Antiques extravaganza is coming to town

Show chair­wo­man Gretchen Ri­ley with May­or Nut­ter and Rus­sell Kice, dir­ect­or of sales and mar­ket­ing for the con­ven­tion cen­ter. TOM WAR­ING / TIMES PHOTO


The Phil­adelphia An­tiques Show has taken place for 50 years and done more than just find new homes for dec­or­at­ive pieces and fur­nish­ings.

In the last half-cen­tury, or­gan­izers have raised more than $18 mil­lion for char­ity.

“That’s pretty ex­traordin­ary. It’s all done by vo­lun­teers,” said show chair­wo­man Gretchen Ri­ley.

Ri­ley and May­or Mi­chael Nut­ter ap­peared at a re­cent news con­fer­ence to an­nounce the new home for the 51st an­nu­al show. Since the an­nounce­ment took place at the Pennsylvania Con­ven­tion Cen­ter, there was little drama where the 2012 show would take place.

The con­ven­tion cen­ter, near 12th and Arch streets in Cen­ter City, will host the show from April 28 to May 1. There will be a pre­view party on April 27.

Back in 1962, the Uni­versity Hos­pit­al An­tiques Show de­b­uted at the 33rd Street Ar­mory in West Phil­adelphia.

Over the years, the show has taken place at sev­er­al loc­a­tions, most re­cently at the Phil­adelphia Navy Yard.

The con­ven­tion cen­ter will provide a lar­ger space for the 50-plus an­tiques deal­ers and gal­ler­ies to dis­play their treas­ures.

Ri­ley said the con­ven­tion cen­ter will provide more vis­ib­il­ity, and the loc­a­tion is easy to get to on foot for Cen­ter City res­id­ents and by pub­lic trans­port­a­tion for oth­ers.

“It’s go­ing to be great for the show,” she said of the new ven­ue.

The spon­sor is Drexel Mor­gan & Co., an in­vest­ment man­age­ment com­pany. More than 200 vo­lun­teers or­gan­ize the show.

“It’s among the top shows in the coun­try,” Ri­ley said.

Rus­sell Kice, dir­ect­or of sales and mar­ket­ing for the con­ven­tion cen­ter au­thor­ity, be­lieves the show and the site will be “a per­fect match” for many years to come.

“This is go­ing to be an ex­cit­ing event,” Nut­ter said.

Since the be­gin­ning, the show has raised money for the Uni­versity of Pennsylvania Health Sys­tem.

“We have a won­der­ful cause,” Ri­ley said.

This year, pro­ceeds will help es­tab­lish the Penn Lung Trans­plant Ex Vivo Lung Per­fu­sion Cen­ter, which will fa­cil­it­ate the re­hab­il­it­a­tion of or­gans that are un­suit­able for trans­plant­a­tion and ex­pand the num­ber of trans­plants per­formed.

“So many people die while wait­ing for lungs,” Ri­ley said.

Nut­ter said the char­it­able as­pect will make the show “that much more spe­cial.”

The may­or is hope­ful that ho­tels, res­taur­ants and mer­chants will be­ne­fit. Last year, 10,000 people vis­ited the show.

Phil­adelphia is known for its “eds, meds and beds,” or col­leges and uni­versit­ies, hos­pit­als and ho­tels, ac­cord­ing to Nut­ter. The may­or was happy when Travel & Leis­ure magazine named Phil­adelphia the No. 1 city for cul­ture.

“The an­tiques show will add to that ex­cite­ment,” he said. ••

For more in­form­a­tion, vis­it www.phi­l­ or the show’s Face­book page.

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