Happy 174th, Frank!

 

This will be the second annual celebration honoring the birth of Frank Furness. “Fearless Frank,” as we like to call him, is, (with apologies to Thomas U. Walter, William Strickland, Willis Hale and Howe & Lescaze), our favorite Philadelphia architect. This may seem like a rather tenuous excuse for a party, and a precious one to boot, yet it has been the passion of enthusiasts, as much as the work of scholars, that has rescued Furness’s reputation from the anti-Victorian abyss that threatened to swallow his architectural legacy during the 1940s, 50s and 60s.

Indeed, from steampunk to cocktails, many varieties of Victoriana have been revived through the labors of intrepid fans, leading to things both wonderful–the return of the rye Manhattan–and the dubious–the 1999 movie Wild Wild West. Even Wilkie Collins and his proto-detective novel The Moonstone has undergone a revival of sorts.

Philadelphia has never really excelled at Midwestern boostermism, but who knows, perhaps the genuine passion of locals embodied in events like this one will one day pair Furness and Philadelphia in the national imagination, much like Sullivan and Chicago, Neutra and Los Angeles and, further afield, Gaudi and Barcelona. Why not cheesesteaks, pretzels, the Liberty Bell, Rocky and…Fearless Frank? That’s something worth raising a glass to.

The photos above were taken by Daniel Cox before last year’s party. They are meant to whet, rather than satisfy your appetite. Photos can give you a sense of a place, but they can’t reproduce what both the Undine Barge Club and Castle Ringstetten have in spades, and that’s atmosphere. For more info on the party, click HERE.


Comments are closed.

Recent Posts
A Rich Past And Possible Green Future For Spring Garden Street

A Rich Past And Possible Green Future For Spring Garden Street

September 19, 2014  |  Harry K's Encyclopedia

The Pennsylvania Environmental Council is hosting a block party this Saturday to highlight plans that would transform Spring Garden Street into a progressive urban greenway. Harry K. is optimistic and gives us the history of this once great thoroughfare > more

40th Street Trolley Station Fundraising Gets A Boost

40th Street Trolley Station Fundraising Gets A Boost

September 19, 2014  |  Morning Blend

Over half a million for the University City gateway project, Old City building complex to be renamed and rebranded, Saffron’s thoughts on a riverside museum, and FLOW on the Schuylkill > more

Drexel Law School Gets $50 Million, New Center City Building

Drexel Law School Gets $50 Million, New Center City Building

September 18, 2014  |  Morning Blend

Litigator Thomas R. Kline donates big, Spring Garden Greenway preview this weekend, thoughts on Philly bike politics, and bagels coming to 7th & Walnut > more

Hot Or Not, Part II: A Drive-By Critique

Hot Or Not, Part II: A Drive-By Critique

September 17, 2014  |  Soapbox

New construction in Philadelphia is on fire right now. Perfect timing to feature another episode of "Hot or Not," courtesy of our indespensible drive-by architecture critic Jason Lempieri > more

City Hall Apron To Be Redone

City Hall Apron To Be Redone

September 17, 2014  |  Morning Blend

Improvements for Dilworth Park’s visual flow, more details on the Bridesburg land swap with Dietz and Watson, Philly Bike Share locations, and a “creative hub” in Brewerytown > more

Dilworth Park, On Balance

Dilworth Park, On Balance

September 16, 2014  |  Soapbox

The new Dilworth Park at City Hall has drawn a considerable amount of criticism since opening last week. Despite a few misgivings, Michael Bixler thinks that there may be a silver lining: inclusive, public appeal > more