Historic Phoenixville & The Colonial Theatre

July 07, 2018 @ 10:00 AM - 12:30 PM

Join us for a special tour of Phoenixville history and hear a story of preservation-based placemaking with a happy ending.

Home of the “Phoenix Column” and Majolica ceramics, the Borough of Phoenixville in northern Chester County was hub of industrial innovation for well over a century. But when the Phoenix Steel Company ceased operations in 1984, the downtown fell into an economic slump that persisted into the 1990s.

Ryan Conroy, Board Chair of the Historical Society of the Phoenixville Area, will lead us on a walking tour of the borough’s storied industrial past, from the site of Longstreth’s Nail Works, to the Phoenix Iron Company Foundry (now Schuylkill River Heritage Center), and the many cultural institutions that grew up around them.

Then, we’ll pay a visit to the Colonial Theatre, constructed in 1903 as a vaudeville house and made famous in the 1958 cult classic The Blob. The only extant theater of four that once served the borough, the Colonial has anchored Phoenixville’s revitalization since re-opening in 1999.

Emily Simmons, Development Director for the Association for the Colonial Theatre, will share the history of the theater and take us on a “backstage” tour of the new wing in the former National Bank of Phoenixville next door. The bank building’s adaptive reuse was recognized this year by the Preservation Alliance with a Preservation Achievement Award. We will see the refurbished lobby, restored skylight, and repurposed bank vault, and hear how the Colonial and Phoenixville prepare for yet another blockbuster Blobfest.

Tour meets at 10:00 AM at the corner of Main Street and Taylor Alley (map).

Pre-registration required
Purchase Tickets Here
$15 Members of Preservation Alliance, Colonial Theatre, or Historical Society of the Phoenixville Area
$20 Non-members
Free for children under 10 accompanied by an adult

Nearby metered parking available in Borough Lot # 3 on Mill Street. For directions, additional parking, and dining recommendations, visit https://thecolonialtheatre.com/about/directions-dining/
Accessible by the Schuylkill River Trail and served by SEPTA buses 99 and 139.

Questions? Please contact tours@preservationalliance.com, 215-546-1146 ext. 4