The Quest for Knowledge: Lewis in Philadelphia

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Philadelphia in 2003: the time, place and plans for the Annual Meeting

The Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation's 35th Annual Meeting in 2003
Annual Meeting Headquarters-- the Loews Hotel

The Philadelphia Chapter invites you to the Loews Hotel at 12th and Market Streets in Philadelphia for the 35th annual meeting of the Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation (LCTHF) in 2003, the first year of the expedition's bicentennial. The meeting's theme is Quest for Knowledge: Lewis in Philadelphia, and will focus on Lewis's visits to the city in 1803 and 1807.

The fine hotel has been selected as the headquarters for the meeting which will be held from from August 10 -13, 2003. History, location and beauty, as well as a highly competitive rate, were factors affecting the chapter's choice.

Hailed as the first International Style skyscraper in the US, the building was built during the Great Depression as the headquarters of the Philadelphia Savings Fund Society (PSFS). Acclaimed as a "masterpiece" by the Foundation for Architecture's Guide to the City, the building has gone through a series of owners and was vacant for some time before becoming the Loews Philadelphia Hotel.

The renovation preserved the original, highly- polished gray granite and travertine interiors which still give an impression of warmth and comfort in its public spaces. The fifth floor fitness center offers a two lane lap pool with city views.

Designed by architects Howe and Lescaze, the building's roof still sports its original heroic-sized neon letters, ''PSFS," which have become a beloved feature of the city's skyline. Still, the architects adhered to the historic rule of the time that no building should be higher than "Billy Penn's Hat," a rule broken recently by buildings west of City Hall, all of which give the city its distinctive nighttime portrait.

The hotel is six blocks from Independence National Historic Park. Here you'll see park rangers as they work among the historic buildings that Lewis saw in 1803. Within the park is the State House, now Independence Hall, Carpenter's Hall, where Congress convened early in the revolutionary era, the American Philosophical Society (APS), and the First Bank of the United States. Society Hill and Old City, with their 18th and 19th century homes and churches, will set the stage for you to put your feet "where Meriwether Lewis walked." A new Visitors Center and Constitution Center will be open. Nearby is the extant home of Caspar Wistar, who alerted Lewis to look for possible mastodon bones. With so much history to absorb, it makes sense to plan to come early and/or stay longer.

On your "Quest for Knowledge" of Lewis activities, you'll find out that he rode into Philadelphia from Lancaster by horseback, and walked the dirt or cobbled streets to and from the homes of mentors chosen for him by President Jefferson. All members of APS, they gave their advice and instruction as requested in Jefferson's letters. Lewis was entertained by friends of Jefferson's and raised a glass in the homes of prominent citizens.

Lewis also shopped here. The shops have been replaced in 200 years, but you can stand on the street where he bought his chronometer, his sextant, his tomahawks. You can take a step back in time and visit a replica of Benjamin Franklin's print shop and home. Lewis bought over 3,500 pounds of supplies in this neighborhood, from portable soup to fish hooks, medicines, tobacco, whiskey, trading beads, tools, scientific instruments, paper journals, pens, dried ink, and bolts of cloth. Self-guided walking tours will include many of these sites.

Kids Kamp, the children's program will offer activities in the Historic District and at the Delaware River, and will be conducted by Park Rangers.

Come join us for a fabulous meeting in the town where Lewis polished his skills to meet the challenges of a "Voyage of Discovery" and where the Lewis & Clark Herbarium and journals as well as the famous portraits by Charles Willson Peale can be experienced.
Article by Norma Milner and Nancy Davis



Download the Registration form for the Annual Meeting.

Making a reservation:

*Call The Loews Philadelphia Hotel at 215-627-1200. (Don't call on Sundays.)

*Ask to make a reservation with the Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation special room rate and be prepared to provide:
1. The dates you plan to stay at the hotel.
2. The type of room(s) you desire: Single room, Double room, Triple room, Quad room or suite; non-smoking or smoking; with pet or no pet.
3. How you plan to secure your reservation - by check for deposit, or with a current credit card valid through August 2003.

*Verify the room rate for the type of room you request: $125 - Single or Double room, per day; $135 - Triple room, per day; $145 - Quad room per day; $350-450 - One bedroom suite, per day. All these rates are before taxes.

*Ask for a confirmation number. (You will need this number to register for the dinner at City Tavern.)

*If you wish to have a computer hook-up, inquire about what hook-up is provided in the base room rate for the type of room you request and arrange for any special needs you have, with the understanding there may be additional fees.

The Chapter looks forward to welcoming you!

For more information
about the hotel and its amenities, visit the Philadelphia Loews website.


Updated November 24, 2002