GroJLart is the anonymous foulmouthed blogger of Philaphilia, where he critiques Philadelphia architecture, history, and design. He resides in Washington Square West. GroJLart has contributed to Naked Philly, the Philadelphia City Paper's Naked City Blog, and Philadelphia Magazine's Property Blog.
The attractively slender, condo-converted factory at Race and Orianna Streets is a testament to resilience. Multiple industrial renovations, fire, and prolonged vacancy has kept the former Saxe Paper Company building on its toes for over a century. The Shadow gives us a nickel tour inside this brick beauty's history > more
Finnegan's Wake, the infamous Irish pub at 2nd and Spring Garden, closed its doors last summer after a contract for selling the building fell through. The former box and casket factory now sits vacant and off the market. The Shadow saddles up to the bar to give us the building's industrious background > more
Philadelphia's thriving Chinatown has created its own protective, economic shield, barring outside developers hungry to gobble up the neighborhood with new construction. Incidentally, historic buildings in the area are often safeguarded and preserved through consistent adaptive reuse. The Shadow gives us an example of this encouraging phenomenon with the story behind 941 Race Street > more
Development of the lot at 20th and Arch has been cursed since the Kahn Building was demolished in 1929, only 8 years after its construction. Ironically, an easy to miss, colorful little Gulf Oil station has survived at the spot for 85 years--long enough to be placed on the Philadelphia Register. The Shadow serves up a big slice of history on this heartening little hut > more
The Miles Building has worn more hats than a coat rack in its 115 years on 11th Street. The Shadow peels back the stately facade of this industrial hold out in Washington Square West and the view is full of commerce and scandal > more