Philadelphia Information Locator Service
Archival Record Series

Art Commission

[Record Group 140]

140.1 Minutes and Agendas
1957-1960, 1965, 1968-1972
1 cu.ft., partial index
Includes the minutes for 9 January 1957 - 27 December 1960, Executive Session and Public Session Minutes for 16 September 1969 - 16 June 1970, and agendas for 9 July 1965, 13 December 1968 - 14 March 1972.
Location: City Archives, 3101 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
140.2 Annual Reports
1911-1954, 1956-1969, 1975, 1976, 1978-1980
63 volumes, index
Annual Reports were published until 1966; later reports are typescript. Reports for 1912-1935 contain indices of all submissions discussed by the Art Jury each year.
Location: City Archives, 3101 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
140.3 Submissions
1912-November 4, 1970, November 20, 1972
35 cu.ft., 10,000 plans, index
Files on each project submitted for Art Jury approval contain: submission forms, detailing material, estimated cost, location and designer; excerpts from minutes of meetings discussing projects; Art Jury correspondence and notes on submission approval and disapproval; blueprints, drawings, photographs, literature and other items submitted in support of projects; correspondence from the community and other institutions and press clippings.

Submissions include construction of and/or alterations to significant public structures, such as the Philadelphia Museum of Art, City Hall, City Hall Annex and the Municipal Services Building, the Free Library, Veterans' Stadium, Municipal Stadium, Philadelphia Zoological Gardens and Philadelphia General Hospital, as well as schools, branch libraries, recreation centers, police and fire stations, public housing projects, parking lots, water department facilities and airport buildings; public highway and transportation projects, including the Schuylkill Expressway, Delaware Expressway, Roosevelt Boulevard, Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Southern Boulevard, Broad Street Subway and numerous bridges and development of public parks and squares; Also reviewed by the Art Jury were public and private construction and landscaping on and in the vicinity of Independence Mall, Fairmount Park and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Files also reflect Art Jury jurisdiction over public and private signage, awnings, traffic signals, telephone booths and other features affecting streetscapes. Additionally, submission files were sometimes created to hold materials discussing issues of concern to the Art Jury, such as jurisdiction over particular sorts of projects and discussions with other public agencies.

Submissions were numbered sequentially from 1912 to 1961; after 1962, an annual numbering system was introduced. (For example, the first submission of 1962 was 1-62.)

Only about 10% of all submission files for 1912-1970 are held by the City Archives, including 8% of those for 1912-1961 and 23% for 1962-1970. The Annual Reports (140.2) for 1912-1935 contain a complete index of the projects considered by the Art Jury during each of those years; a complete index of later submissions is not available at the Archives.

Most files contain architectural plans, drawings and/or photographs. Oversized items have been removed from the submission folders and filed separately. Most of these items were designated "exhibits" and assigned letters or numbers by the Art Jury. Items not so designated were given bracketed numbers in the course of archival processing.

Submission files have been described in a database which includes data on project names, locations, submission dates and dates of file materials as well as the architects, engineers and artists associated with each project. Items designated "exhibits" have been individually described in a database table providing title, date, draftsman, scale, dimensions, format and filing location.
see Record Series 140.5 for additional drawings
Location: City Archives, 3101 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104

140.4 Correspondence and Memoranda
1914-1915, 1918-1919, 1956-1960, 1972-1973
1 cu.ft., no index
Papers concerning budget matters, submissions, ornamentations, questions of policy and procedure, etc.; also includes Weekly Reports to the Mayor, 1972-1973.
Location: City Archives, 3101 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
140.5 Architectural Plans
250 sets of plans, no index
Architectural plans of construction projects, submitted to the Commission for its approval, which include the number and date of submission, date drawn, description of project, location, designer, engineer or architect; site or floor plans, elevations, property lines, grades, sectional details, materials, and scale.
Among the plans are those of various Fairmount Park buildings, Market Street East, Market Street Concourse and Subway, Frederic R. Mann Music Center (Robin Hood Dell West), Girard Point Bridge, the Federal Reserve Bank, schools, Philadelphia Civic Center, Philadelphia Airport, Delaware Expressway (I-95), Pulaski -Pennsauken Interchange, Betsy Ross House, Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Penn's Landing, Delaware Expressway cover, Elfreth's Alley, the Art Museum, Veterans Stadium, Schuylkill River Park, Stetson Complex, Fairmont Hotel (Bellevue-Stratford Hotel), Gallery II Complex, and other public and private construction projects.
Location: City Archives, 3101 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
140.6 Reports and Publications
1913, 1929, 1991
3 volumes, index vol. 1991 only
Includes: Bulletin of Information, 1913; Bulletin of Information, 1929; Toward A Vision of the Public Environment, November 1991.
Location: City Archives, 3101 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104

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Last updated on November 9, 2000