Updike Society acquires original Updike house property

It’s official:  On Friday, Dec. 19, The John Updike Society purchased land that was originally the backyard of the John Updike Childhood Home at 117 Philadelphia Avenue—land that includes an aging structure known among Updike scholars and fans as the family “chicken coop.” The Updike property now runs all the way to Brobst St. and the length of Shilling, which was at one time an alley. Realtor Conrad Vanino, who previously received the society’s Distinguished Service Award, represented the society at closing.

The $90,000 purchase was made possible because of a generous donation from the Robert & Adele Schiff Family Foundation, which had given the society the money to buy the Updike house back in 2012. The land provides for additional parking needed to operate the house as a museum, and lawn that can be used for tented receptions.





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