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Civic Center, Philadelphia

[Record group 156]
Alternative/Former Names
Philadelphia Museums, Trustees for Establishing;
Philadelphia Commercial Museum, Exhibition, and Convention Halls, Trustees of;
Philadelphia Civic Center, Board of Directors of the
Board of Trade and Conventions

Agency Function
The Philadelphia Civic Center seeks to attract exhibitions, conventions, trade shows, athletic events, and public admission shows of all kinds for the general benefit of the City as a whole, both financially and from an entertainment standpoint. It operates Convention Hall, Exhibition Halls and the Civic Center Museum for these purposes. The Civic Center complex serves over one million visitors per year, with five large public buildings comprising over one million square feet of space.

The Board of Directors of the Civic Center consists of seven members appointed by the Mayor and two ex-officio members from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Operations are carried out through the Executive Director and the General Manager.

Agency History
The first listed Trustees were established by an ordinance of June 15, 1894 to promote the development of a "group of museums...[chiefly] commercial" and was composed of the Mayor, the Presidents of Select and Common Councils, the President of the Board of Education, the Superintendent of the Public Schools, all ex-officio, and representatives appointed by the Board of Education, the Fairmount Park Commission, City Councils, and by eight other citizens designated by the ordinance. Until 1905, when all of the trustees' facilities were located at their present site at Thirty Fourth Street and Curie Avenue, a commercial museum and library information bureau were maintained at Fourth Street and Willing's Alley. An ordinance of December 22, 1932, retitled the Board of Trustees of the Philadelphia Commercial Museum, Exhibition and Convention Hall. The Board's new composition included the Governor of the State, his Secretary of Forests and Waters, and the State Superintendent of Public Instruction. With the adoption of the City Charter of 1951 the Trustees were reorganized as the Board of Trade and Conventions of the City's Department of Commerce comprised of seven appointees of the Mayor and Council and the Director of Commerce, the Superintendent of the School District of Philadelphia and the State Secretary of Commerce and Superintendent of Public Instruction. Ordinances of 1955, 1964, and 1966, while changing the names of the complex of buildings under the Board's control to the Philadelphia Civic Center, did not affect the composition or functions of the Board.

Archival Records
156.1 Philadelphia Museums, Trustees. Reports & Publications (1899-1912)

156.2 "The Philadelphia Municipal Auditorium" (1931)

156.3 Board of Trade and Convention; Directors of the Philadelphia Civic Center. Annual Reports (1953, 1955-1960, 1963-1970)

156.4 Reports and Publications (1960-1972)

156.5 Convention & Trade Show Division; Operations Division. Convention Manager, Files. (1972-1979)

156.6 Convention & Trade Show Division; Operations Division. Convention and Trade Show Coordinator's Files. (1973-1979)

156.7 Convention & Trade Show Division; Operations Division. Convention & Trade Show Coordinators, Civic Center Events Files. (26 December 1973 - 9 January 1977)

156.8 Convention & Trade Show Division; Operations Division. Convention & Trade Show Coordinators. Canceled Events Files (1973-1981)

156.9 Executive Director. Correspondence (1977-1979)

156.10 Administrative Services Officer. Files (1984-1987)

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Last updated on November 8, 2000