We are proud of our ongoing relationship with the Philadelphia Museum of Art (PMA). The Perelman building was one of LF Driscoll’s first large projects with the PMA, a relationship which has grown to include numerous upgrades to the main museum building and new construction alike.
The Perelman building originally opened in 1927 as the Fidelity Mutual Life Insurance Company headquarters and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This was not the first time LF Driscoll renovated the building; in the 1980’s we renovated it for Reliance Standard Life Insurance Company for their corporate headquarters. In 2004, LF Driscoll began converting the 120,000 sf occupied building into a museum and support spaces, constructing a 59,000 sf addition and making utility upgrades underground to connect the Perelman systems to the main Museum building that crossed two busy roadways, an active pedestrian trail, and a park. Our team worked with an arborist to preserve the adjacent Fairmount Park trees’ root systems.
Recognized as one of Philadelphia’s finest Art Deco structures, historic renovation was a driving component of this adaptive reuse project. Original finishes were removed to accommodate new MEP systems, elevators, and connection points. Original details such as 600 feet of Indiana limestone, wood paneling and floors, light fixtures and brick were removed, cataloged, stored, cleaned, restored, and then reintegrated into the building. When possible, original materials remained in place and were protected throughout construction.
The Perelman building now includes museum office space, study centers, state-of-the-art storage including cool- and cold-storage facilities, art cleaning and refurbishing areas, a library, a café that overlooks a terraced landscape, bookstore, and gallery space.
Philadelphia Museum of Art
2525 Pennsylvania Ave Philadelphia, PA
(125,000 + 59,000 addition)
Zantzinger, Borie, and Medary, Horace Trumbauer, Julian Abele
Gluckman Mayner & Kelly/Maiello
Ove Arup & Partners
Best Historic Preservation, GBCA;
Award of Merit for Adaptive Reuse, Best of Awards for Mid-Atlantic Construction Magazine;
Exterior Restoration and Adaptive Reuse of a Prominent Historic Building Grand Jury Project Award, Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia