Pink Stickers And Possibility

Photo: Nathaniel Popkin

The increasingly ubiquitous pink sticker, informing a property owner that it’s no longer OK to diss the city by letting his or her building fall into disrepair has appeared here at Broad and Cypress on the Beaux Arts Superior Laboratories, built in 1910 and owned by Assorted Music Partnership. The sticker informs owners of properties on otherwise stable blocks that they can not have boarded up windows or doors: real windows and doors must be installed.

Image, 1927: PhillyHistory.org

Amidst what we’re accustomed to reporting about a city incapable and uninterested in taking care of its architectural heritage, this is a sign of a city beginning to take itself seriously.

For more on this initiative, see Angela Taurino and Ariel Diliberto’s report HERE.

For more on what happens when a city doesn’t require property owners to maintain their buildings, see the rest of the Daily.


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About the author

Hidden City co-editor Nathaniel Popkin’s latest book is the novel Lion and Leopard (The Head and The Hand Press). He is also the author of Song of the City (Four Walls Eight Windows/Basic Books) and The Possible City (Camino Books). He is senior writer and script editor of the Emmy-winning documentary series “Philadelphia: The Great Experiment” and the fiction review editor of Cleaver Magazine. Popkin's literary criticism appears in the Wall Street Journal, Public Books, The Kenyon Review, and The Millions. He is writer-in-residence of the Athenaeum of Philadelphia.



2 Comments


  1. Rachel Hildebrandt

    Associated Music Partnership is Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff. Gamble is a terrible steward of his properties! His organization, Universal Companies owns the Royal Theater and more…

  2. For more of what happens when a city doesn’t require property owners to maintain their buildings, just walk around any neighborhood in Philadelphia.

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