Virtual Book Talk on Tuesday, May 25, 2021 at 6:00 pm
Established on the Schuylkill River in 1852, Philadelphia’s Pencoyd Iron Works was a global leader in structural steel, engineering, design, and wrought iron for more than eight decades. Innovative American bridge designers Squire Whipple, John Murphy, C. Conrad Schneider, Paul Wolfel, and John Waddell established lifelong connections with Pencoyd. Pencoyd built the first elevated railways in New York, Chicago, and Boston. The tallest structure in New York at the time, the Manhattan Life Insurance Building, used Pencoyd’s engineering innovation to accomplish the previously unthinkable. Learn about the history of the Pencoyd and how it has been re-imagined today as a refurbished historical space. Join author Kevin Righter and historian Perry Hamilton along with Penn Group’s Donna Galvin and Stephen Gibson McCloskey to delve into the past and future of this iconic historical landmark. Signed books of Pencoyd Iron Works are available for sale through the Online Laurel Hill Gift Shop and can either be picked up or shipped.
This virtual talk will take place on Tuesday, May 25, 2021, at 6:00 pm. A zoom link will be in your confirmation email upon registration.
Ticket pricing is pay-what-you-wish. Contributions will support the work of the Friends of Laurel Hill & West Laurel Hill Cemeteries. You can contribute through the RSVP link.
Kevin Righter was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and attended Haverford and Bryn Mawr Colleges, the University of Michigan, and the University of California-Berkeley, where he received degrees in geology and geological science. His family is from the Philadelphia area dating back to the 1680s (he is the ninth generation). Interest in the family history and the Philadelphia area was spurred by his parents, who started nearly from scratch and researched a detailed history that even includes records in Europe. His great-grandfather Walter Righter worked at Pencoyd for nearly fifty years from 1885 to 1933, first as a mechanic, then as a supervisor, and finally as superintendent of motive power.
Perry Hamilton is a historian and researcher for The Historical Society of Lower Merion. Since 1949, volunteers have provided educational programs to the public. Thousands of students, residents, and scholars have worked with the Society’s extensive resources. The Historical Society remains a vital force in preserving the rich history of the Lower Merion community.
Donna Galvin is a founder of the Penn Group. Stephen Gibson is in-house architect at Penn Group. The firm specializes in the restoration and adaptive reuse of historic buildings. Valuing green building practices, their buildings integrate the design challenges of modernizing historic structures with best environmental practices to create healthy, dynamic spaces. The Penn Group is redeveloping the Pencoyd Iron Works riverfront site as a new regional destination, including their headquarters, a Residence Inn hotel, two restaurants, and event spaces centered around a public plaza.