Held at: Fairmount Park Historic Resource Archives [Contact Us]1515 Arch Street, 10th Floor, Philadelphia, PA
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Fairmount Park Historic Resource Archives. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.
Overview and metadata sections
Personal photographic prints, slides, and paper material primarily featuring the Mai family who operated the Carl Mai Restaurant at the Belmont Mansion. Beyond the Mai family, material features the restaurant dining area, serving staff and landscape views of Belmont Mansion and West Fairmount Park. Items included are generally from the mid-1950s, although there are a few items dated as early as 1924 and as late as 1982.
Items included in this collection have been arranged in conjunction with their location within the Phildelphia Parks System, and can be found with related information on West Fairmount Park, depending on the type of material being researched.
The records were collected and held by Mrs. Renate Mai, who had a familial relation with Carl and Ernestine Mai, as well as a personal interest in the subject matter. The donations were officially received 6/18/2012, and a signed Deed of Gift is on file for Mrs. Mai.
- Fairmount Park Historic Resource Archives
- Finding Aid Author
- Finding aid prepared by Caity Tingo
- Finding Aid Date
- Access Restrictions
This collection is open for research.
- Use Restrictions
Copyright restrictions may apply. Please contact the Archives with requests for copying and for authorization to publish, quote or reproduce the material.
Collection is open for public use.General Physical Description note
Material is generally in good condition, with only a few bends and creases visible on some of the photographic prints. The slides appear to be in particularly good condition.
Photographic prints and slides which primarily feature Carl and Ernestine Mai, as well as their son, Karl R. Mai, and their dog, Prince. The majority of photographs are taken in the Belmont Mansion/West Fairmount Park areas, although a few seem to show private homes and vacations- such as Atlantic City. The slides which are included are undated, but seem to match the same time period (there are a few duplicate slides/photographs).
This file contains both personal photographs taken by the Mai family of Belmont Mansion and Fairmount Park, as well as photographs and photographic prints provided to the Mai family by the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The latter appear to have been requested by Ernestine Mai to be used for postcards. Some of the prints contain handwritten measurements and notes relating to this project. Also included with this file are two pieces of correspondence from the Philadelphia Museum of Art staff. The first is a letter from Louis C. Madeira, IV, Assistant, Department of Decorative Arts dated 1948 with which the photographs were enclosed, and the second a handwritten note from Fiske Kimball, Director of the Phildaelphia Museum of Art, which appears to have been enclosed with the correspondence, as well.
Since the correspondence from the staff of the Philadelphia Museum of Art is so closely tied with the photographs they provided of Belmont Mansion these items have been housed with the graphic material to preserve this relation.
Items which are dated are primarily from the 1950s, although many items are undated. Materials include restaurant advertisements, newspaper write-ups, postcards featuring the restaurant, a calendar produced by the restaurant, and two dining menus.General Physical Description note
Material is generally in very good condition, with small bends, stains and creases visible on a few items but not diminishing their usability.
File contains newspaper and various other periodical clippings related to Carl Mai, specifically as a chef for restaurants other than the Belmont Mansion, as well as limited personal material on the Mai family, such as information purchased regarding their coat of arms. Multiple clippings focus on Mai providing advice on how to carve a turkey. The clippings also illustrate Mai's involvement with the Philadelphia Art Alliance.
Included in this file are newspaper clippings featuring Belmont Mansion and Fairmount Park, more generally. Two pamphlets are included which were produced by and for The Numismatic and Antiquarian Society of Philadelphia which provide historical information on the Belmont Mansion- one printed in 1923, and one printed in 1955. A third pamphlet created by The Associate Committee of Women of the Pennsylvania Museum of Art in 1932 describes some of the colonial mansions in Fairmount Park, including Belmont. There are also a few miscellaneous postcards and periodical clippings featuring Belmont Mansion, Fairmount Park and the Fairmount Park Commission.