Learning from the Preservation Masters

Tuesday, May 14

Learning from the Preservation Masters

A joint presentation of the Preservation Alliance and Philadelphia Chapter of the Society of Architectural Historians (SAH)

  • 6:00 Reception
  • 6:15 SAH annual meeting (all present invited, but not required to participate)
  • 6:30 Panel discussion
  • 7:30 Closing reception

at The Athenaeum of Philadelphia
219 S. 6th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106

Free. Registration required.

Program Description

What can experience teach us? How do we protect and build upon the hard-won preservation victories of the past six decades? How do we adapt our mentors’ legacies to address new challenges and opportunities for preservation?

Several members of the ‘Old Guard’ of Philadelphia’s preservation community come together for an evening that will give insight into the preservation world of the recent past. Join Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia and the 
Philadelphia Chapter of the Society of Architectural Historians for a panel discussion with distinguished preservation professionals. Their combined 200+ years of experience stretches from architecture and planning, restoration, preservation advocacy, public policy, teaching, and more. Come reflect on the lessons they learned, hardships they faced, and advice they want to hand down to the next generation of preservationists.


Mary DeNadai, FAIA is a Principal of John Milner Architects, Inc. and has focused her architectural career on the field of historic preservation.  She is directly involved with the firm’s historic institutional, commercial, governmental and ecclesiastical building projects.  Currently, Mary also serves on the Board of Cliveden of the National Trust, the Design Excellence Peer Review of the GSA and chairs The College of Fellows Steering Committee of Philadelphia AIA.  She is a Trustee Emerita of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and past board chair of the Historic Preservation Board of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Preservation Action and Preservation Pennsylvania.  Mary has also served on the National Historic Landmarks Committee of the National Park Service and the Board of Directors of Partners for Sacred Places.  In 2007, she received the James Biddle Award from the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia. She has served as the Preservation Alliance’s Board Chair since 2013.

John Andrew Gallery was the first director of the City’s Office of Housing and Community Development and Executive Director of the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia from 2002 to 2013. He is the author of several guidebooks on Philadelphia architecture, including Philadelphia Architecture,  A Guide to the City (Fourth Edition, 2016). Originally from Boston, he graduated from Harvard University Graduate School of Design, with a master’s of architecture. Gallery took his degree in architecture and worked with Edmund Bacon at the Philadelphia City Planning Commission in the 1960s, then became associate and acting dean of the School of Architecture at the University of Texas and chair of its Department of Community and Regional Planning in the early 1970s. In 1980, he co-founded Urban Partners, a private consulting firm focused on planning and implementation of socially oriented real estate development, with an emphasis on historic preservation.

Hy has directed preservation work on over 200 projects, including many of Philadelphia’s National Historic Landmarks. He directed preservation work on such notable sites as Independence Hall, the Academy of Music, Girard College, the Reading Terminal Train Shed, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and City Hall. As director of preservation services for VITETTA, he has led restoration projects for the Pennsylvania Capitol Building in Harrisburg and the National Gallery of Art in Washington. His most notable public service was his 27–year membership on the Designation Committee of the Philadelphia Historical Commission, where he helped to strengthen numerous nominations of historic buildings and districts through his scholarly knowledge of architectural history. Hy is also a recipient of the James Biddle Award (2009).

Betty, a Germantown activist and Vice Chair of the Philadelphia Historical Commission, was born and raised in Lancaster, PA. She taught for nearly thirty years in various schools in and around Philadelphia. Her many volunteer services include: Co-Founder and President of Germantown Community Connection, Commissioner on the Philadelphia Historical Commission; Urban Resources Development Corporation Board Member and Secretary; Daily News Peoples Editorial Board; Greene Street Friends School Board of Trustees, and more.


Andrew Hart – Assistant Professor of Architecture for Visualization and Computational Design at the College of Architecture and the Built Environment at Jefferson and Member of the Board of Directors of the Preservation Alliance.