Woman, 93, helps create the decor at historic houses

Thursday, December 21, 2017 02:12PM
Woman, 93, helps create the decor at historic houses. Ali Gorman reports during Action News at 12 p.m. on December 21, 2017.


FAIRMOUNT PARK - The historic houses of Fairmount Park are all decked out for the holidays.

And a 93-year-old Roxborough woman is part of the army of volunteers working to preserve the famous landmarks.

On the banks of the Schuylkill River, the historic Laurel Hill Mansion takes visitors back to the spirit of Christmas a quarter century ago.

Sylvia Myers, a volunteer with Women for Greater Philadelphia said, "I love history, and this house has history."

For more than 4 decades, Sylvia Myers has been working to preserve that history and share it with the public.

"I just want them to come and see and learn a little bit about these treasures because these are originals," Sylvia said.

Sylvia is part of 'Women for Greater Philadelphia', a group of volunteers who formed in the early 1970s to restore the historic mansions of Fairmount Park for the Bicentennial.

"I've had the good fortune to decorate every house in this park," Sylvia added.

Board Member of Women for Greater Philadelphia Christine Smith said, "She brings a lot of experience and leadership, but she also will roll up her sleeves and pitch in if we need help in the garden or help baking goods or whatever."

This year, the 93-year-old helped create the decor at Laurel Hill, celebrating 250 years of designing women in Philadelphia.

Sylvia said. "They were architects. They were hat makers. They just did everything and we certainly want to honor them."

Laurel Hill was built by a woman a quarter of a century ago and the display honoring women was curated by a nearly all-woman team.

Kerry Bryan of the Fairmount Homes Historic House Guide said, "They donate their time. They donate their money. They donate their love and care to this house."

For Sylvia, volunteering at the houses is a great way to meet people.

"At our age, socialization is important, it really is," she said.

The historic houses of Fairmount Park are open for tours through December 31.

Sylvia hopes visitors will come and learn about these Philadelphia treasures.

"We should learn something every day. I like to learn things, a little bit of something every day," Sylvia said.

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