Historical Society of Pennsylvania

  • Master Plan
  • Philadelphia, PA
  • 2011


HSP is the largest non-governmental archive and research library in the US with over 20 million 17th – 19th century documents including 6 drafts of the US Constitution. The building’s 100th anniversary triggered the decision to develop a master plan to build donor support, and guide growth quantifying the needs of public programs, exhibition, collections care and storage.


Guided by the strategic plan, an interactive process engaged the Board, three internal and external stakeholders to envision:

  • A civic living room for engaging the public with contemporary issues
  • Increase earned revenue opportunities for events and hosting organizations
  • Improve access and safety of collections while accommodating growth

A series of ‘mappings’ of the building based on a variety of metrics revealed opportunities for cost and space effective opportunities to accommodate program goals while reducing risk to collections under established preservation metrics.


Creating a matrix of solutions allowed HSP to make informed decisions to implement a phased approach to improvements.  The final report was ‘packaged’ to appeal to traditional and newly emerging HSP donors in order to support donor development goals.

Walt Crimm, Principal/Planner, EwingCole