American Philosophical Society Hall
American Philosophical Society, 2006
|Location||104 S. Fifth St.|
|NRHP reference No.||66000675|
|Added to NRHP||October 15, 1966|
|Designated NHL||January 12, 1965|
The American Philosophical Society (APS), founded in 1743 and located in Philadelphia, is an eminent scholarly organization of international reputation that promotes useful knowledge in the sciences and humanities through excellence in scholarly research, professional meetings, publications, library resources, and community outreach. Considered the first learned society in the United States, it has played an important role in American cultural and intellectual life for over 270 years.
Through research grants, published journals, the American Philosophical Society Museum, an extensive library, and regular meetings, the society continues to advance a variety of disciplines in the humanities and the sciences. Philosophical Hall, now a museum, is located just east of Independence Hall in Independence National Historical Park; it was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1965.
Linda Greenhouse, Knight Distinguished Journalist in Residence and Joseph Goldstein Lecturer in Law at Yale Law School, was elected President of the American Philosophical Society in 2017.She was elected to the Society in 2001
Robert M. Hauser, Vilas Research Professor of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, became Executive Officer of the American Philosophical Society in 2017.He was elected to the Society in 2005.
The Philosophical Society, as it was originally called, was founded in 1743 by Benjamin Franklin, James Alexander (lawyer), Francis Hopkinson, John Bartram, Philip Syng, Jr. and othersas an offshoot of an earlier club called the Junto.
Since its inception, the society attracted America's finest minds. Early members included John Dickinson,George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson,Alexander Hamilton, James McHenry, Thomas Paine, David Rittenhouse, Nicholas Biddle, Owen Biddle, Benjamin Rush, James Madison, Michael Hillegas, John Marshall, and John Andrews.
It was common for intellectual societies to invite members from around the world at the time. And so the society also recruited members from other countries, including Alexander von Humboldt, the Marquis de Lafayette, Baron von Steuben, Tadeusz Kościuszko, and Princess Dashkova.
The society lapsed into inactivity by 1746, but in 1767 it was revived. And on January 2, 1769, it united with the American Society for Promoting Useful Knowledge under the name American Philosophical Society Held at Philadelphia for Promoting Useful Knowledge. Benjamin Franklin was elected the first president. Sr., would not become reality until the 1820s.During this time, the society maintained a standing Committee on American Improvements; one of its investigations was to study the prospects of a canal to connect the Chesapeake Bay and the Delaware River. The canal, which had been proposed by Thomas Gilpin,
After the American Revolution, the society looked for leadership to Francis Hopkinson, one of the signatories of the Declaration of Independence. Under his influence, the society received land from the government of Pennsylvania, along with a plot of land in Philadelphia where Philosophical Hall now stands.
Illustrious names have continually been added to the membership roster, reflecting the society's scope. Charles Darwin, Robert Frost, Louis Pasteur, Elizabeth Cabot Agassiz, John James Audubon, Linus Pauling, Margaret Mead, Maria Mitchell, and Thomas Edison became members of the society. The society continues to attract names of high renown today, with a current membership list (as of the April 2005 elections) of 920 members, including 772 resident members (citizens or residents of the United States) and 148 foreign members representing more than two dozen countries.
Many members of the Society of the Cincinnati were among the APS's first board members and contributors; today the APS and SOC still maintain an informal, collegial relationship.
In 1786, the society established the Magellanic Premium, a prize for achievement in "navigation, astronomy, or natural philosophy," the oldest scientific prize awarded by an American institution, which it still awards. Other awards include the Barzun Prize for cultural history, Judson Daland Prize for Outstanding Achievement in Clinical Investigation, the Benjamin Franklin Medal, the Lashley Award for neurobiology, the Lewis Award, and the Thomas Jefferson Medal for distinguished achievement in the arts, humanities, or social sciences.
The APS has published the Transactions of the American Philosophical Society since 1771. Currently five issues appear each year. The Proceedings have appeared since 1838: they publish the papers delivered at the biannual meetings of the society. The society has also published the collected papers of Benjamin Franklin, Joseph Henry, William Penn, and Meriwether Lewis and William Clark. Jane Aitken bound some 400 volumes for the society.
The society also holds an expansive archive regarding Framer of the U.S. Constitution John Dickinson.
Philosophical Hall, located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, at 104 South Fifth Street, between Chestnut and Walnut Streets, immediately south of Old City Hall, was built in 1785–89 to house the society and was designed by Samuel Vaughan in the Federal style.A third floor was added in 1890, to accommodate the expanding library, but was removed in 1948–50 when the building was restored to its original appearance for the creation of Independence National Historical Park. In 2001, it was opened to the public as The American Philosophical Society Museum, hosting revolving, thematic exhibitions that explore the intersections of history, art, and science. The museum features works of art, scientific instruments, original manuscripts, rare books, natural history specimens, and curiosities of all kinds from the APS's own collections, along with objects on loan from other institutions.
In 1789–90, the Library Company of Philadelphia (LCP) built its headquarters directly across 5th Street from APS. LCP sold its building in 1884, which was demolished for the expansion of the Drexel & Company Building in 1887. This building itself was demolished in the mid-1950s, during the creation of Independence National Historical Park.
APS built a library on the site in 1958, and recreated the facade of the old LCP building.
According to historical ghost stories, Benjamin Franklin's spirit haunts the library, and his statue at the front of the building "comes to life and dances in the streets."
APS restored the former Farmers' & Mechanics' Bank building at 425–29 Chestnut Street, which was built in 1854–5 to the design of John M. Gries in the Italianate style,to serve as a lecture hall. It is the site of meetings and most major events hosted or produced by the society.
Constance C. and Edgar P. Richardson Hall at 431 Chestnut Street, immediately west of Benjamin Franklin Hall, is the former Pennsylvania Company for Insurances on Lives and Granting Annuities Building, which was built in 1871–73 and was designed by Addison Hutton.It now contains offices and the Consortium for History of Science, Technology and Medicine.
Independence Hall is the building where both the United States Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution were debated and adopted. It is now the centerpiece of the Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
The Philadelphia History Museum at the Atwater Kent at 15 South 7th Street between Market and Ranstead Streets in Center City, Philadelphia was founded in 1938 to be Philadelphia's city history museum. The museum occupies architect John Haviland's landmark Greek Revival structure built in 1824–1826 for the Franklin Institute. The Museum operates as a city agency as part of Philadelphia's Department of Recreation.
Christ Church Burial Ground in Philadelphia is an important early-American cemetery. It is the final resting place of Benjamin Franklin and his wife, Deborah. Four other signers of the Declaration of Independence are buried here, Benjamin Rush, Francis Hopkinson, Joseph Hewes and George Ross. Two more signers are buried at Christ Church just a few blocks away.
The Syng inkstand is a silver inkstand used during the signing of the United States Declaration of Independence in 1776 and the United States Constitution in 1787. It is one of four objects still existing that were present during the Constitutional Convention, along with Independence Hall itself, the Liberty Bell, and the chair that George Washington sat in as the Constitutional Convention's presiding officer.
Independence National Historical Park is a United States National Park in Philadelphia that preserves several sites associated with the American Revolution and the nation's founding history. Administered by the National Park Service, the 55-acre (22 ha) park comprises much of Philadelphia's most-visited historic district. The park has been nicknamed "America's most historic square mile" because of its abundance of historic landmarks, and the park sites are located within the Old City and Society Hill neighborhoods of Philadelphia.
Center City includes the central business district and central neighborhoods of Philadelphia, in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. It comprises the area that made up the City of Philadelphia prior to the Act of Consolidation, 1854 which extended the city borders to be coterminous with Philadelphia County. Greater Center City has grown into the second-most densely populated downtown area in the United States, after Midtown Manhattan in New York City, with an estimated 173,284 residents in 2010.
The Library Company of Philadelphia (LCP) is a non-profit organization based in Philadelphia. Founded in 1731 by Benjamin Franklin as a library, the Library Company of Philadelphia has accumulated one of the most significant collections of historically valuable manuscripts and printed material in the United States.
Society Hill is a historic neighborhood in Center City Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with a population of 6,215 as of the 2010 United States Census. Settled in the early 1680s, Society Hill is one of the oldest residential neighborhoods in Philadelphia. After urban decay developed between the late 19th and early 20th centuries, an urban renewal program began in the 1950s, restoring the area and its many historic buildings. Society Hill has since become one of the most expensive neighborhoods with the highest average income and second highest real estate values in Philadelphia. Society Hill's historic colonial architecture, along with intelligent planning and restoration efforts, led the American Planning Association to designate it, in 2008, as one of the great American neighborhoods and a good example of sustainable urban living.
Philip Syng was, like his namesake father, Philip Syng, Sr. (1676–1739), a renowned silversmith who created fine works in silver and sometimes gold for the wealthy families of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In 1752 he created the Syng inkstand, which was used to sign the 1776 United States Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution in 1787.
The Powel House is a historic house museum located at 244 South 3rd Street, between Willings Alley and Spruce Street, in the Society Hill neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Built in 1765 in the Georgian style, and embellished by second owner Samuel Powel (1738–1793), it has been called "the finest Georgian row house in the city." As with other houses of this type, the exterior facade is understated and simple, but the interior was elaborately appointed.
Horace Trumbauer was a prominent American architect of the Gilded Age, known for designing residential manors for the wealthy. Later in his career he also designed hotels, office buildings, and much of the campus of Duke University. Trumbauer's massive palaces flattered the egos of his "robber baron" clients, but were dismissed by his professional peers. His work made him a wealthy man, but his buildings rarely received positive critical recognition. Today, however, he is hailed as one of America's premier architects, with his buildings drawing critical acclaim even to this day.
Carpenters' Hall is the official birthplace of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and a key meeting place in the early history of the United States. It is located in Independence National Historical Park of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
The Hill–Physick–Keith House, also known as the Hill–Keith–Physick House, the Hill–Physick House, or simply the Physick House, is a historic house museum located at 321 S. 4th Street in the Society Hill neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. Built 1786, it was the home of Philip Syng Physick (1768–1837), who has been called "the father of American surgery". The house was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1976. It is now owned and operated by the Philadelphia Society for the Preservation of Landmarks as a house museum.
Old City Hall located at Chestnut Street at 5th Street in the Independence Hall complex of Independence National Historical Park in Center City, Philadelphia, was built in 1790–91 in the Federal style. The architect was David Evans, Jr.
The College of Physicians of Philadelphia is the oldest private medical society in the United States. Founded in 1787 by 24 Philadelphia physicians "to advance the Science of Medicine, and thereby lessen human misery, by investigating the diseases and remedies which are peculiar to our country" and to promote "order and uniformity in the practice of Physick," it has made important contributions to medical education and research. The College hosts the Mütter Museum, a gallery of 19th-century specimens, teaching models, instruments, and photographs, as well as the Historical Medical Library, which is one of the country's oldest medical libraries.
Charles Coleman Sellers was an American historian and librarian.
Philosophical Hall is a historic building at 104 5th Street in Center City, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US. Located near Independence Hall, the building has, for over 200 years, been the headquarters of the American Philosophical Society. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1965 for its association with that organization.
Independence Mall is a three-block section of Independence National Historical Park (INHP) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It lies directly north of Independence Hall, and is bounded by Chestnut, Race, 5th and 6th Streets. The south block is called the First Block, the middle block is called the Second Block, and the north block is called the Third Block.
Benjamin Loxley, also known as Benjamin Lockley was a prominent Philadelphia master-builder and carpenter-architect in the American Colonial Period. He was also a well known American patriot army leader. He collaborated with Benjamin Franklin on some of Franklin's electrical experiments, including the kite experiment when Franklin used his house key.
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|Wikisource has the text of a 1920 Encyclopedia Americana article about The American Philosophical Society .|
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