The Athenaeum of Philadelphia is an independent member-supported library and museum. It was founded in 1814 to collect materials "connected with the history and antiquities of America, and the useful arts, and generally to disseminate useful knowledge" for public benefit.
The Athenaeum building was designed in 1845 by the innovative architect John Notman (1810-1865). It is widely hailed as the seminal American structure in the Italianate Revival Style and one of the first Philadelphia buildings built of brownstone.
Severely plainon the exterior and deceptive in scale, the Athenaeum building contains richly embellished reading rooms with 24-foot ceilings..
The Athenaeum was renovated sometime in the 1970s and at that time a craftsman from Italy created the beautiful doors and wood work seen throughout the building. The interior still looks great almost 50 years later but the exterior of the front doors had been pretty badly weathered. The Old Village Design Studio™ was asked to restore and refinish these doors to this classic Italianate in the Washington Square East/Old City part of Philadelphia.
The Athenaeum describes its exterior as "severely plain", at least until the Old Village Design Studio restored and created a beautiful new finish for the front doors.
The Old Village Design Studio's Emilie and Mary doing their magic at the Athenaeum
The Athenaeum is one of many historic properties that Old Village has had the privilege to work on