WHEN CARL G. Karsch moved to Center City in 1966, he was intrigued by the red-brick homes and monuments redolent of the nation's early history.

Living in Washington Square West, he became a mainstay of the Carpenters' Hall organization and an expert on the history of Carpenters Hall, on Chestnut Street near 4th, where the Continental Congress met in 1774.

He wrote more than 40 articles on the organization, its headquarters and historical events in and around the structure.

Carl Karsch, whose career encompassed advertising, medical administration and photography, died Friday at age 82.

"He was an avid reader of early history and its interpretation, and he used his knowledge to join a long line of Carpenters' members, stretching back to 1724, who meticulously maintain their colonial-era gem and explain its history to 110,000 vistors annually," his family wrote in an obituary.

In fact, the Karsches' home was built by a Carpenters' Company member in 1830.

He was born in Philadelphia and graduated from West Philadelphia High School in 1943. He graduated in 1947 from the University of Pennsylvania, where he was editor of the student newspaper, the Daily Pennsylvanian.

He married his wife, Brearley, in 1950.

He worked for the advertising department of Sun Oil Co.; was associate editor and photojournalist for the now-defunct Presbyterian Life Magazine, based in Philadelphia, and served in the administration of the Hahnemann University Hospital Department of Radiation Oncology.

A memorial service will be in January.

Contributions in his name may be made to the Brearley B. and Carl G. Karsch Fund at the Philadelphia Foundation, 1234 Market St., Suite 1800, Philadelphia 19107.

The fund supports scholarships for needy children and animal-refuge programs in Philadelphia. *