Pennsylvania Horticultural Society

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Pennsylvania Horticultural Society
PHS Logo
Headquarters100 North 20th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103
Coordinates39°57′18″N 75°10′19″W / 39.955°N 75.172°W / 39.955; -75.172
Region served
Matt Rader
$21 million

The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) is a nonprofit organization that promotes horticulture-related events and community activities. It is headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

PHS building, with library on the ground floor.

The Society was founded in 1827 "to establish a Horticultural Society in the City of Philadelphia for the promotion of this interesting and highly influential branch of Science."[1]

The Society hosts the annual Philadelphia Flower Show, the world's largest indoor flower show. Philadelphia Green is an urban greening program which promotes improvements in the urban landscape. The Community Greening Award is given annually to caretakers throughout the state in recognition of their beautification efforts.[2]

The Horticultural Society has occupied several homes since its 1827 founding. "It held its first meetings at the Franklin Institute, the American Philosophical Society, the Athenaeum and a few other locations throughout the city."[3]

In 1867, PHS built its first Horticultural Hall, whose location was described as Broad and Lardner Streets or Broad Street below Locust. The society held flower and horticultural shows here until 1881, when the building was destroyed in a fire.[3][4] The structure was rebuilt, but again destroyed by fire in 1893.[5]

From 1895 to 1898, the Society was led by banker Clarence H. Clark, who was known for his early collections of rhododendrons and chrysanthemums.[6] During Clark's term as president, the PHS built a new horticultural hall on Broad below Locust,[5] which opened in 1895.[3]

In 1917, poor finances forced PHS to sell its building; it subsequently moved to a space in the Finance Building on South Penn Square.[3]

From 1923 to 1946, PHS occupied office space in the new Insurance Company of North America Building at 1600 Arch Street.[7] From 1946 to 1964, it rented space above Suburban Station.[3]

In 1964, PHS joined with the Philadelphia Society for Promoting Agriculture and moved into a historical row house in the Society Hill neighborhood, on Walnut Street between 3rd and 4th Streets.[3][8]

Today, the PHS' headquarters is at 100 North 20th Street.

In 2003, a former PHS president, J. Lyddon Pennock, Jr., donated to the Society his 25-acre estate in Abington, Pennsylvania north of Philadelphia. Dubbed Meadowbrook Farm, it sells plants at a retail shop and maintains several greenhouses that are used to prepare plants for the Philadelphia Flower Show.[9]

As of 2014, the Society has more than 23,000 members.[1] In recent years, PHS has been able to reach new audiences with the addition of its annual PHS Pop-Up Gardens. The first one was in 2011 at 20th and Market streets,[10] however, it began to resonate with younger audiences when Avram Hornik of FCM Hospitality partnered with the organization[11] to bring food and drinks on premise creating a space that reflected the budding trend of pop up beer gardens, for the 2013 location at Broad and Spruce streets.[12]


  1. ^ a b "History". About. Pennsylvania Horticultural Society. Retrieved November 27, 2014.
  2. ^ Community Greening Award
  3. ^ a b c d e f Atkinson, Megan and Christiana Dobrzynski Grippe (December 9, 2010). "Finding aid" (PDF). Pennsylvania Horticultural Society Records. Pennsylvania Horticultural Society. p. 5. Retrieved October 23, 2013.
  4. ^ "Pennsylvania Horticultural Society's first Horticultural Hall, interior view". The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society Philadelphia Flower Show Collection. Access Pennsylvania Digital Repository. Archived from the original on October 24, 2013. Retrieved October 23, 2013.
  5. ^ a b "Chronology of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society". Yearbook of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (1927). 1927.
  6. ^ "Transactions of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society". Massachusetts Horticultural Society: 248. 1905.
  7. ^ "1941 Yearbook of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society". Pennsylvania Horticultural Society. 1941. Retrieved October 23, 2013.
  8. ^ Klein, William M. (1995). Gardens of Philadelphia & the Delaware Valley. Philadelphia: Temple University Press. p. 117.
  9. ^ "Meadowbrook Farm," Rydal-Meadowbrook Civic Association
  10. ^ Stadd, Allison. "The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society Teams up with Philly Homegrown to Launch a Brand New 32,000 sq ft Pop Up Garden on Market Street In Center City". visit philly. Retrieved 7 December 2015.
  11. ^ Koch, Christina A. "Thoughtful Landscape Architecture in Once Neglected Outdoor Spaces Brings Together Communities and Heals Children". Retrofit Magazine. Retrieved 7 December 2015.
  12. ^ Keefe, Collin. "Avram Hornik and PHS Bringing 'Pop Up Garden' to South Broad Street". New York Media LLC. Retrieved 7 December 2015.

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