Philly’s Love Affair With The Palladian Window


Workers repainting south entrance of Independence Hall, October, 1922 | Department of Records

Workers repainting south entrance of Independence Hall, October, 1922 | Photo:

  • Ken Finkel identifies two centuries worth of examples of Philadelphians’ appreciation for the imposing yet illuminating Palladian windows from Christ Church on Market Street, to Firehouse #49 on Snyder Avenue. Why are these Italian-inspired windows so ubiquitous here? “Maybe the Palladian window expressed in masonry, woodwork and glass what the poets had been waxing about so loud and clear—inside and out—that Philadelphia was destined to become the Athens of America? The Palladian window made appearances in many cities in the New World, but nowhere, it seems, more than in Philadelphia.”
  • Late last week, crews excavating the foundation for a mixed-use project on the southwest corner of 3rd & Market—the old Shirt Corner—unearthed what appears to have been a cellar doorway, reports ABC News’ Vernon Odom. At a location first developed in the earliest days of Quaker settlement, such a find could amount to an archaeological goldmine, yet its West Virginia-based developer doesn’t seem too concerned to find out, telling the excavator to resume his work.
  • Germantown’s historic Alden Park apartment towers (1929) will have all 7,000 of its original steel-framed windows replaced beginning this fall, an endeavor that Curbed Philly says will cost $12.5 million and take 18 months to complete.
  • The School District announced a 3-year pilot program yesterday that will, in the words of chief financial officer Uri Monson, “assess the degree to which certain properties might be undervalued across the city of Philadelphia,” the focus being on those properties suspected of being assessed at $1 million beneath their actual value. Each million would mean an additional $7,500 in tax revenue for the cash-strapped district, reports NewsWorks.
  • The Archdiocese of Philadelphia broke ground yesterday on an additional 52-units of affordable senior housing for its St. John Neumann Place complex at 27th & Mifflin Streets, reports KYW’s John McDevitt. St. John Neumann Place should be ready by fall 2017.
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.

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