VAF 2019 Annual Meeting: Landscapes of Succession

May 29-June 1, 2019
Philadelphia, PA

To view pertinent information directly, use the following links:

Conference Overview Registration Costs Registration Form

VAF Philadelphia 2019 Conference

Wednesday, May 29th- Opening Reception & Awards

All Wednesday evening events will be held at Meyerson Hall, School of Design, University of Pennsylvania.

8:30 am - 4:00 pm  Board Meeting, Architectural Archive, University of Pennsylvania.

12:00 p- 4:00 pm   Registration, Homewood Suites Conference Hotel, 4109 Walnut Street.

4:30 - 5:30 pm  Opening Reception, Meyerson Hall, School of Design, University of Pennsylvania. South 34th Street.       

5:30 - 7:00 pm Welcome: Aaron Wunsch

Keynote: Kenneth Finkel, Professor of American Studies, Temple University

                                Presentation of VAF Awards

7:00 pm Dinner on your own

Thursday, May 30thPeriphery Tours (by bus)

Includes Lunch and Evening Reception.

Departure times from Homewood Suites will be between 7:45 and 8:30 am. 

Registrants will be notified of departure time at registration (buses will be staggered from 8-9 am).

7:00 – 9:30 am  Registration, Homewood Suites Conference Hotel, 4109 Walnut Street.

8:00 am – 5:30 pm  Germantown Tour  

8:00 am – 5:30 pm  Darby Tour

8:00 am – 5:30 pm  Tacony Tour

6:30 – 8:30 pm    The Woodlands Tour and Reception (included in tour price)

*Weather-permitting: Dutch Treat Food Truck Picnic – Conference participants who wish to stay and picnic at the Woodlands may do so after the tour. Several local, high-quality food trucks will be on grounds to offer a variety of options.  Those not wishing to picnic may dine on their own after the tour.

Friday, May 31st - Center City Walking Tours (self-guided)

All meals on your own.

8:00 am – 1:30 pm  Registration, Homewood Suites Conference Hotel, 4109 Walnut Street.

9:00 am – 1:00 pm  Morning Self-Guided Walking Tour: Town House & Row House

1:00  – 5:00 pm Afternoon Self-Guided Walking Tours:

  • African American Sites in the Seventh Ward  
  • Society Hill Urban Renewal
  • Colonial Townhouses in Elfreth’s Alley
  • Nineteenth-century Commercial Architecture of Arch Street
5:00 pm      Dinner on your own

Saturday, June 1st - Paper Sessions, Book Exhibits, and Banquet

All Saturday events will be held in Houston Hall, University of Pennsylvania.

7:00 am – 3:00 pm  Registration, Houston Hall

7:30 am – 5:00 pm  Book Exhibits

8:00  – 9:30 am Paper Session I

10:00  – 11:30 am     Paper Session II

11:30 am – 1:00 pm Lunch Roundtable (bring your own lunch) OR Lunch on your own

1:00 – 2:30 pm Paper Session III

3:00  – 4:30 pm Paper Session IV

6:00  – 10:00 pm Annual Meeting & Banquet

Sunday, June 2nd - Post-Conference Tours

Please note: Sunday Tours are organized by two groups outside VAF who have an excellent track-record of offering architecturally-focused tours that also address the cultural landscape of the areas covered. A small guide brochure will be provided for the Chestnut Hill tour. 

Tour 1: Chestnut Hill: Village to Garden Community to Architectural Excellence

Includes guide brochure, lunch and transportation.

Organized by Liz Jarvis and Emily Cooperman

Tour Capped at 38.

9:00 am – 3:30 pm  Chestnut Hill

Description: Chestnut Hill is most recognized and visited by those interested in the built environment as the location of Robert Venturi's seminal house for his mother Vanna. What is less known is that this house both exists in and responds to an area of Philadelphia that had developed its own distinctive patterns of scale, materials, and organization that originated in the late seventeenth century, succeeded by initial community development in the eighteenth century as a gateway and crossroads. These patterns were then followed by two important periods of nineteenth-century development which introduced the work of the city's architects and earliest planners, taking advantage of two new railroad lines, one created at mid-century and the other in the 1880s, to establish a summer resort and commuter suburb that mixed larger, free-standing houses with smaller double and row residences. In the early twentieth century, the work of the city's best architects and planners added to this already remarkable ensemble of mixture of scales woven together by common landscape elements. The area has continued to attract a high quality of new design to the present.

This tour will combine travel by bus to gain an understanding of some of the larger patterns and notable houses in Chestnut Hill such as Wison Eyre's Anglecot, with visits to a group of individual houses, including the Vanna Venturi house and Louis Kahn's Margaret Esherick House, and representative examples from the nineteenth century and early twentieth century, including the work of Samuel Sloan, G. W. and W. D. Hewitt, and Robert R. McGoodwin. A catered lunch will be provided in one of these houses.

Tour 2: Shock of the New: Midcentury Philly Architecture

Tour Capped at 20.

Tour by Ben Leech for Hidden City

10 am - 12 pm

Tour Description:

Does architecture have to be pretty to be appreciated? Are midcentury modern buildings really historic already? And what will we miss when it’s gone? Join Ben Leech, Hidden City contributor and former advocacy director at the Preservation Alliance, on a tour of midcentury modern architecture around and beyond Center City. From well-known landmarks to obscure oddities,  you’ll learn to see Philadelphia modernism in a new light.

Tour 3: Fishtown: The Old & The New

Tour Capped at 20.

Tour by Andrew Fearon for Hidden City

1 pm - 3 pm

Tour Description:

One could argue that Fishtown has been a neighborhood balancing the old with the new since William Penn and the Lenni Lenapes met under the great elm for a treaty of peace in 1682. The city of Philadelphia—and the state of Pennsylvania—trace their very origins to what is now Penn Treaty Park in the suddenly bustling neighborhood.

With development reaching a saturation point, large older buildings often stand in the way of lucrative new development, and in spite of the neighborhood's long history, little is actually protected by historic designation. This walking tour highlights Fishtown's links to its industrial and working class past, both on the Historic Register and not, with observations of the new construction that's filling in the neighborhood's gaps.

We'll meet at Penn Treaty Park (Beach and Columbia Streets) in front of the obelisk. From there, we'll head out on an itinerary that includes stops at Frank Furness' Kensington National Bank, the 18th Century Palmer Cemetery, the new flagship La Colombe and more. The tour comes from Hidden City and features local historian Ken Milano and architectural conservator Andrew Fearon, who collectively started the grassroots preservation organization Kensington/Old Richmond Heritage (KORH) along with Oscar Beisert.



© Vernacular Architecture Forum

For more information or questions contact
the secretary or the webmaster.

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software