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P.O. Box 564
Flourtown, PA 19031
February 16th The Company and (or) as the City:
Architecture at Philadelphia Electric, 1900-1930

Presented by Aaron V. Wuncsh - Please see below.
Architecture at Philadelphia Electric, 1900-1930

Presented by Aaron V.Wunsch

Turbine Hall Richmond Station

Turbine Hall Richmond Station - (Photo by E. B. Elliott)

Thursday, February 16th, 2017 at 7:30 p.m.

First Presbyterian Church
Bethlehem Pike & East Mill Road in Flourtown, PA

If it isn't electric, it isn't modern was a slogan of the Philadelphia Electric Company, developer of a network of metropolitan power stations serving the greater Philadelphia area at the turn of the 20th century.

Wunsch, who teaches a course and a seminar in American architecture, and two courses on the documentation of historic sites at the University of Pennsylvania's Graduate Program in Historic Preservation, is the co-author with Muhlenberg College art professor and architecture photographer Joseph E.B. Elliott of Palazzos of Power: Central Stations of the Philadelphia Electric Company, 1900-1930 published in 2016 by the Princeton Architectural Press.

Wunsch and Elliott contributed information and photographs about the power plants to the Hidden City Philadelphia website ( in a posting entitled Considering Our Riverfront Palazzos of Power: Their History and Potential.

According to a description of the book on the Princeton Architectural Press website, the power stations, "once-brilliant sentinels of civic utility and activity were designed to convey solidarity and immensity in an age of deep public skepticism. They now stand vacant and decaying, a blight in the eyes of city planners and a beacon to urban explorers."

Wunsch's talk at the historical society will be related to the book and include the history of the early power plants, which he said were spectacular. Among the themes he will discuss will be why they are spectacular and the political environment PECO (Philadelphia Electric Company) found itself in in the early 20th century. Founded in 1900, Philadelphia Electric Company was bought by Exelon 10 years ago. There are five power plants in Philadelphia, one near Chester and one in Conowingo, MD. After the program, Wunsch will be available to sign copies of his new book.

Special interests include: antebellum suburbs and cemeteries, infrastructure and industrial architecture, Quaker aesthetics, and the politics of commemoration. He serves as vice president of Philadelphia's Woodlands Cemetery and has been active on other nonprofit boards. His preservation advocacy work has received various forms of recognition, including the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia's Public Service Award for Preservation in the Public Interest, shared with Mayor Wilson Goode, Sr., in 2015.

The program is free and open to the public. No reservations are necessary. For more information, please call the historical society at 215-233-4600.

PLEASE NOTE : Friends attending the February 16th program will be asked to vote on the recently updated historical society bylaws. To request a copy, please call the archives at 215-233-4600.

Attendees to the February program are encouraged to bring a canned food item to donate to the First Presbyterian Church's neighborhood food pantry. Please help us to support this important cause.