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Burholme Mansion architectural drawings

1978-1980, 0.5 linear feet

02

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Ryerss Museum and Library. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Summary Information

Repository:
Ryerss Museum and Library
Creator:
Day & Zimmermann.
Title:
Burholme Mansion architectural drawings
Date [inclusive]:
1978-1980
Call Number:
02
Extent:
0.5 Linear feet
General Physical Description note:
4 rolls
Language:
English
Abstract:
Joseph Waln Ryerss built Burholme as his summer house in 1859, and upon his death he left it to his son, Robert Waln Ryerss (1831-1896). Robert's will stipulated that Burholme could be occupied by his wife, Mary Ann, but should eventually be turned over to the City of Philadelphia. The Ryerss Museum and Library was opened to the public in 1910 under the administration of the Fairmount Park Commission. The Burholme Mansion architectural drawings, 1978-1980, comprise approximately 40 architectural and shop drawings for a restoration of Burholme Mansion.
PDF Version:

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Biography/History

"A descendant of Nicholas Waln, one of the original Pennsylvania settlers who came to Philadelphia with William Penn on the Welcome in 1682, Joseph Waln Ryerss built his opulent summer retreat, Burholme, on 85 acres in 1859. Like his Waln ancestors, Joseph continued the family penchant for acquiring exotic objects from the orient, with the newly constructed Burholme serving as a worthy setting. When Joseph died in 1868 he willed Burholme to his son Robert Waln Ryerss [1831-1896], a lawyer. Robert also loved to travel and collected more treasures to be displayed at Burholme. Eight months before he died at the age of 65, Robert shocked Philadelphia society by marrying his housekeeper of many years, Mary Ann Reed.

"Childless, Robert left Mary Ann a comfortable annuity and Burholme for her lifetime. Mary Ann traveled around the world and continued to collect objects for the museum. The will stipulated that upon Mary Ann's death the estate was to be turned over to the city of Philadelphia to be used as a park, library and museum "free to the public." Robert Ryerss also provided for the purchase of new books and maintenance of the house and grounds.

"Before she died, Mary Ann Ryerss turned the property over to the city of Philadelphia in 1905. The Ryerss Museum and Library was opened to the public in 1910 under the administration of the Fairmount Park Commission. Burholme is listed on the National Register of Historic Places."

Bibliography:

Ryerss Museum and Library. "History." Accessed January 27, 2012. http://ryerssmuseum.org/history1.html

Scope and Contents

The Burholme Mansion architectural drawings, 1978-1980, are comprised of approximately 40 architectural and shop drawings for a restoration of Burholme Mansion done by the firm of Day & Zimmerman. They include floor plans for the mansion and carriage house, elevations, drawings for architectural details (bookcases, staircases, doors), HVAC plans, etc. A few of the drawings were created by subcontractors rather than Day & Zimmerman.

Administrative Information

Publication Information

Ryerss Museum and Library

Finding Aid Author

Finding aid prepared by Celia Caust-Ellenbogen and Michael Gubicza through the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories

Sponsor

This preliminary finding aid was created as part of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories. The HCI-PSAR project was made possible by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Access Restrictions

Contact Ryerss Museum and Library for information about accessing this collection.

Immediate Source of Acquisition Note

Drawings commissioned by the City of Philadelphia Fairmount Park Commission, 1978-1980.

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Related Materials

Related Archival Materials Note

Ryerss Museum and Library: Ryerss family papers.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)
  • Ryerss Museum and Library.
Geographic Name(s)
  • Northeast Philadelphia (Philadelphia, Pa.)
  • Philadelphia (Pa.)
Subject(s)
  • Contractors' operations
  • Dwellings--Remodeling
  • Historic buildings
  • Mansions
  • Renovation (Architecture)

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