"Robert Venturi, whose writing has often served to point out beauty where it is least expected, came through Irvine Auditorium, surely on of the most peculiar buildings in the city, and one that is threatened with a renovation that will destroy its dazzling lofty interior. "Bad acoustics, interesting architecture," he said. Venturi also made a case for Stenton, one of the earliest and most obscure of the city's great old houses. It was the seat of William Penn's secratry, James Logan."
Thomas Hine, "Philadelphia's Best Buildings" in Inquirer (Sunday magazine, December 9, 1984), p. 28.
Re: Philadelphia's Fairmount Park
There are many historic 'mansions' in Germantown as well, which is now an old established neighborhood of Philadelphia, but originated as a separate town, settled by Germans just a few years after William Penn. Stenton is a very old house/mansion in lower Germantown, and it is the estate of John Logan, William Penn's secretary. Robert Venturi, in a 1984 Philadelphia Inquirer Sunday magazine piece, said Stenton was his favorite building in Philadelphia. I can still remember the next day at work (in an architect's office) everyone (including myself) asking, "Where's Stenton?!?" It's because of Venturi that I now visit Stenton whenever the occasion arises...
I wonder if Scott Brown remembers...
At the book-signing after the VSBA symposium at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, I told Robert Venturi, "You're the reason I often visit Stenton."
"What!? Stenton? I love Stenton."
"I know. You said it was one of your favorite Philadelphia buildings in a Philadelphia Inquirer Sunday magazine piece in the mid-eighties."
"Oh. You forget things like that."
Odd how Venturi, later that afternoon, decided to take the group I was with to a house he recently "discovered" on Girard Avenue, his latest favorite Philadelphia building.
Jimmy Venturi's new website...
...Ryerss Museum because that place preenacts Venturi Shops. Or maybe film them at Stenton; every modern architect should know Stenton. You know there's an uncanny similarity between the greenhouse at Stenton (labeled 'Stables' in the site plan to the right) and the (obscure Venturi and Rauch) 1973 poolhouse design for the Liebs in Penn Valley.