Traditional Building Conference

Previous Events: Philadelphia 2011

Conference Schedule
Speaker Biographies

Philadelphia’s historic Ivy Hall, in the heart of the Overbrook Farms Historic District, was a popular destination for the first event in the Traditional Building Conference Series 2011. Architects, building owners, facility managers and contractors, alongside 10 supplier sponsors, convened for two days of interactive learning and networking, April 14-15.

Ivy Hall, a 1904 Georgian Revival mansion, was an interesting, appropriate and intimate venue for 125 traditional building professionals. Together, in the ornately appointed ballroom, attendees participated in 10 seminars and earned 10 AIA Learning Units, including four Sustainable Credits and 10 HSW.

Keynote speaker John Milner, FAIA, of John Milner Architects, kicked off the Traditional Building Conference Thursday morning with his inspirational lecture “Vernacular and Traditional – Lessons I’ve Learned About Sustainable Building.” Attendees were treated to Milner’s insight and personal stories, which span a successful 40-year career designing houses and institutional buildings from southeastern Pennsylvania to mainland China.

Additional seminars on Thursday included “Bronze, Cast Iron and Cast Aluminum: Properties, Preservation and Performance,” by Robert Baird and Steve Brown of Historical Arts & Casting; “Going for the Gold: New Traditional and Green,” by John Cluver, AIA, LEED AP, partner and Director of Preservation at Voith & Mactavish Architects; and “Making Additions Look Like They Have Always Been There,” by Sandra Vitzthum, AIA, of Sandra Vitzthum Architect. Each session was highly interactive, with audience members asking questions and discussing problems and solutions. The education was both conceptual and practical.

Whatever was left unsolved in the classroom was taken up again during the networking breaks where coffee, sandwiches, salad, hors d’oeuvres and cocktails were served throughout the day in a grand, wood-paneled dining room and an adjacent living room with a stone fireplace and Mission Style furnishings. This is where sponsor displays were positioned; buyer and seller conversations were of high quality.

On Friday, a seminar entitled “Window Replication in Historic Buildings” featured a panel of experts including William B. Mincey, AIA, of John B. Murray Architect; Anath Ranon, AIA, of Cho Benn Holback + Associates; and Joseph Reily of Marvin Windows and Doors. “What Repairs Teach Us About Design,” by Ray Tschoepe, Director of Conservation at the Fairmount Park Historic Preservation Trust, was technical, practical and useful. “The Art of Detail – A Master Class in Drawing,” by Milton Grenfell and Alvin Holm, AIA, started in the classroom and then moved outside to observe and hand-draw the Classical features adorning historic buildings in the surrounding neighborhood. Perfect spring sunshine and mild temperatures made for a pleasant Friday afternoon excursion.

Ten sponsors played an important role in this education and networking event. New business leads were discovered. Suppliers offered their clients and prospects new solutions for projects now underway. Gold sponsor Marvin Windows and Doors and silver sponsor Historical Arts and Casting each presented one-hour, AIA-approved sessions to a full house. Old World Stone and Allied Window, also silver sponsors, will present technical, AIA-accredited education sessions at the second stop in the Traditional Building Conference Series, which will take place July 14-15 in Boston. For the full slate of conference speakers for the Boston events, including experts, practitioners and authors, visit

The Traditional Building Conference Series 2011 is produced by Restore Media, LLC, in collaboration with the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art and its local chapters in Philadelphia, Boston, New York City and Washington, DC. Restore Media serves the $170 billion traditional building market with magazines, websites, Webinars, events and e-newsletters. It is the publisher of Traditional Building and Period Homes magazines, tradweb – the Directory of Custom Building and Restoration Services,, Traditional Product Reports, Traditional Building Portfolio and Traditional Product Galleries, as well as the producer of the annual Palladio Awards design competition.

The Institute of Classical Architecture & Art is the leading non-profit organization, represented by 14 chapters nationwide, dedicated to advancing the Classical tradition in architecture, urbanism and their allied arts. It does so through education, advocacy and publication.


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