Welcome Park was created in celebration of Philadelphia’s tercentenary (300th anniversary). The entire design of the park is based on Penn’s greenspace city where it follows the city’s original grid plan. The center square with the William Penn statue represents Center Square. The park was finished and dedicated in a public ceremony on October 28, 1982, the anniversary of Penn’s arrival in Philadelphia.
The project will restore the park to its original layout, add irrigation and plantings, seating and additional upgrades. The statue of William Penn is also in need of restoration.
Located on the second floor of his home at Third and Walnut Streets, Bishop William White’s library contains approximately 1,200 books and pamphlets from the 17th through early-19th centuries in their historic bindings. Ten percent of these publications belonged to William White the first Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church in America. These 120 rare books require examination by a professional conservator followed by treatment of those volumes identified as having the highest priority for care. Each year, 10,000 visitors annually tour the Bishop White House and see the library. The artist, John Sartain documented the bishop’s library shortly after his death in 1836. Today, this remarkable room is furnished with many of his books, furnishings and personal possessions.
This project will focus on the approximately 120 titles that belonged to Bishop White. An accredited conservator will examine and produce condition reports and treatment recommendations for those books with highest priority. The reports will become the basis for competitive bids from conservators to perform the work. The initial project will include condition reports, treatment recommendations, and the conservation of approximately 30 publications of highest priority.
The portrait of William Penn was executed by Henry Inman in 1832. Inman won an 1826 commission for the portrait by the Commemoration of the Landin of William Penn. Housed in the Second Bank of the United States portrait collections, this portrait sustained water damage due to a leaking HVAC unit. William Penn supported freedom of religion and was the founder of Pennsylvania. APM’s carpenters have installed a protective wooden box over the painting until it can be restored.
Repair water damage to portrait and frame
In 2017, a Benjamin Franklin descendant donated to the park two oil portraits depicting his fifth-great-grandparents, William John Duane (1780-1865) and Deborah Bache Duane (1781-1863). Duane (whose father had been Franklin’s grandson’s partner in publishing THE AURORA newspaper) and his wife (Franklin’s granddaughter, named for her grandmother) probably had these portraits painted shortly after their 1805 wedding. Mrs. Duane’s portrait has been attributed to Jacob Eichholtz, a Lancaster and Philadelphia artist; Mr. Duane’s portrait is currently unattributed. Later in life, Mr. Duane became a Secretary of the Treasury under President Andrew Jackson during the battle over abolishing the Second Bank of the United States. Although these two portraits have had some previous care, their canvases and frames are dirty with minor paint losses.
Canvases will be cleaned and re-varnished after paint losses and cracks are infilled. Both frames will be cleaned after paint losses are retouched. The project will include the restoration of both paintings.