Story, photos by Lou Perri
The Philadelphia History Museum hosted its sixth annual Cocktails in the Courtyard garden party on Thursday, June 16, 2016. This year’s retro themed soiree held in the Museum’s Marian Mitchell Garden began at dusk and featured live DJs, local fare, a wine and Tastykake pairing, an outdoor projection display of 70’s-era slides, and the annual “Summer in the City” raffle. Guests were encouraged to dress in their “Summer of ‘75”-inspired best. The event was co-sponsored by Drink Philly.
An event in its 6th year, the Museum’s Cocktails in the Courtyard, hosted by the Young Friends of the museum, has been attended by over 900 Museum members and guests since 2011. Funds raised from Cocktails in the Courtyard support the Young Friends mission to educate Philadelphia’s youth through museum visits for school groups.
The alfresco evening included a photo experience curated by Director of the Collection, Kristen Froehlich. Slides from the Museum’s Neil Benson Photographic Collection was exhibited by a vintage carousel slide and projected onto the museum’s exterior. Photographer Neil Benson offered commentary on the selected images from summers in 1970s Philadelphia. Additional objects from the Museum’s Collection such as T-shirts and posters from South Streets rise were on display in the Main Gallery for one-night-only.
The annual “Summer in the City” raffle included memberships to the Philadelphia History Museum and other area cultural attractions, tickets to Ritz Theaters, a chance to stay at Hilton Philadelphia at Penn’s Landing, a $100 gift card towards a party at local favorite Howl at the Moon, a 1 month membership and training sessions to Sweat Fitness, and Phillies tickets among other offers.
Fishtown DJs Zenith Channel spun retro beats, including the top hits of 1975, under the summer sky. The party featured lite fare by Panoroma, with specialty sandwiches by Philadelphia’s own Campo’s Deli and appetizers by El Rey. Attendees sipped vodka and lemonade cocktails featuring Penn Rye Vodka by Philadelphia Distilling and enjoyed local summer brews from Dock Street Brewing Co., St. Benjamin’s Brewery, and 2nd Story Brewery. A wine and Tastykake pairing was offered compliments of Penns Woods Winery. Guests also enjoyed water ice from Tranzillis, one of Philadelphia’s oldest sweet treat vendors.
Reopened to the public in September 2012 with the completion of a total interior renovation, including all new building systems, the Philadelphia History Museum unveiled redesigned galleries to showcase its outstanding collection of historical objects, art, and artifacts. The Museum, founded by City Ordinance in 1938 to coincide with the 150th anniversary of the signing of the United States Constitution in Philadelphia, is housed in an historic 1826 building at 15 South 7th Street, designed by John Haviland as the original home of the Franklin Institute. The Museum provides historical context for issues of contemporary urban life using its premier collection of over 100,000 objects, paintings, and photographs in exhibitions, programs, and interactive media.