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Lutheran Center at Glen Foerd records


Held at: Glen Foerd on the Delaware [Contact Us]5001 Grant Avenue, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19114

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Glen Foerd on the Delaware. 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

The Glen Foerd estate was built circa 1850 by Charles Macalester, founder of Torresdale and Financial Adviser to eight United States Presidents. The estate, which Macalester called "Glengarry," was renamed by Robert H. Foerderer (1860-1903) when he purchased it in 1893.

Upon her death in 1972 Florence Tonner, daughter of Robert H. Foerderer, bequeathed the Glen Foerd estate to the Lutheran Church of America. She included the caveat, however, that if the Lutheran Church was unable to care for the estate, it would revert to public ownership. The Lutheran Center at Glen Foerd operated the estate as a retreat center and meeting space until 1988, when ownership of the estate was awarded to the City of Philadelphia in a lawsuit. Today the Glen Foerd Conservation Corporation, a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and restoration of Glen Foerd, administers the property in coordination with Philadelphia Parks and Recreation.

Bibliography: "Glen Foerd History." Accessed September 28, 2011.

The Lutheran Center at Glen Foerd records, 1963-1985, include financial records, grant proposals, reservation requests, payroll, files on building maintenance and historic preservation, and correspondence, including some with Florence Tonner.

Of special interest in this collection are a small number of subject files on topics such as Vici Kid (the fine leather product developed by Robert H. Foerderer), Tonner family history, and Percy Foerderer. These files were probably assembled by Frank Muhly, director of the Lutheran Center at Glen Foerd. They mostly contain newspaper clippings, handwritten notes, photocopied documents, and some original correspondence. Two audiocassette recordings of oral histories of former workers at the Foerderer leather factory are a highlight of this collection.

Glen Foerd on the Delaware
Finding Aid Author
Finding aid prepared by Celia Caust-Ellenbogen and Michael Gubicza through the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories
This preliminary finding aid was created as part of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories. The HCI-PSAR project was made possible by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
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Contact Glen Foerd on the Delaware for information about accessing this collection.

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