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The Oldest Figure Skating Club in the US is in Ardmore, PA – Cool! The Philadelphia Skating Club and Humane Society

Posted on: May 3, 2017


  • The Philadelphia Skating Club and Humane Society:
  • address: 220 Holland Ave Ardmore, PA 19003
  • phone: (610) 642-8700
  • web: http://pschs.org/

Here’s a cool vintage place – and it’s literally cool: Tucked into a residential section of Ardmore PA is the nation’s oldest and largest figure skating club, the Philadelphia Skating Club and Humane Society.

Philadelphia Skating Club and Humane Society - Ardmore, PA Pennsylvania - Retro Roadmap 2017

This club was founded in 1861, formed by combining two existing clubs from even earlier:

The Skaters Club of the City and County of Philadelphia – which began in 1849, as the first skating club in North America

and

The Humane Society of Philadelphia – organized in 1770

Before you start envisioning animals on skates, note that THIS Humane Society was created to help rescue people from drowning, like if they fell through thin ice skating on ponds and rivers. (Though the folks at the PSCHS do admit they get more than the occasional mis-directed phone call, or donation of dog food at their doorstep!)

Pulling up to the club you’ll notice that despite these 19th century origins, the current home of the club is quite streamlined, in the art deco / moderne style, since it was built in 1938.

Philadelphia Skating Club and Humane Society - Ardmore, PA Pennsylvania - Retro Roadmap 2017

The arched roof and glass block walls (reminiscent of stacked ice cubes!) allow natural light to flood the interior, illuminating the interior with a gorgeous natural glow.

Philadelphia Skating Club and Humane Society - Ardmore, PA Pennsylvania - Retro Roadmap 2017

Doesn’t this look like a great place to cool off during the hot weather?

The facility is open year round and primarily exists to “preserve and promote the sport, art and history of figure skating for recreation and competition.” Note there isn’t a mention of hockey, so leave your stick behind when visiting here.

While the club is owned by dues-paying members, non-members also are able to skate throughout the year by paying a per-session walk-on fee (check their schedule). Skating skills a bit rusty? You can take lessons, and ice skates are available to rent, if you don’t have your own.

Philadelphia Skating Club and Humane Society - Ardmore, PA Pennsylvania - Retro Roadmap 2017

The rink is also able to be rented for private events, and your rental can also include use of the beautiful upper level lounge for an additional fee.

Philadelphia Skating Club and Humane Society - Ardmore, PA Pennsylvania - Retro Roadmap 2017

This space is a throwback to the 1930’s origins of the building, with chrome plated furniture, oversized curved fireplace and a wall of windows overlooking the ice. If you’re lucky enough to peek up there, take a close look at the dragon-headed andirons and art deco backplate in the fireplace.

The design of the metal backplate is also recreated on a decorative screen on display, and illustrates the origins of the club.

Philadelphia Skating Club and Humane Society - Ardmore, PA Pennsylvania - Retro Roadmap 2017

Join the legacy of skaters Dick Button and Scott Hamilton and glide along on this historic patch of ice!

Philadelphia Skating Club and Humane Society - Ardmore, PA Pennsylvania - Retro Roadmap 2017

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