Nominated for: BEST Venue
The Union League of Philadelphia is a shining jewel of history in the heart of the cultural and commercial district of Philadelphia, a city defined by such treasure. Founded in 1862 as a patriotic society to support the Union and the policies of President Abraham Lincoln, it laid the philosophical foundation of other Union Leagues across a nation torn by Civil War. The Union League has hosted U.S. presidents, heads of state, industrialists, entertainers and visiting dignitaries from around the globe. It has also given loyal support to the American military in each conflict since the Civil War, and continues to be driven by its founding motto, "Love of Country Leads." The classic French Renaissance- styled League building, with its brick and brownstone façade and dramatic twin circular staircases leading to the main entrance on Broad Street, dates to 1865. Additions to the building in the Beaux Arts style, designed by Philadelphia architects Horace Trumbauer and Julian Abele and completed in 1910 and 1911, expanded the building to occupy an entire city block. The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979. Inside, the traditional décor is accented in rich leather, patinated wood and polished marble. Adorning the walls and hallways is the League’s distinguished collection of art and artifacts. The collection is a rich, historical chronicle of Philadelphia’s unique imprint upon the American landscape from the 19th century to today and is recognized by historians and art experts as valuable components of our shared American history.