Since its founding in 1862, The Union League of Philadelphia has been a civic and charitable leader in the city. Over the past 150 years, its service has ranged from raising troops during the Civil War and lobbying for enforcement of the “freedom” amendments during Reconstruction, to feeding the hungry during the Great Depression, to finding jobs for returning veterans after World War II. Today, the three charities of the Union League—Youth Work, Scholarship and Abraham Lincoln Foundations—carry on this legacy. The Heritage Center is a manifestation of the work of these three Foundations. In addition to the Foundations’ office, the Heritage Center includes two beautiful rooms to explore: the Dr. Russell P. Heuer Exhibit Room and the Ralph S. Sando, M.D. Reading Room.
The Heritage Center is unique to the city of Philadelphia and a unique space within the Union League. It is designed to allow greater public access to the resources of the Foundations.
Creation of the Center
In 1997, the Union League determined that the growing activity of the three Foundations required a dedicated space. By the end of 2010, a successful fundraising campaign had raised nearly $10 million to fund the Center’s construction and create an endowment for each of the three Foundations. The space is formally known as The Sir John Templeton Heritage Center, named in honor of a recipient a long-time friend of the Union League and 1986 recipient of the League’s Lincoln Award. The naming was made possible through the generosity of League members Drs. Jack and Pina Templeton. Jack passed away in May 2015, but Pina continues to be an active leader in all of the Union League’s philanthropic endeavors.