Thursday, June 22, 2017

Chester's Alfred O. Deshong's Art Gallery 100 years ago and some great programs coming


A postcard of the Deshong Memorial Art Gallery from 100 years ago.


The Deshong Memorial Art Gallery

.  The plans drawn by Brazer & Robb of New York City, architects, were accepted yesterday by the trustees under the will of the late A. O. Deshong.  The trustees are Judge William B. Broomall, Col. James A. G. Campbell of the Delaware County Trust Company and Clarence Deshong, a brother of the dead benefactor.
            ITALIAN RENAISSANCE STYLE – The building is to be placed on the lot situated on the West Side of Edgmont Avenue, south of Eleventh Street.  The design selected shows a building in the pure Italian Renaissance style, so suitable to an edifice intended to house works of art, as the age of the Renaissance was the most artistic of modern times.  It will probably be constructed of a light colored stone or marble with bronze doors and grills in the windows.  The building will be ornamented with carving suitable to the style and suggestive of an art gallery.  All modern art galleries for the housing of paintings are designed with large surface blank wall in order to make them most suitable for their purpose, as such rooms are best lighted by sky lights in the ceiling.  For this reason the architects have purposely placed two surfaces of blank wall decorated with carving at either side of the main entrance, so that the character and use of the building will be plainly indicated on the exterior.
            In the center of the plan is placed a large room with walls about 25 feet high for hanging large paintings with Oriental rugs above.  Grouped around this large room are four smaller rooms for small paintings, and on each end of the building are rooms with side lights for various articles of bric-a-brac, carved, ivory, &c.
            The building will be connected with the present house by a glazed corridor under which will be placed the heating pipes, as it is intended to heat the new building from a plant in the present house, thereby removing the most to be feared danger of fire.  The new building will be absolutely fire proof and of monumental construction in every particular.
            OTHER FINE IMPROVEMENTS – The dimensions of the building will be about 125 feet by 40 feet, it will be forty feet high.  Work will be started just as soon as possible.  It will require one year in its construction according to a statement made by the trustees.  This handsome building will be the first improvement for the new park.  Others will follow as fast as the trustees can arrange for them.  These will include swimming pool, baseball ground, tennis courts and other amusements for the public.
            What will be one of the prettiest and most valuable parks of any small city in the country, was made possible through the generosity of the late A. O. Deshong, who, during his life, gave much to charity and worthy public institutions.  It is the purpose of the trustees that what is done about the park will be of the best and constructed to last for all time.

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