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Union League - MEP

Union League Heritage Center Renovations

The ground floor of the Urban League safely stores and displays artificats which require museum-level controls for climate and lighting.

Services Provided
Site and Land Development
The Union League of Philadelphia
Project Contact
Jim Bilella, PE
Vice President, Market Leader for Buildings & Development

The Union League Heritage Center Renovations, Philadelphia, PA

To coincide with its 150th anniversary celebration, The Union League, located on Broad Street in downtown Philadelphia, transformed its ground floor dining facilities into a Heritage Center displaying key artifacts. Since 1862, The Union League has been one of the city’s civic and philanthropic leaders. The League raised troops during the Civil War, helped feed the hungry during the Great Depression, and assisted veterans returning from World War II with employment. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1979.


Urban provided engineering design for the 9,200-SF renovation. The Center houses historically significant artifacts requiring museum-level controls for temperature, humidity, and lighting. Clean agent fire suppression systems were also installed to protect the irreplaceable national treasures.


Renovation entailed selective demolition along with architectural and structural renovations. The primary challenge was maintaining the League’s historic Broad Street façade while improving the efficiency and performance of the building’s mechanical and electrical systems and integrating new ductwork and fire protection systems with the interior design.


The Heritage Center houses offices for the League’s three charitable foundations: Youth Work, Scholarship, and Abraham Lincoln Foundation.



  • Renovation of 19th Century building
  • Museum quality environments
  • Archival climate control for collections
  • Replacement of mechanical, electrical, plumbing and fire protection systems