized into several research units, each of, further composed of several scientific groups, each led by a member of the faculty. Some of these units are: Elizabeth Blackburn is the President of the Salk Institute since 1 January 2016. Edward Callaway is the chair of the academic council. There are 56 faculty members. Six of these are members of the HHMI, more than a quarter are elected members of the NAS. In terms of research output measured by number of publications and citations, the institute is recognized as one of the world's leading institutions in several areas of biology in neurosciences and plant biology. In December 2009, the Time magazine ranked Joseph R. Ecker's mapping of the human epigenome as the #2 biggest scientific achievement of 2009.
In May 2008, California announced that it would provide 270 million US dollars for funding CIRM. The Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine, a joint effort between Salk Institute, UCSD, Burnham Institute and TSRI, received $43 million from this funding. Salk and Kahn approached the city of San Diego in March 1960 about a gift of land on the Torrey Pines Mesa and were granted their request after a referendum in June 1960; the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis, known today as the March of Dimes, provided the initial funding. Construction began in 1962 and a handful of researchers moved into the first laboratory in 1963. Additional buildings housing more laboratories as well as the organizational administrative offices were constructed in the 1990s, designed by Anshen & Allen; as a memorial to Jonas Salk, a golden engraving lies on the floor at the entrance to the institute: "Hope lies in dreams, in imagination and in the courage of those who dare to make dreams into reality." Francis Crick held the post of J.
W. Kieckhefer Distinguished Research Professor at the Salk Institute, his research centered on theoretical neurobiology and attempts to advance the scientific study of human consciousness. He remained in this post at the Salk Institute until his death in 2004. 50th anniversary celebration From 22–27 April 2010, the Salk Institute hosted glass sculptures by artist Dale Chihuly to celebrate 50 years of its inception. The event was underwritten by chairman of the board of trustees; the institute is housed in a complex designed by the firm of Louis Kahn. Jack MacAllister, FAIA, of the Kahn firm was the supervising architect and a major design influence on the structure that consists of two symmetric buildings with a stream of water flowing in the middle travertine-paved central plaza that separates the two. In the beginning the buildings were made up of different kinds of concrete mixes. Kahn wanted to see; each mixture had a different color. In the basement of the complex, there are different colored concrete walls because Kahn was experimenting with the mixtures.
Kahn added teak wood to the complex. Kahn wanted the concrete to complement each other; the buildings themselves have been designed to promote collaboration, thus there are no walls separating laboratories on any floor. There is one floor in the ba
Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia
Chestnut Hill is a neighborhood in the Northwest Philadelphia section of the United States city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is known for the high incomes of its residents and high and real estate values, as well as its private schools. Chestnut Hill is bounded: on the northwest by Northwestern Avenue; the USPS does not correlate neighborhood names to Philadelphia ZIP codes. However, the 19118 ZIP code is entirely coterminous with the cultural-consensus boundaries of Chestnut Hill; the village of Chestnut Hill was part of the German Township laid out by Francis Daniel Pastorius and came to include the settlements known as Sommerhausen and Crefeld, as well as part of Cresheim. It served as a gateway between the nearby farmlands. During the American Revolutionary War era, the area was one of many summer vacation spots due to its higher elevation, 400–500 feet above sea level, cooler temperatures than the historic Center City. Chestnut Hill is still stereotypically known as one of the more affluent sections of Philadelphia.
However, there are many residents. Chestnut Hill became part of the City of Philadelphia in 1854 as part of the Act of Consolidation, when the County and the City became coterminous. In the same year, the Chestnut Hill Railroad opened. During the American Civil War, Chestnut Hill was home to Mower U. S. Army General Hospital, constructed to serve Union army soldiers. From the mid-19th century through the mid-20th, the neighborhood served as both a "railroad suburb" and a "streetcar suburb" of Center City; the neighborhood contains a wide variety of 19th and early 20th century residential buildings by many of the most prominent Philadelphia architects. In 2011, Chestnut Hill had a median home sale price of $629,500—the highest of any Philadelphia neighborhood outside of Center City; this price was an increase of 57% from its 2005 median price. The Chestnut Hill listings on the National Register of Historic Places: Anglecot, designed by Wilson Eyre. Chestnut Hill Historic District Druim Moir Historic District, includes Romanesque Revival mansion, designed by G. W. & W. D. Hewitt.
Graver's Lane Station, designed by Frank Furness. John Story Jenks School, designed by Irwin T. Catharine. Thomas Mill Bridge. Wissahickon Inn, designed by G. W. & W. D. Hewitt. Other historic and notable properties include: High Hollow, The George Howe House, designed by George Howe Inglewood Cottage, designed by Thomas Ustick Walter; the former site of Boxly, the estate of Frederick Winslow Taylor, where Taylor received the business-management pilgrims who came to meet the "Father of Scientific Management". Esherick House, designed by Louis Kahn. Vanna Venturi House, designed by Robert Venturi. Public transportation in southeastern Pennsylvania, which includes Philadelphia and the surrounding counties, is provided by SEPTA, the region's mass transit authority. Two SEPTA Regional Rail lines serve Chestnut Hill: the Chestnut Hill East Line and Chestnut Hill West Line. Chestnut Hill is served by SEPTA bus routes from both the City Transit Division and the Suburban Division. Trams in the southeastern Pennsylvania region are known as trolleys.
The trolley network of this region was extensive prior to World War II, but has shrunk since that era. Chestnut Hill was served by trolleys. Trolley service to Chestnut Hill began in 1894, trolley tracks still run down the Belgian-block-paved main street of the neighborhood, Germantown Avenue, served by SEPTA Route 23. SEPTA "temporarily suspended" regular trolley service in 1992. From 1992 until 1996, weekend-only service ran between Chestnut Hill and Mount Airy, re-branded The "Chestnut Hill Trolley." Sporadic trolley charter trips ran down Germantown Avenue and into North Philadelphia until 2003. In 2010, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation completed work on restoring segments of the trolley infrastructure and streetscape in Chestnut Hill, Mount Airy and Germantown; as of 2011, SEPTA spokespeople publicly state that there are no plans to reinstate trolley service on Route 23, despite claims to the contrary in their annual capital budget reports. The dismantling of Route 23 infrastructure is unpopular with a large segment of local residents.
This topic generates heated emotions because it is related to the larger issue of the Great American streetcar scandal. Further discussion of the arguments and counterarguments is beyond the scope of this article. Chestnut Hill College Residents are zoned to schools in the School District of Philadelphia. Students in grades kindergarten through 8 are zoned to John Story Jenks School, while students in grades 9 through 12 are zoned to Roxborough High School. Students were zoned to Germantown High
Louis Isadore Kahn was an American architect, based in Philadelphia. After working in various capacities for several firms in Philadelphia, he founded his own atelier in 1935. While continuing his private practice, he served as a design critic and professor of architecture at Yale School of Architecture from 1947 to 1957. From 1957 until his death, he was a professor of architecture at the School of Design at the University of Pennsylvania. Kahn created a style, monumental and monolithic. Famous for his meticulously-built works, his provocative proposals that remained unbuilt, his teaching, Kahn was one of the most influential architects of the twentieth century, he was awarded the RIBA Gold Medal. At the time of his death he was considered by some as "America's foremost living architect." Louis Kahn, whose original name was Itze-Leib Schmuilowsky, was born into a poor Jewish family in Pärnu in Russian Empire, but now in Estonia. He spent his early childhood in Kuressaare on the island of Saaremaa part of the Russian Empire's Livonian Governorate.
At the age of three, he was captivated by the light of the coal. He put the coal in his apron, which burned his face, he carried these scars for the rest of his life. In 1906, his family emigrated to the United States, as they feared that his father would be recalled into the military during the Russo-Japanese War, his birth year may have been inaccurately recorded in the process of immigration. According to his son's 2003 documentary film, the family could not afford pencils, they made their own charcoal sticks from burnt twigs so that Louis could earn a little money from drawings. He earned money by playing piano to accompany silent movies in theaters, he became a naturalized citizen on May 15, 1914. His father changed their name to Kahn in 1915. Kahn was trained at the University of Pennsylvania in a rigorous Beaux-Arts tradition, with its emphasis on drawing. After completing his Bachelor of Architecture in 1924, Kahn worked as senior draftsman in the office of the city architect, John Molitor.
He worked on the designs for the 1926 Sesquicentennial Exposition. In 1928, Kahn made a European tour, he was interested in the medieval walled city of Carcassonne and the castles of Scotland, rather than any of the strongholds of classicism or modernism. After returning to the United States in 1929, Kahn worked in the offices of Paul Philippe Cret, his former studio critic at the University of Pennsylvania, with Zantzinger and Medary in Philadelphia. In 1932, Kahn and Dominique Berninger founded the Architectural Research Group, whose members were interested in the populist social agenda and new aesthetics of the European avant-gardes. Among the projects Kahn worked on during this collaboration are schemes for public housing that he had presented to the Public Works Administration, which supported some similar projects during the Great Depression, they remained unbuilt. Among the more important of Kahn's early collaborations was one with George Howe. Kahn worked with Howe in the late 1930s on projects for the Philadelphia Housing Authority and again in 1940, along with German-born architect Oscar Stonorov, for the design of housing developments in other parts of Pennsylvania.
A formal architectural office partnership between Kahn and Oscar Stonorov began in February 1942 and ended in March 1947, which produced fifty-four documented projects and buildings. Kahn did not arrive at his distinctive architectural style. Working in a orthodox version of the International Style, he was influenced vitally by a stay as Architect in Residence at the American Academy in Rome during 1950, which marked a turning point in his career. After visiting the ruins of ancient buildings in Italy and Egypt, he adopted a back-to-the-basics approach, he developed his own style as influenced by earlier modern movements, but not limited by their sometimes-dogmatic ideologies. In 1961 he received a grant from the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts to study traffic movement in Philadelphia and to create a proposal for a viaduct system, he described this proposal at a lecture given in 1962 at the International Design Conference in Aspen, Colorado: In the center of town the streets should become buildings.
This should be interplayed with a sense of movement which does not tax local streets for non-local traffic. There should be a system of viaducts which encase an area which can reclaim the local streets for their own use, it should be made so this viaduct has a ground floor of shops and usable area. A model which I did for the Graham Foundation and which I presented to Mr. Entenza, showed the scheme. Kahn's teaching career began at Yale University in 1947, he was named as the Albert F. Bemis Professor of Architecture and Planning at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1956. Kahn returned to Philadelphia to teach at the University of Pennsylvania from 1957 until his death, becoming the Paul Philippe Cret Professor of Architecture, he was a visiting lecturer at Princeton University School of Architecture from 1961 to 1967. Kahn was elected a Fellow in the American Institute of Architects in 1953, he was made a member of the National Institute of Arts and Letters in 1964. He was awarded the Frank P. Brown Medal in 1964.
In 1965 he was elected into the National Academy of Design as an Associate Academician. He was made a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1968 and awarded the AIA Gold Medal, th
Vanna Venturi House
The Vanna Venturi House, one of the first prominent works of the postmodern architecture movement, is located in the neighborhood of Chestnut Hill in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It was designed by architect Robert Venturi for his mother, Vanna Venturi, constructed between 1962 and 1964; the five-room house stands only about 30 feet tall at the top of the chimney, but has a monumental front facade, an effect achieved by intentionally manipulating the architectural elements that indicate a building's scale. A non-structural applique arch and "hole in the wall" windows, among other elements, together with Venturi's book Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture were an open challenge to Modernist orthodoxy. Architectural historian Vincent Scully called it "the biggest small building of the second half of the twentieth century." The design of "Mother's House", as architect Robert Venturi called the house, was affected by Vanna Venturi as both the client whose needs had to be met, as the mother who helped develop the architect's talent and personality.
Vanna was a feminist, socialist and vegetarian with an active intellectual life, reading books on history, current events, biography. She was born to Italian immigrant parents in Philadelphia in 1893, she dropped out of high school because her family could not afford to buy her a coat, so she was self-educated. She did not marry until late in life in 1924, marrying a fruit and produce merchant, Robert Venturi, Sr, her only child, Robert, Jr. was born in 1925. Because of her liberal views she perceived herself as an "outsider" and became a Quaker. Robert, Jr. said "I never went to public school: pledging allegiance to the flag -'coercive patriotism' my mother called it - was anathema to her." The family made summer trips to Arden and Rose Valley, two communities organized by architect Will Price, inspired by the Arts and Crafts Movement and the then-radical economics of Henry George. In Rose Valley the family attended plays by George Bernard Shaw at the Hedgerow Theater; the family attended the Quaker Philadelphia Yearly Meeting at the Arch Street Friends Meeting House.
Robert, Jr. attended a Quaker grade school the Episcopal Academy, Princeton University earning both bachelors and masters degrees. From 1954-1956 he was a Rome Prize Fellow at the American Academy in Rome, he taught architectural theory at the University of Pennsylvania, working with Louis Kahn. Venturi met fellow lecturer and future partner, Denise Scott Brown at the university in 1960; as a professional architect he worked in the offices of Eero Saarinen, Louis Kahn, Oscar Stonorov. In 1959 Robert, Sr. died, leaving his wife enough money to live comfortably. The designs for the house by Robert, Jr. evolved over four years, but the architect noted only two indications of disagreement from his client. When the work was about three-fourths complete, she looked at the traditional 19th-century house next door and remarked "Oh, isn't that a nice house." She rejected the marble floor in the dining area, considering it to be ostentatious, but relented as the house was nearing completion. Along with the Guild House, an apartment house for the elderly completed in 1964, the Vanna Venturi House was Venturi's first work as an independent architect.
As a widow nearing the age of 70 as the house was completed, Vanna required that all her daily routine could be conducted on one floor with the help of a live-in caretaker. Thus the first floor plan contains all the main rooms of the house: the master bedroom, a full bathroom, the caretaker's room, the kitchen and a living/dining area, she did not drive, so there is no garage. Her son, the architect, occupied the second floor, which contains a bedroom/studio with a large lunette window, a private balcony, a half-bath on the stair landing. There is a basement with ample storage areas; the house was specifically designed for her antiques and reproduction furniture, which she had collected over 50 years. Robert lived in the house until a few months after his 1967 marriage to Denise Scott Brown. Vanna Venturi lived in the house from 1964 though 1973 lecturing visiting architects on architecture and the architect. In 1973 she moved to a nursing home, died in 1975; the house was sold in 1973 to Thomas P. Hughes, an historian and university professor, his wife, Agatha, an editor and artist.
The Hughes family maintained and lived in the house, keeping it as original and authentic as possible, until 2016 when it was sold to a local, private buyer. Venturi designed the Vanna Venturi House at the same time that he wrote his anti-Modernist polemic Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture in which he outlined his own architectural ideas. During the writing he redesigned the house at least five times in worked-out versions. A description of the house is included in the book and the house is viewed as an embodiment of the ideas in the book, he states: Architects can no longer afford to be intimidated by the puritanically moral language of orthodox Modern architecture. I like elements which are hybrid rather than "pure," compromising rather than "clear," distorted rather than "straightforward."... I am for messy vitality over obvious unity. I proclaim duality. Many of the basic elements of the house are a reaction against standard Modernist architectural elements: the pitched roof rather than flat roof, the emphasis on the central hearth and chimney, a closed ground floor "set on the ground" rather than the Modernist columns and glass walls which open up the ground floor.
On the front elevation the broken pediment or gable and a purely ornamental applique arc