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Memorial Hall – Centennial Art Gallery

Mon, Jan 18, 2010

Victorian

01 16 10 Chamounix Walk 20 Memorial Hall   Centennial Art Gallery

As part of a 9 mile walk that my joints endured this past weekend I had a chance to appreciate the architecture of the “Please Touch Museum” in Philadelphia.  This structure has recently undergone an $81 million renovation and the results are stunning.

This building was part of the 1876 Centennial Exhibition and was originally known as the “Art Gallery” at the time.  More of the history from the Fairmount Park website:

Fairmount Park Chief Engineer Hermann Schwarzmann created this national significant Centennial Art Gallery as one of America’s first examples of Beaux-Arts architecture. Memorial Hall’s price tag was $1.5 million, quite a sum at that time. Consider though that Memorial Hall was built without wood and was fireproofed. The dedication of this fine building was made by U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant at the Centennial. Memorial Hall served as the city’s art museum until the Philadelphia Museum of Art opened in 1928.

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