Main Street Modernism In Oxford Circle

 

The Ott Camera store at 6901 Castor Avenue, Oxford Circle | Photo: Ben Leech

The Ott Camera store at 6901 Castor Avenue, Oxford Circle | Photo: Ben Leech

  • Inga Saffron contemplates the playfully designed former Ott Camera shop building at 6901 Castor Avenue in Oxford Circle. Included in the docket for Wednesday’s Historic Commission meeting, Czech-American architect Allan A. Berkowitz’s 1955 building is a superb example of what the Preservation Alliance’s Benjamin Leech calls “Main Street Modernism,” yet is threatened with alterations from its new owner. “If you look carefully, you can see the form of the building mimics a traditional camera, with the exaggerated ‘O’ in Ott serving as the viewfinder and the strongly outlined ground-floor window performing the role of the lens.”
  • Also up for the Historical Commission’s consideration on Wednesday is the former PECO generator building just north of Fishtown’s Penn Treaty Park. Nominators Jill Betters and Stephanie Haller ask you to sign a petition in support of the designation being opposing by owner Tower Investments.
  • The Inquirer editorial board takes a strong line against PMC Property Group and its new-found hesitance to follow through with its commitment to provide 25 affordable units in its One Water Street development in exchange for five additional stories, arguing that any alternative public benefit that Licenses and Inspections’ David Perri might allow in its place could not be worth the price of hampering economic diversity in Philadelphia’s neighborhoods by giving developers undeserved proof that affordable housing is too costly in this market.
About the author

Stephen Currall recently received his BA in history from Arcadia University. Before beginning doctoral studies, he is pursuing his interest in local history, specifically just how Philadelphians engage their vibrant past. Besides skimming through 18th century letters, Steve is also interested in music and travel.

Send a message!



Leave a Reply

Comment moderation is enabled, no need to resubmit any comments posted.

Recent Posts
A History Of Leadership During Philadelphia's Epidemics

A History Of Leadership During Philadelphia’s Epidemics

July 21, 2017  |  Vantage

Contributor Sam Dunnington examines disease outbreaks in Philadelphia and the individuals that helped the city navigate its most deadly epidemics > more

La Salle University Tears Down Historic Victorian Home

La Salle University Tears Down Historic Victorian Home

July 19, 2017  |  News

Another historic home is demolished by La Salle University for campus expansion > more

Shaping Up And Shipping Out At Philadelphia's First Navy Yard

Shaping Up And Shipping Out At Philadelphia’s First Navy Yard

July 18, 2017  |  Harry K's Encyclopedia

Harry K sets sail for South Philly where shipbuilding and national defense once defined the Delaware River waterfront > more

Demolition Of Two Neighborhood Sanctuaries Begins

Demolition Of Two Neighborhood Sanctuaries Begins

July 14, 2017  |  News

Two historic churches meet the wrecking ball this week. Michael Bixler reports > more

Marked Potential: Film Exchange Building

Marked Potential: Film Exchange Building

July 12, 2017  |  Marked Potential

Shila Griffith is back with the latest and last edition of her column, Market Potential. In this final piece, Griffith reinvents a vacant, Mid-century Modern landmark near Chinatown as a cooperative cooking space for culinary entrepreneurs > more

Old Mansion Hangs Tough On Chestnut Street

Old Mansion Hangs Tough On Chestnut Street

July 10, 2017  |  The Shadow Knows

Rittenhouse Square is full of sturdy, old mansions, but you would be hard-pressed to find one as resilient as this. The Shadow has the lowdown on this tenacious Queen Ann Revival home at 22nd and Chestnut Streets > more