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Historic Preservation and the Case of a West Philadelphia Burial Ground
Start Date: 5/29/2019Start Time: 5:00 PM
End Date: 5/29/2019End Time: 6:30 PM

Event Description

Dr. Donna Rilling, lecture for the Phi Alpha Theta Induction Ceremony 

In February, 2018, apartment house construction began on an unrecognized burial ground site at 41st and Chestnut Streets. Rilling will discuss how she combined academic research with the support of a network of independent historians to get the "African Friends to Harmony" burial site protected by being placed on the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places.

Dr. Donna Rilling is Associate Professor of History at State University of New York at Stony Brook where she focuses on the history of the early American republic. Her book Making Houses, Crafting Capitalism: Builders in Philadelphia, 1790-1850 (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2001) followed frequently over-leveraged master builders of row houses. Her current book project examines the life, death, and metamorphosis of a waterway in nineteenth-century West Philadelphia that was at the heart of political, social, and environmental conflict. Dr. Rilling's interest in urban environmental history has also led her to investigate a wide range of industries, among them animal rendering. "Bone Boilers: Nineteenth-century Green Businessmen?" [Nature's Entrpot: Philadelphia's Urban Sphere and its Environmental Thresholds (Edited by Brian C. Black and Michael J Chiarappa, 2012) in the History of the Urban Environment Series of the University of Pittsburgh Press] looks at the urban problem of dead horses, smelly boiling vats, and nineteenth-century NIMBY-ism.

Image: An 1895 map showing the two cemeteries in question, with the Rose Burying Ground in the center. Map: Atlas of the City of Philadelphia, 1895, George W. & Walter S. Bromley

Contact Information:
Name: Gabriel Rocha, Department of History
Phone: 215.571.4013
Email: dornsifecenter@drexel.edu
1895 map
Attachments For This Event:
    > Flyer-Rilling
Dornsife Center for Neighborhood Partnerships, Drexel University, 3509 Spring Garden Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
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