The National Iron & Steel Heritage Museum
Janet Klein — 2018


Janet S. Klein, noted historic preservationist and museum management consultant, proved vital in the seminal stages of the restoration of Terracina, the first historic home in the Lukens National Historic District.

Mrs. Klein is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, mother of two, and wife of noted television management professional, Lew Klein. As a native of Philadelphia, Mrs. Klein is known in many historic arenas, but initially for her work inspiring and promoting Fairmount Park house tours for the Philadelphia Museum of Art. She is also credited with the creation of such projects as The Liberty Trail, for which she designed and promoted a 165-mile automobile route of historical attractions, installed road signs, and produced and distributed a corresponding color map and brochure. Her work with historic house tours grew as she became affiliated with the National Trust for Historic Preservation which provided technical assistance to 18 historic house museum agencies “to solve their problems of administration, interpretation, restoration, volunteers, marketing, fund raising, grants, financial management, and collections,” according to Mrs. Klein. She credits the catalyst for her involvement with historic preservation as, “Multiple reasons, including appointments to positions by Philadelphia Mayors, Fairmount Park Commissioners, Pennsylvania Governors, National Trust for Historic Preservation, and as Consultant to Terracina funded by a William Penn Foundation Grant.”

She was an early supporter of Terracina (the home of Isabella Huston, daughter of America’s first female industrialist, Rebecca Lukens) through the William Penn Foundation Grant. “Terracina showed tremendous potential as an historic house museum with great heritage and a solid nucleus of supporters,” notes Mrs. Klein.

According to Eugene DiOrio, a Graystone founder and Historical Advisor for NISHM, “In the early days, the William Penn Foundation underwrote programs for historic house assistance in the Philadelphia region. It was a 3 yr. program, covering the entire area. We were struggling, as there weren’t any funds to even assess the renovations at Terracina. So, we applied for this grant and Janet came out and she was impressed with what she saw. We didn’t win the first year, but we won the second year we applied. Terracina was selected as one of six houses that year to receive operational and restorative advice from a team of experts. It was enormously instrumental when we were just starting our journey.”

Scott G. Huston, the National Iron & Steel Heritage Museum’s President, applauds this year’s choice for the Rebecca Lukens Award. “Janet has been instrumental to the Historic District since its inception. In fact, it was through her efforts and guidance that our first historic home, Terracina, began to take shape. So, in a way, you could say that Janet’s efforts were a catalyst to the beginning of this entire Historic District in Coatesville.”