Local Man Puts Philadelphia Print Shop ‘Back on the Map’ with Its Acquisition, Relocation to Wayne

Mark Hostutler
By
New owner David Mackey stands in front of The Philadelphia Print Shop. This location will reopen in mid-August for a moving sale before the business relocates to Wayne.

The Philadelphia Print Shop – an iconic, well-respected, and nationally-known dealer in rare prints, maps, and rare books – has been acquired. The new owner, David Mackey, will relocate the business from Chestnut Hill to Wayne.

The Philadelphia Print Shop was established in 1982 in the historic Chestnut Hill section of Philadelphia, and closed after nearly 38 years in December 2019. Mackey plans to relocate the shop to 209 West Lancaster Avenue in Wayne. Terms of the sale are confidential.

“The Philadelphia Print Shop has earned a national and distinguished reputation for its extensive collection of fine prints and historical maps, combined with excellent research and fine customer service,” said Mackey. “When it closed, I saw an opportunity to combine the business with my hobby and passion for collecting and selling antique maps.”

The extensive inventory includes a wide selection of original prints, maps, and rare books from the 16th through the early 20th centuries. These include woodcuts, engravings, etchings, and lithographs, many with original hand coloring, ranging in price from $50 to $25,000.

“Today’s e-commerce platform makes location almost immaterial,” said Mackey. “However, there are great similarities in the former and future locations. Wayne is steeped in rich local history, centered on the Main Line, within walking distance to great restaurants and shops, and with strong demographics populated by those who value how local history shapes our future.”

Among the important elements are original prints, maps, and books spanning five centuries. Categories include Maps, Historical, Sport, Americana, Natural History, Fine Art, British & European History, Architecture & Design, Religious & Mythical, and Rare Books. Of great regional interest is the inventory of Philadelphiana, which includes views, portraits, maps, and books of historic Philadelphia.

A COVID-style grand opening of the Wayne location is scheduled for October 2020.

David Mackey, the new owner of The Philadelphia Print Shop, inspects some of the shop’s rare antique maps.

“What that will look like is dependent on the status of the pandemic,” said Mackey. “While much of our business will be conducted online, I see the new storefront as essential. A large part of the joy of this hobby comes from the interpersonal exchanges with individuals, students, and collectors, many of whom are as passionate about local history as am I.”

The Philadelphia Print Shop was established in 1982 by Don Cresswell, a former curator of Revolutionary Maps with the Library of Congress and a university librarian. His discerning eye made him a regular on the PBS program Antiques Roadshow.

“I wish David Mackey great success,” said Cresswell. “I’m happy that the business I established almost 40 years ago with co-founder Christopher Lane will be in the hands of such an enthusiastic new owner. If I can assist in any way, it would be a joy to me.”

Mackey recognizes the value of the tradition he now carries.

“I simply cannot tell you how honored and privileged I feel to have this opportunity to carry on the fine legacy of Don Cresswell and The Philadelphia Print Shop,” he said. “While I may never be able to fill his shoes the same way, I will endeavor to follow his footsteps while sharing my passion with others.”

Mackey was raised on the Main Line and, with the exception of 10 years spent living in Florida, has lived his entire life in Chester County. A licensed commercial real estate/land development professional with more than 35 years of experience, he has been (for more than 20 years) a collector and purveyor of antique maps and is uniquely qualified to build on the well-established brand of The Philadelphia Print Shop.

In addition to The Philadelphia Print Shop, Mackey’s other offerings include Malvern Maps, which showcases Main Line, Chester County maps, and views. To contact him, e-mail dmackey@philaprintshop.com or call 610-212-2050.

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