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American Swedish Historical Museum

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1926, John Nyden; 2003 restored and additions, Campbell Thomas and Company. 1900 Pattison Ave., Franklin Delano Roosevelt Park
  • (Photo by Andrew Hope)

With the demolition of the old Municipal Stadium (later John F. Kennedy Stadium, 1925–1926, Simon and Simon), the Swedish Historical Museum is the principal surviving structure of the Sesquicentennial Exhibition. Unlike the 1876 fair that highlighted the achievements of modern industry, the 1926 fair focused on Philadelphia's eighteenth-century history with a re-creation of old High (Market) Street, and little that was new. The John Hanson–John Morton Memorial Building was named for Hanson, the first president of the United States under the Articles of Confederation, and Morton, a Pennsylvania member of the Continental Congress and signer of the Declaration. It followed in the same vein, here mixing elements of Swedish seventeenth-century architecture with references to George Washington's Mount Vernon. This historical stew was mixed up by a University of Pennsylvania professor, Amandus Johnson, whose specialty was Swedish—that is to say ancestor—history. The building, based on Eriksberg's Slott, a seventeenth-century mansion in Sweden, was intended to convey the sophistication of Swedish design to contrast with the rustic primitiveness of their local buildings. The museum was enlarged and restored in 2003.

Writing Credits

George E. Thomas


What's Nearby


George E. Thomas, "American Swedish Historical Museum", [Philadelphia, Pennsylvania], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of PA vol 2

Buildings of Pennsylvania: Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania, George E. Thomas, with Patricia Likos Ricci, Richard J. Webster, Lawrence M. Newman, Robert Janosov, and Bruce Thomas. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2012, 158-158.

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