Monday, May 29, 2017

Visit Old Economy Village in Ambridge, Pennsylvania

Eastern elevation of Harmonite buildings erected ca. 1825 at Old Economy Village on northern banks of Ohio River in current Ambridge, Pennsylvania, looking southwest across village garden toward bluffs on southern bank of the Ohio River, west of Pittsburgh, PA. Photo: Linda Theil, May 27, 2017.
Old Economy Village is once again facing existential threat if Pennsylvania governor Tom Wolf's current budget cuts to the Pennsylvania  Historial and Museum Commission are ratified by the legislature. After the economic crash of 2008, Old Economy Village was briefly eclipsed, but clawed its way back from oblivion to its current, financially-diminished state, only to be faced -- once-again -- by disregard for its unique status as a cultural and historic asset to the citizens of the commonwealth of William Penn's vision and the entire United States of America.

Secured by the state in 1916, the Harmonite village of Economy -- a priceless architectural asset along the Ohio River west of Pittsburgh -- was placed in stasis, to be held in historical trust for all citizens of the commonwealth in perpetuity by the government of Pennsylvania -- a status verified by the National Register of Historic Places in 1966. The vital position of Old Economy in the history of the United States of America cannot be overstated. Old Economy Village is utterly unique and utterly priceless.

On Saturday I visited the site after many years absence, and toured the recently renovated -- 2013-14 -- homes of Harmonist leaders George Rapp and Frederick Rapp with historian David Miller. Thanks to Mr. Miller, docent Chloe Thomas, and other representatives of Old Economy, I enjoyed a magical interlude where, long ago, Swabian immigrants worked to create harmony. Plan your visit today. 

Eastern elevation of Frederick Rapp house and southern elevation of George Rapp house at Old Economy Village in Abridge Pennsylvania. Photo Linda Theil, May 27, 2017.

Southern elevation Frederick Rapp house facing village garden, and portion of Feast Hall in background. Photo Linda Theil, May 27, 2017.

Feast Hall, eastern elevation. Photo Linda Theil, May 27, 2017.

Espaliers on Feast Hall. Photo Linda Theil, May 27, 2017.

Entrance to Wine Cellar at Old Economy Village, Ambridge PA. Photo Linda Theil, May 27, 2017.

Northern elevation Rapp House, Old Economy Village, Ambridge PA. Photo Linda Theil, May 27, 2017.

Doorway garden, Old Economy Village, Ambridge, PA. Photo Linda Theil, May 27, 2017.

View looking east from grape arbor in garden at Old Economy Village, Ambridge PA. Photo Linda Theil,
May 27, 2017.

Interior, kitchen George Rapp House, Old Economy Village, Ambridge, PA. Photo Linda Theil, May 27, 2017.

David Miller, Educator, PHMC at George Rapp House, Old Economy Village, Ambridge PA. Photo: Linda Theil, May 27, 2017.



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