Ralph Modjeski Historical Marker to be Dedicated

[Bridge picture]

Ralph Modjeski Book and Resume

Invitation to Ralph Modjeski Marker Unveiling

Ralph Modjeski Event Journal - Letter and Ad Purchase Form

Since its completion in 1926 the Benjamin Franklin Bridge in Philadelphia has become a recognizable landmark in the Delaware Valley region. Always mentioned in traffic reports and often seen in the introductions to evening news programs on local television stations, to residents of the area it is a familiar sight. The irony is that while all know of it, they know little about it, especially its builder and designer, Ralph Modjeski. Not surprisingly, in 1987 the "Philadelphia Inquirer," prodded by the late Polonia activist Theodore Drejerski, ran an article entitled "The Forgotten Engineer."

Now the situation is about to be corrected, thanks to the Polish Heritage Society of Philadelphia, an affiliate of the American Council for Polish Culture. Because of members' efforts an official historical marker nomination was submitted to the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. The Commission officially approved the marker in April of this year, and the City of Philadelphia has agreed to install the marker. The blue metal tablet with gold lettering will proclaim the basic facts about Modjeski's role as chief engineer and designer of the bridge, and mention his Polish background. It will be located on the northwest corner of 6th and Race Streets, opposite the bridge, near the entrance to Franklin Park.

The public unveiling ceremony of the marker is scheduled to take place on
Saturday, September 15 at 1 p.m.,
the public is invited.

At 2:30 p.m. a celebratory luncheon will take place at the Holiday Inn near 4th and Arch streets.

Cash Bar

Choice of meal :

Sweet Bourbon Flat Iron Steak
With Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Roasted Baby Root Vegetables

Pan Seared Tilapia
Topped with Fresh Tomatoes and Balsamic Vinaigrette

Tickets - $35.00 per person

To order tickets please contact Debbie Majka at: 215-627-1391

Parking is available at the Holiday Inn Hotel (about $6 for two hours, $9 for three hours, maximum charge of $20). The committee is trying to work out temporary on-street parking with the city - information to be posted later.

Sponsors of the marker are the sons of Edward Szyszko -- Edward Jr., Allen, John, Paul, and Walter -- and their firm Swift Mailing Services, Inc. located in Bensalem, PA.

An event journal book will be published to coincide with the unveiling of this important marker. Individuals and firms who would like to place ads within this journal may find information on the above website or call Peter J. Obst at: 215-946-5723. Income from the journal is designated for the Pulaski Scholarship Fund which supports outstanding students of Polish background.

Coincidental with the dedication of the marker is an exhibition of photographs portraying bridges built by Ralph Modjeski. It will run from September 7 to 30 at the PII Gallery, 242 Race Street. The opening reception will take place on Friday, September 7, at 6:00 pm when visitors will be able to meet the photographer, Peter J. Obst. Regular gallery hours are: Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, 12 noon to 6 pm.