The City Of Firsts, The City Of Homes

 

William Birch’s engraving of “an unfinished house, in Chestnut Street,” 1800 | via Curbed Philly

William Birch’s engraving of “an unfinished house, in Chestnut Street,” 1800 | Image: Athenaeum of Philadelphia

  • Curbed Philly’s Melissa Romero traces the land-use history of the endangered Jewelers Row, the nation’s first set of rowhomes. For a century what is now the 700 block of Sansom served as pastureland on the city’s western frontier, finally being developed, for a time, in the 1790s by Revolutionary War financier Robert Morris for his capital city mansion. Yet, with architectural flourishes deemed too opulent for even his Federalist elite neighbors, in the midst of a restructuring of the national economy not unlike the postindustrial years of the mid-twentieth century, “Morris’ folly” was never completed, and its land sold to William Sansom, who would construct there the first speculative housing development in the nation.
  • The Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority will introduce a social-impact requirement to its formal request-for-proposal process next week, reports Jared Brey of Philadelphia magazine, when it releases an RFP for the 80,000-square-foot surfacing parking lot on the northwest corner of 8th and Race Streets. Brey explains that the additional category will be taken broadly, perhaps: “affordable housing and minority-business participation to healthy food access, job creation, or even simple cash donations to nonprofits or community groups.”
  • Samantha Maldonado speaks with the graphic designer behind the Fairmount Park Conservancy’s new user-friendly guide to the eponymous West and East sections of that park, mapping out an itinerary of 50 “unique experiences” to enjoy. “I had the space to reveal the park’s topography, and that’s a crucial layer to see if you want to understand the park’s heritage as a working landscape, and why the landmarks are connected,” said Andee Mazzocco of Whole-Brained Design.
  • Conrad Benner showcases the newly installed work of Brooklyn-based artist Patrick Jacobs on his Streets Dept blog. In collaboration with The West Collection, Jacobs has wrapped an entire 4-story building at the corner property of 16th & Chancellor Streets in a close-up shot of a daffodil-and dandelion-covered field, providing an massive background for a miniature landscape of the same subject matter.
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
Renovations In Bella Vista Reveal Barber Supply And Bootlegging Biz

Renovations In Bella Vista Reveal Barber Supply And Bootlegging Biz

September 25, 2017  |  The Shadow Knows

The Shadow takes a spin around the old Via Bicycle shop on 9th Street where a barber supply company peddled boozy contraband during Prohibition > more

Without Remediation, Diamond In The Rough A Risky Play

Without Remediation, Diamond In The Rough A Risky Play

September 22, 2017  |  Vantage

How safe is safe enough? Environmental researcher Coryn Wolk explores the potential public health risks at a youth baseball field built on top of an industrial alloy production site surrounded by an oil refining complex > more

Wayne Junction Moves Forward With Revitalization

Wayne Junction Moves Forward With Revitalization

September 20, 2017  |  News

Developer Ken Weinstein unveils transit-oriented development plans for Wayne Junction district. GroJLart has the story > more

Inside Northeast Philly's Temple Of Ryerss

Inside Northeast Philly’s Temple Of Ryerss

September 19, 2017  |  Harry K's Encyclopedia

Harry K. takes us on a fall field trip to the Ryerss Mansion, an eccentric, little-known house museum in the Great Northeast > more

Unlisted Philadelphia: Locust Theatre

Unlisted Philadelphia: Locust Theatre

September 14, 2017  |  Unlisted Philadelphia

Ben Leech spotlights unique and significant buildings not listed on the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places with his architectural illustration series, Unlisted Philadelphia. In this installment, a marvelous movie house in West Philly > more

Monument Lab: A City-Wide Art Museum That Asks Us To

Monument Lab: A City-Wide Art Museum That Asks Us To “Leave Fingerprints”

September 13, 2017  |  Vantage

We ought to write our own history, say the organizers of Monument Lab, who launch their multi-week public art and civic introspection festival today in the wake of Charlottesville, Dallas, and Durham. Nathaniel Popkin catches up with Monument Lab founder Paul Farber, who asks us all, "What is an appropriate monument for Philadelphia today?" > more