Project Description

Imagine a place where master creators, designers, writers, innovators and artists of every kind gather to share their experiences and ideas, a place where new solutions are found by connecting the scientific and artistic reaches of our brightest minds. Imagine hosting diverse people of genius and insight in a common place of inspirational beauty.

This is the bold idea a Philadelphia arts patron and I have been pursuing. Our vision is to transform the historic Elkins Estate in Philadelphia, a magnificent, Guilded-Age enclave of homes, gardens, and buildings designed by Horace Trumbauer, into an incubator of creativity—a nonprofit/for-profit model that focuses on fine arts, food, design, health, artisanship, and sustainability.

Thanks to nearly 80 years of care and stewardship by the Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine de’ Ricci, who purchased the property in 1932, the original architectural splendor of the estate and grounds remain astonishingly preserved and poised for a new era.

Though the dream of The Elkins Institute is still evolving, I’ve been consulting on this exciting project for the past year and a half, helping to envision an artist community for the 21st century. The Elkins Institute would add quality of life not only to the Elkins Park community, but also cement Philadelphia’s reputation as a vital cultural resource.