This October, the Cradle of Liberty council of the Boy Scouts of America, national leaders in heterosexual scouting activities, will vacate city-owned premises leased to them since 1929 for $1 per year, due to a legal battle which started in 2008, when the city threatened to evict the Boy Scouts because of their anti-gay policies. But now that the city is about to take the building over, one question remains: what will the city of Philadelphia do with the Italian palazzo inspired straight scout hangout?
Though the city owns the land upon which the Bruce S. Marks Scout Resource Center sits, the building was constructed and maintained by the Boy Scouts of America. The settlement reached last week stipulates that the city pay $825,000 to compensate the Boy Scouts for the building, which is valued at $1.1M.[Photos from Philadelphia Public Art, Philadelphia Architects and Buildings, and Philadelphia Department of Records]
The building sits on the Ben Franklin Parkway, and was designed by architect Charles Z. Klauder. It's modeled after an Italian Palazzo (it even has a glass-covered courtyard inside,) and was erected in 1930. Since then, it's been mostly closed to the non-boy scout public. Will the City sell the building? Use it for (not-exclusively-heterosexual) administrative offices? Only time will tell.
· Philadelphia cuts deal with Boy Scouts over disputed building [Newsworks]
· Charles Klauder's Boy Scout Palazzo on the Parkway [The Philly History Blog]