Vantage

Flexible Flyer Factory Glides Into Obscurity

Flexible Flyer Factory Glides Into Obscurity

February 8, 2016  |  Vantage

If it wasn't for Philadelphia and the S.L. Allen & Co. the mortality rate of snow sledders at the turn of the century would have been much higher. The farming implement maker introduced steering to sleds in 1900 with their popular Flexible Flyer, taking winter recreation by storm. New contributor Robert Masciantonio has the backstory and takes us inside the old manufacturing plant in Fairhill > more

Naming The Nameless On Lincoln Drive

Naming The Nameless On Lincoln Drive

February 5, 2016  |  Vantage

An eye-catching installation of t-shirts on Lincoln Drive aims to give a name to each of the victims of the city's gun violence. Brad Maule visits the historic Unitarian Society of Germantown and soaks in a heavy and cathartic experience > more

Breaking Through Historic Preservation's Color Line

Breaking Through Historic Preservation’s Color Line

February 4, 2016  |  Developing Challenges, Vantage

Diversity in preservation is a tricky thing. When cultural history speaks more for a building than architecture merit ears often go deaf. Hidden City co-editor Michael Bixler sits down with All That Philly Jazz director Faye Anderson to discuss landmarking the former home of Malcolm X and the precarious nature of protecting Philadelphia's built African-American heritage > more

Artist Explores Pattern Of Synagogue Reuse For African American Churches

Artist Explores Pattern Of Synagogue Reuse For African American Churches

January 29, 2016  |  Vantage

Artist Zoe Cohen explores the loss of sacred places and the incidental conservation of neighborhood synagogues by African American church congregations in her multimedia series, Shul / Church Project. An exhibition of her work opens at the Abington Arts Center on February 5th > more

Stuck Inside Of Mt. Airy With The Center City Blues

Stuck Inside Of Mt. Airy With The Center City Blues

January 27, 2016  |  Vantage

There's nothing quite like the silent magic of the city during a full-on blizzard, is there? Daily co-editor Brad Maule spent most of this past weekend outside—half in Mt. Airy and Germantown, half in the Wissahickon—and came away with a slight yearning for Center City. Bring your snow shoes along for this photo essay > more

Whitman’s Chocolates Building Bids A Bittersweet Farewell

Whitman’s Chocolates Building Bids A Bittersweet Farewell

January 25, 2016  |  Vantage

With little consideration or consternation, the last remaining facility of Philadelphia's own Whitman's Chocolates has been approved for demolition. Contributor Oscar Beisert has the history of the famous confectioner's production site at 5th and Race and the details on how buildings protected in historic districts can sometimes be hastily brushed aside > more

Parish Vs. Archdiocese Vs. Public Good In Catholic Preservation Fight

Parish Vs. Archdiocese Vs. Public Good In Catholic Preservation Fight

January 22, 2016  |  Vantage

Historian Thomas Rzeznik unpacks the Archdiocese of Philadelphia's recent edict to oppose any attempts to place Catholic buildings on the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places. Who will win this proxy battle? > more

Cecil Baker And The Redemption Of 1900 Chestnut Street

Cecil Baker And The Redemption Of 1900 Chestnut Street

January 15, 2016  |  Vantage

Design-wise, plans for the Boyd Theater site at 1900 Chestnut Street has been doomed from the get-go. Pearl Properties' first architect for the project, Eimer Architects, couldn't deliver a quality blueprint to match the prime Center City site. Enter Cecil Baker + Partners. With thoughtful consideration to neighborhood stakeholders and a mind for smart urbanism, Baker's redesign sets plans for the the site right. Contributor Stephen Stofka has this Q&A with the architect who picked up the pieces and saved the project from a deadlock > more

Before The Millennials: On The Move With Young Philadelphians Mid-Century

Before The Millennials: On The Move With Young Philadelphians Mid-Century

January 11, 2016  |  Vantage

Urban life-loving millennials are at least partially responsible for the growth of Greater Center City, and a good dozen other neighborhoods around the city. With this in mind, David Hilbert looks at Philadelphia's young adults circa 1950-1970, during suburbanization. Where did they live and why? > more

Crane City 2016

Crane City 2016

January 6, 2016  |  Vantage

But where one building comes down, another must go up. At least it seems that way in the Philadelphia of today. Brad Maule turns that demolition frown upside down with this rundown of all the cranes building a new skyline > more

Lost Buildings Of 2015

Lost Buildings Of 2015

January 4, 2016  |  Vantage

As Philadelphia heads into a wide open year with a new administration at the helm of the city, Hidden City takes one last look at 2015. Our fifth annual Lost Buildings list is presented here by Daily co-editor Brad Maule > more

Public Clocks Still Keeping Time On Philly’s Streets (At Least Twice A Day)

Public Clocks Still Keeping Time On Philly’s Streets (At Least Twice A Day)

December 18, 2015  |  Vantage

Has there ever been a comprehensive study of Philadelphia's exterior clocks? Well there is now. Steve Weinik combs the city for his Philly Analog series > more

Unearthing A Lost Temple

Unearthing A Lost Temple

December 16, 2015  |  Vantage

Mayor-Elect Jim Kenney came out recently against Temple University's wishes to build a stadium on-campus in North Philadelphia. The team has rented a field from the Philadelphia Eagles for nearly 40 years—after having one of its own for 50, which it demolished in the late 1990s. Mike Szilagyi revisits the late Temple Stadium > more

Navy Yard: Contemporary Architecture, But Will It Add Up? (Part II)

Navy Yard: Contemporary Architecture, But Will It Add Up? (Part II)

December 9, 2015  |  Vantage

What's been built, what's in the works, and what's on the boards. Contributor Jason Lempieri sizes up new corporate architecture at the Navy Yard > more

The Navy Yard: An Office Worker’s Paradise, Part I

The Navy Yard: An Office Worker’s Paradise, Part I

December 8, 2015  |  Developing Challenges, Vantage

Architecture professor and designer Jason Lempieri takes a look at the future of the Navy Yards with a critique in two parts. This first installment explores the dynamic, growing office park that emanates residential potential and begs for urban definition > more

Almost 150 Years Later, A Small Miracle At City Hall

Almost 150 Years Later, A Small Miracle At City Hall

December 3, 2015  |  Vantage

Dirty chain link fencing be gone. City Hall's four portals are finally fitted with the caliber of gates John McArthur, Jr. originally intended for his French Second Empire masterpiece. Co-editor Nathaniel Popkin says the elegant gesture is long overdue > more

Philly Schools Offer Lessons in Architecture. Can We Pass the Preservation Test?

Philly Schools Offer Lessons in Architecture. Can We Pass the Preservation Test?

December 2, 2015  |  Vantage

Philadelphia's public school stock is an incredible melange of architectural styles and eras. With only four schools legally protected by the local historical register, not much stands in the way of developers opting for demolition over reuse. Contributor Ben Leech raises a red flag with this call for a reexamination of district policy and a citywide preservation intervention > more

Four Years Of Hidden City Daily

Four Years Of Hidden City Daily

November 30, 2015  |  Vantage

As the Hidden City Daily enters its 4th year of publishing we look back at the past twelve months with a curated list of our top 15 stories > more

Available: Life In The Log Cabin At Stenton

Available: Life In The Log Cabin At Stenton

November 20, 2015  |  Vantage

What's life like living in an 18th century log cabin in Germantown? Karen Chernick talks with the former caretakers of Stenton, who cared for the colonial grounds of James Logan's historic summer home for over a decade > more

In

In “Verdant Temple,” A Unifying Vision For A Disjointed Campus

November 13, 2015  |  Vantage

Temple University's ambitious redesign plan aims to transform their disjointed main campus with accessibility, connectivity, identity, and open, public green space. Contributor Stephen Stofka takes an in-depth look at the Verdant Temple Master Plan > more

In Kensington, Immigrants Spark A Philly Soccer Revival

In Kensington, Immigrants Spark A Philly Soccer Revival

October 21, 2015  |  Vantage

The city is full of youth athletic programs, but you'd be hard pressed to find one more diverse than the Kensington Soccer Club. The organization was created to provide instruction and outreach to children of the area's growing immigrant population. Nic Esposito caught up with the club's founders to discuss an observable shift in the neighborhood's cultural dynamic through the lens of their sports program > more

Of Monsters And Men: Philadelphia's Rockwells

Of Monsters And Men: Philadelphia’s Rockwells

October 14, 2015  |  Vantage

Philadelphia's Curtis Publishing Company made Norman Rockwell a household name, as the quintessential Americana painter contributed 323 covers to the Saturday Evening Post. But it's his son Peter, who studied at Haverford and PAFA, who's given Philly three of its odder sculptures > more

Interior Designer Digs Deep With Delancey Place Restoration

Interior Designer Digs Deep With Delancey Place Restoration

October 9, 2015  |  Vantage

Barbara Eberlein talks architectural archeology, creative rehabilitation, and historic preservation with 21st century sensibilities > more

Talking LOVE, Philly Style

Talking LOVE, Philly Style

October 6, 2015  |  Vantage

One of Philadelphia's greatest contemporary writers, Beth Kephart changed the way we look at place and history in Flow: The Life and Times of Philadelphia's Schuylkill River. She's back with LOVE: A Philadelphia Affair, a memoir and meditation on this city. Nathaniel Popkin caught up with Kephart for a chance to talk about the ideas behind the book > more

Philly's Flag Obsession, In Two Parts

Philly’s Flag Obsession, In Two Parts

October 2, 2015  |  Vantage

The 1100 block of Rodman Street's 14 year flag project has a strange prequel in the work of another Rodman, the son of John Wanamaker > more

Comparing The City's Handling Of Pope Visits--& Center City Itself--36 Years Apart

Comparing The City’s Handling Of Pope Visits–& Center City Itself–36 Years Apart

September 23, 2015  |  Vantage

Everything is coming up papal. Data junkie Davie Hilbert compares the city's preparations for this weekend's visit from Pope Francis with Pope John Paul II's stay in 1979 and reveals the gradual streamlining of a city > more

Finding Robert Wood: The Long Lost Foundry Of An Iconic Ironworker

Finding Robert Wood: The Long Lost Foundry Of An Iconic Ironworker

September 21, 2015  |  Vantage

Robert Wood's renowned foundry at the corner of Ridge Avenue and 12th Street on Spring Garden Street once produced some of the nation's finest ornamental iron work. The neighborhood is slowly awakening with renewal, yet the revered company's former site remains an empty, blighted lot > more

Neighborhood Nomination: What Building Would You Like To See On The Philadelphia Register Of Historic Places?

Neighborhood Nomination: What Building Would You Like To See On The Philadelphia Register Of Historic Places?

September 18, 2015  |  Developing Challenges, Vantage

As the building boom gains momentum Philadelphia's neighborhoods are losing their defining built history and architectural character. We want you to speak up for the building you care about most and get involved by taking our survey > more

What Drought Hath Wrought

What Drought Hath Wrought

September 17, 2015  |  Vantage

The drought may be over, but many of our street trees look like they are one crispy leaf away from death. Landscape architect Dennis McGlade says fear not and gives an explanation of the situation in his column, Our Blooming City > more

On North 5th Street In Olney, Shopkeepers Redefine

On North 5th Street In Olney, Shopkeepers Redefine “Main Street”

September 9, 2015  |  Vantage

Theresa Stigale checks in on shopkeepers and the non-profit North 5th Street Revitalization Project, as the shopping district evolves beyond "Koreatown" > more

Bacteria And The Bellevue: The Birthplace Of Legionnaires’ Disease

Bacteria And The Bellevue: The Birthplace Of Legionnaires’ Disease

September 4, 2015  |  Vantage

The fatal outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease this summer in South Bronx has taken the lives of 12 New Yorkers. Contributor Karen Chernick revisits the bacteria's history with the first identified epidemic at the Bellevue Stratford Hotel on Broad Street > more

Our Blooming City: What The Best Window Boxes Are Wearing this Summer

Our Blooming City: What The Best Window Boxes Are Wearing this Summer

August 24, 2015  |  Vantage

Award winning landscape architect and urban horticulturist Dennis McGlade takes us on a tour of this summer's best window box displays with his new series, Our Blooming City > more

Salvation For A Neighborhood Icon In Manayunk

Salvation For A Neighborhood Icon In Manayunk

August 21, 2015  |  Vantage

How a community rallied around restoring St. John the Baptist > more

A Crude Future: When Oil Refineries And Public Interest Converge

A Crude Future: When Oil Refineries And Public Interest Converge

August 17, 2015  |  Vantage

As 150 million gallons of highly flammable crude oil travels through Philadelphia each week, some fear we are overdue for another large-scale disaster. Coryn Wolk steps back to view the current conflict between public safety and reclamation of the Schuylkill and Delaware River waterfronts and the city's booming oil industry. > more

Back From The Brink In Kingsessing

Back From The Brink In Kingsessing

August 14, 2015  |  Vantage

A professor, a developer, and a former mayor team up to save a church designed by Furness, Evans & Co > more

The Philadelphia Art Alliance At 100: Centennial Exhibition Celebrates The Wetherill Mansion

The Philadelphia Art Alliance At 100: Centennial Exhibition Celebrates The Wetherill Mansion

August 12, 2015  |  Vantage

The Philadelphia Art Alliance celebrates 100 years with the installation exhibition, Home Is Where You Hang Your Hat > more

The Rise And Fall Of Philadelphia's Diners

The Rise And Fall Of Philadelphia’s Diners

August 5, 2015  |  Vantage

The menus are novellas and the plates are heaping. Diner expert Randy Garbin takes stock and tells us everything we ever wanted to know about Philly's remaining prefab eateries > more

The Devil Is The Detail

The Devil Is The Detail

July 29, 2015  |  Vantage

"Notorious" Devil's Pool? The most beloved place in the Wissahickon may suffer abuse and indignity every summer, but they are no match for its beauty and physiologic significance. Brad Maule defends the natural landmark > more

Misplaced Philadelphia: The Double Arch Of Park Avenue Methodist Episcopal Church

Misplaced Philadelphia: The Double Arch Of Park Avenue Methodist Episcopal Church

July 22, 2015  |  Vantage

Where do the architectural remnants of a razed building go? Often into a landfill or salvaged and sold for profit. Though, like Monument Cemetery's headstones serving as riprap under the Betsy Ross Bridge, sometimes pieces of the city's past end up in strange places. Larry Arrigale takes us to Ambler where he discovered the overgrown resting place of a double arch from a 127 year old North Philadelphia church > more

Market Talk: Exploring South Philly's Italian Dialect

Market Talk: Exploring South Philly’s Italian Dialect

July 17, 2015  |  Vantage

What is the heck is a brahzhoot? While fading, the unique pronunciations of certain Italian food and the dialect of Philadelphia's Italian community endures on South 9th Street. Emma Jacobs takes us down to the Italian Market to examine the phenomenon. > more

Tracing The Live-Work Divide In Philadelphia's Police Force

Tracing The Live-Work Divide In Philadelphia’s Police Force

July 10, 2015  |  Vantage

Discussion has grown in the media lately regarding law enforcement's detachment and potential bias for the neighborhoods they patrol when they commonly call home elsewhere, particularly in larger cities. In Philadelphia, where police officers lived at the turn of the century looks dramatically than it does today. David Hilbert dove into the City Archives to compare the residential zip codes of the Philadelphia's police force in 1925 and wonders if the migration toward the Northeast and elsewhere has eroded an inner city connection to communities they protect > more

Mister 1801 Of Delancey Place

Mister 1801 Of Delancey Place

July 8, 2015  |  Vantage

Philadelphia leads the nation in off beat residential window displays. In neighborhoods like East Passyunk and Point Breeze it is almost a requirement, be it a quirky collection of ceramic dolphins and family photos, Beanie Babies, religious iconography, or Phillies memorabilia and the family pet. One such display on Delancey Place in Rittenhouse Square stops pedestrians square in their tracks with a bronze gladiator statue and an endearing commitment to wit. Hidden City contributor Karen Chernick takes a peek behind the bay window to give us the story of Mister 1801 > more

Taking Inventory With The Philadelphia Church Project

Taking Inventory With The Philadelphia Church Project

June 26, 2015  |  Vantage

The fabric of Philadelphia's sacred architecture is slowly disintegrating as religious neighborhood landmarks give way to new construction. The Philadelphia Church Project, a growing online record of the city's historic sanctuaries, has been steadily amassing a church database for almost 8 years. Hidden City co-editor Michael Bixler checked in with the founder of the website to discuss church closings and the project in detail > more

Building Trails From The Past To The Future In Fairmount Park

Building Trails From The Past To The Future In Fairmount Park

June 23, 2015  |  Vantage

In West Fairmount Park, a network of trails—hiking, biking, cross country—weaves across itself with seemingly little rhyme or reason. But the Fairmount Park Conservancy is leading a project with Philadelphia Parks and Recreation to make the trails more sustainable and promote their use with better signage. Plan Philly's Jared Brey and Hidden City's Brad Maule lace up the boots and hit the trail > more

In Search Of Peace, 150 Years After The Civil War

In Search Of Peace, 150 Years After The Civil War

June 19, 2015  |  Vantage

Wednesday night's massacre in Charleston, South Carolina hit a little close to home here in Philadelphia. Brad Maule tries to find peace, if not make sense, of what happened > more

When Modernism Took A Pew At St. Francis De Sales

When Modernism Took A Pew At St. Francis De Sales

June 12, 2015  |  Vantage

St. Francis de Sales church on 47th and Springfield broke from tradition in the late 1960's when former pastor Father John McNamee hired Venturi Scott Brown to re-conceptualize the sanctuary's altar with a dramatic Modern design. The experiment was too radical for most and was taken down within a year. Dan Papa has the background on the controversial project and gives an exclusive look inside the stunning sacred space > more

Innovation & Technology: Foster On Process And Influence At New Comcast Tower

Innovation & Technology: Foster On Process And Influence At New Comcast Tower

June 10, 2015  |  Vantage

As it rises out of the construction site at 18th and Arch Streets, the Comcast Innovation & Technology Center will lead the Philly skyline into the future as the city's new tallest building. Last night its architect, Lord Norman Foster, spoke of his process and influences as he accepted the 2015 Louis I. Kahn Memorial Award > more

To Preserve And Protect: Preservation At A Crossroads In Philadelphia

To Preserve And Protect: Preservation At A Crossroads In Philadelphia

June 5, 2015  |  Vantage

Philadelphia's stock of history-rich architecture is in jeopardy, and the time for proactive preservation reform within city government is now. Tireless advocates like Hidden City contributor Oscar Beisert, who goes before the Historical Commission next Tuesday with 4 nomination applications, including St. Laurentius Church, are the driving force behind getting buildings protected these days. Beisert shares his thoughts and perspective on the need to invest in our remaining architectural heritage with this passionate personal essay > more

Marked Potential: Robinson Building

Marked Potential: Robinson Building

June 3, 2015  |  Marked Potential, Vantage

Next up in our Marked Potential series is the Robinson Building at 10th and Market. Interior architect and designer Shila Griffith envisions a multi-screen documentary film theater complex and filmmaker workspace behind the scrolling, Modernist facade of the former women's department store > more

Design And Density Problems Plague Boyd Project

Design And Density Problems Plague Boyd Project

May 29, 2015  |  Developing Challenges, Vantage

Pearl Properties' latest plans for 1900 Chestnut Street and the Boyd Theater were unanimously voted down on Tuesday by the Architecture Committee of the Philadelphia Historical Commission amid a room full of applause. Contributor and in-house urbanist Stephen Stofka takes a look at the unsavory design and where the firm keeps getting it wrong > more

Beyond The Blue Bin: On The Floor Of Citywide Curbside Recycling

Beyond The Blue Bin: On The Floor Of Citywide Curbside Recycling

May 20, 2015  |  Vantage

Ever wonder what happens to those plastic bottles and cardboard boxes after they leave your blue bin? Hidden City's Michael Bixler ventures deep into Philadelphia's curbside recycling machine in Grays Ferry > more

Is This The Train Tragedy We'll Learn From? (Updated)

Is This The Train Tragedy We’ll Learn From? (Updated)

May 13, 2015  |  Vantage

It's hard to imagine last night's Amtrak tragedy being any worse when at least seven people are confirmed dead. But the derailed Train 188 stopped just shy of a parked oil train. Brad Maule ponders the disinvestment of both Amtrak and infrastructure—and the increase in both Amtrak ridership and oil train frequency > more

Incubating Philly Jazz Talent At Music City

Incubating Philly Jazz Talent At Music City

May 13, 2015  |  Vantage

Music City on Chestnut Street was the spot for aspiring jazz musicians in the 1950s. Famous players like Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, and Stan Getz would often take time out from gigging in town to give impromptu performances and technical sessions to young instrumentalists at the popular music store. Philadelphia music historian Jack McCarthy lights up another smoking chapter from the city's robust jazz era > more

Oasis Of The Obscure On Bainbridge Street Celebrates 30 Years

Oasis Of The Obscure On Bainbridge Street Celebrates 30 Years

May 4, 2015  |  Vantage

This year marks the 30th anniversary of Anastacia’s Antiques, a vibrant cavern of curiosities in the heart of Bella Vista. Over the last three decades the owners have curated one of the most artfully surreal retail experiences in the city. Milady Nazir walk us through the looking glass in South Philly > more

Modernist Monument To Mid-Century Expansion And The Rise Of The Northeast

Modernist Monument To Mid-Century Expansion And The Rise Of The Northeast

May 1, 2015  |  Vantage

The Northeast Regional Library on Cottman Avenue was built with a Modernist eye and a civic mind. Part of the Free Library's 1956 Regional Plan to put a library within 15 minutes of every Philadelphian's doorstep, the branch was also the first in the area, officially unifying the relatively new neighborhood with the rest of the city. Molly Lester looks at the origins of Northeast Philadelphia expansion through the lens of this award winning Mid-Century mainstay > more

The Other Side Of The Tracks: A Tale Of Two Trestles

The Other Side Of The Tracks: A Tale Of Two Trestles

April 29, 2015  |  Vantage

The city is full of incidental boundaries that can often shape an area's socioeconomic character and influence housing prices and future development. More often than not, rail lines break neighborhoods into highly divided sections, creating an urban rift between prosperity and blight. David Hilbert examines the economics behind the "right" and "wrong" side of the train tracks in West Philly and Port Richmond > more

Getting Wise To Watershed Waste With <em>One Man's Trash</em>

Getting Wise To Watershed Waste With One Man’s Trash

April 22, 2015  |  Vantage

Today is Earth Day and Bradley Maule has a bone to pick with Philadelphia. He just spent 52 weeks picking up our litter in the Wissahickon Valley and his collection isn't pretty. His evocative environmental art installation, One Man's Trash, opens today, April 22nd, at the Fairmount Water Works Interpretive Center. HC co-editors Michael Bixler and Maule caught up to get into some trash talk. > more

Fragments Of The Franco Belgium Society In Frankford

Fragments Of The Franco Belgium Society In Frankford

April 20, 2015  |  Vantage

Underneath a thick coating of concrete and graffiti lies the former home of The Franco Belgium Society. Memories of the French and Belgian presence that arrived in Frankford during WWI has mostly been lost to a neighborhood exodus in the 1960's and fading recollections. Contributor Max Marin gathers the last remaining fragments of the community and the clubhouse on Deal Street > more

The Curious Case Of Body Snatching At Lebanon Cemetery

The Curious Case Of Body Snatching At Lebanon Cemetery

April 13, 2015  |  Vantage

Like many of the city's historic resting places, Lebanon Cemetery in South Philadelphia eventually gave way to urban expansion. Though, shortly before the African-American burial ground was developed for what is now Point Breeze and Girard Estates, a firestorm of sensational headlines erupted in the late 1800's after a grave robber was apprehended while allegedly stealing corpses for Jefferson Medical College. Contributor Erin McLeary has the lurid details > more

Many Ways To Skin A Row House

Many Ways To Skin A Row House

April 5, 2015  |  Vantage

As the housing boom hammers along developers continue to experiment with residential façade design leaving simple, brick and mortar row home exteriors looking almost quaint. Ariel and Grace Diliberto checks out a few new faces in the neighborhood with this row house roundup > more

With New Center Coming, Remembering The Southern Home For Destitute Children

With New Center Coming, Remembering The Southern Home For Destitute Children

April 2, 2015  |  Vantage

The South Philadelphia Branch of the Free Library was recently leveled to make way for construction of the Community Health and Literacy Center, a wellness and educational partnership between Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, FLP, and the City. Long before the former library's tenure at Broad and Morris Streets, an orphanage claimed the large rectangular block from 1891 to 1960. HC contributor Sarah Kennedy got in touch with former residents of The Southern Home For Destitute Children, bringing up fond memories and a lasting affection for their childhood home away from home > more

The Industrial Bones Of South Philadelphia

The Industrial Bones Of South Philadelphia

March 27, 2015  |  Vantage

Think of Pier 70 and picture of the many many shopping options, from Walmart and Home Depot to Superfresh and AC Moore. But think of it a century ago for a totally different picture of industrial South Philadelphia. Theresa Everline tells the story of Baugh & Sons, a bygone major fertilizer company on the riverfront > more

Surveying The Damage With <em>Abandoned America: The Age of Consequences</em>

Surveying The Damage With Abandoned America: The Age of Consequences

March 25, 2015  |  Vantage

A picture is worth a thousand words, but some can leave you speechless. We caught up with photographer Matthew Christopher to discuss a nation in architectural decline and his new book, "Abandoned America: The Age of Consequences" > more

A Look At Temple University's Demolition History

A Look At Temple University’s Demolition History

March 18, 2015  |  Vantage

Philadelphia preservationists have taken a wrecking ball to the gut in recent days, with the Boyd Theatre currently coming down and the fate of the legendary Blue Horizon sealed by the Philadelphia Historical Commission's choice to not designate its interior. Meanwhile, just up North Broad Street, Temple University is in the midst of a demolition spree, in some cases with no plans to replace what it's knocking down. Rachel Hildebrandt surveys what's been lost through almost 70 years of campus expansion > more

The Hidden Patterns Of Ownership In Northern Liberties And Grays Ferry

The Hidden Patterns Of Ownership In Northern Liberties And Grays Ferry

March 11, 2015  |  Vantage

Grays Ferry and Northern Liberties are both two miles from City Hall and mirror each other in percentage of renters. Tracing the addresses of landlords in both areas, David Hilbert examines affluence and poverty through property owner distance and neighborhood investment > more

Shining A Light On The Beacon Of Boathouse Row

Shining A Light On The Beacon Of Boathouse Row

March 9, 2015  |  Vantage

The peaceful Schuylkill River was once a bustling aquatic highway of commercial marine activity. Turtle Rock lighthouse was built in the late 1800s to keep traffic away from the river banks and Fairmount Water Works. Over a decade later the first all-female athletic club on the river built their clubhouse around the beacon, preserving the lighthouse for future admiration and intrigue. Contributor Maria Gorshin illuminates this present day curiosity of Boathouse Row > more

Penn Takes

Penn Takes “Collage” Approach To Preservation With Perry World House

March 6, 2015  |  Vantage

Not every historic building in the city can be saved, though total demolition doesn't have to be the final answer either. Co-editor Michael Bixler looks at a third way at Perry World House, now under construction, in conversation with University of Pennsylvania campus architect David Hollenberg > more

On Front Street, A Warehouse With A Sacred Past Seeks Salvation

On Front Street, A Warehouse With A Sacred Past Seeks Salvation

March 4, 2015  |  Vantage

Kensington was once home to generations of Presbyterians and their houses of worship peppered the neighborhood. One of the denomination's oldest surviving churches in the area was just put up for sale after being used as a building supply warehouse since the 1950s. Oscar Beisert digs deep into the former lives of Second Associate Presbyterian and unearths a strong case for preservation > more

Under Inspection: Five Residential Projects Currently Breaking Ground

Under Inspection: Five Residential Projects Currently Breaking Ground

February 25, 2015  |  Vantage

Boon times for our evolving skyline as large-scale construction projects pop up all over the city, but how will the designs hold up when the buildings are complete? Hidden City contributor and urbanist inspector Stephen Stofka puts an eye on five big residential projects about to begin > more

Winter Whiteout 2015

Winter Whiteout 2015

February 23, 2015  |  Vantage

Though last month's Storm of the Century resulted in little else than a dusting and forecaster embarrassment, this winter has meant serious business. Thanks to the brutal recent cold snap, Philadelphia has had its coldest February in over 30 years. Top the frozen landscape with 4-6" of Saturday's surprise snowfall, and the big city turns to Currier & Ives. Brad Maule tips his cap to the old romantics with this snowy walk through Fairmount Park > more

At Liberty Place, The Ghost Of Hot Jazz

At Liberty Place, The Ghost Of Hot Jazz

February 20, 2015  |  Vantage

Long before One Liberty Place leveled the area with sky-high apartments and upscale shopping, Ranstead Street used to belong to Billy Krechmer. His little jazz club burned with Swing and Dixieland brass for over 28 years. Music historian and archivist Jack McCarthy has the skinny on this long-lost gem > more

A Row House Full Of Romance At Yerkes Wedding Salon

A Row House Full Of Romance At Yerkes Wedding Salon

February 13, 2015  |  Vantage

Valentine's Day is tomorrow and affection is in the air. If you want to make it legal, Yerkes Wedding Salon on Baltimore Pike offers everlasting matrimony for only $100. Contributor Kyrie Greenberg has this endearing story about a civil ceremony business that has been fast tracking couples looking to get hitched for over 100 years > more

A Winter's Walk Around East Park Reservoir

A Winter’s Walk Around East Park Reservoir

February 6, 2015  |  News, Vantage

The quiet season has set in on the abandoned, nature-reclaimed West Basin lake at East Park Reservoir. On one of the the last winter mornings before humans are reintroduced, Hidden City co-editor Michael Bixler took a chilly hike with Autubon PA and Outward Bound to hear what the future holds for this extraordinary, urban wildlife sanctuary > more

Urban Farmers Look To Land Bank For Help Holding On To Property

Urban Farmers Look To Land Bank For Help Holding On To Property

January 30, 2015  |  Developing Challenges, Vantage

With the Land Bank finally open for business, urban gardeners and farmers hope for legal protection against the City's "Revoke Clause." Hidden City contributor and Kensington farmer Nic Esposito digs deep into the issue > more

Bell Of The Ball: Philadelphia's Short-Lived <em>Other</em> Football Team

Bell Of The Ball: Philadelphia’s Short-Lived Other Football Team

January 29, 2015  |  Vantage

This Sunday, professional football serves up its biggest feast in its annual Super Bowl spectacle. With the Eagles watching from home again, Matt Szalwinski dusts off some sports history to remember some other local pros who've hit the gridiron, including the 1970s' Philadelphia Bell > more

With Ice And Coal Building's Murals Gone, Is Italian Market Development Coming?

With Ice And Coal Building’s Murals Gone, Is Italian Market Development Coming?

January 26, 2015  |  Vantage

The community mural wall at 9th and Ellsworth is all but a gray-washed memory today. A barrier for the empty lot where the Ice And Coal building once stood, it stands a fine example of artists pitching it to tackle urban blight. Daniel Shurley takes us down to South 9th Street, where plans for a Business Improvement District, and possibly a new, creative life for the wall, are currently in the works > more

Lost Buildings Of 2014

Lost Buildings Of 2014

January 16, 2015  |  Vantage

Our annual review of significant Philadelphia buildings lost to demolition includes significant sites of gay, Jewish, and retail history along with the usual churches and industrial buildings > more

The Last Synagogues Of Strawberry Mansion

The Last Synagogues Of Strawberry Mansion

January 7, 2015  |  Vantage

In a city of layers, Michael Buozis uncovers a certain palimpsest: the synagogues of Strawberry Mansion, fulcrum of Jewish life between the two world wars > more

Architects From Across The Globe Converge On Washington Square To Reimagine The Athenæum For 2050

Architects From Across The Globe Converge On Washington Square To Reimagine The Athenæum For 2050

December 22, 2014  |  Vantage

Distinctly perceptive insights on architecture, history, preservation, and the role of the library in the city among the winning visions for the Athenæum of Philadelphia in the year 2050 > more

Trove Of Philly-Centric Books For The Holidays

Trove Of Philly-Centric Books For The Holidays

December 16, 2014  |  Vantage

If you're looking for holiday books with a Philly bent, Nathaniel Popkin has ten new ones--from art to essays to history, biography, and policy--to suit the readers on your list > more

Under Inspection: Urbanism And University City's New Apartment Towers

Under Inspection: Urbanism And University City’s New Apartment Towers

December 10, 2014  |  Vantage

Four new residential towers are transforming the West Philly skyline, changing the landscape above and altering our visual environment below. Hidden City contributor and in-house urbanist Stephen Stofka pulls out the red pen and puts them through the test > more

Postmortem: Not Bad

Postmortem: Not Bad

December 9, 2014  |  Vantage

The PNB letters, in place for nearly six decades, are gone. Brad Maule weighs the visual and psychological change in the context of the hot real estate market. Plus, a Maule treat for a donor to our Fall Campaign on its last day > more

In Search Of The Source

In Search Of The Source

November 26, 2014  |  Vantage

As gorgeous a landscape as the Wissahickon Creek carves through Philadelphia, it couldn't possibly begin its journey to the Schuylkill as an inlet from a shopping mall parking lot. Could it? Brad Maule heads to the suburbs to find out > more

The Gilded Mall Of Market Street: Gimbels Had It

The Gilded Mall Of Market Street: Gimbels Had It

November 24, 2014  |  Vantage

Where the great Gimbels department store once stood a parking lot sits today. With the recent rejection of a casino license for the site, it looks like it may stay that way for now. Shadowbat has the story behind this long gone, cherished Philadelphia institution and the development black hole that is left in its place at 8th and Market > more

We Haven't Forgotten: Gimbels Thanksgiving Parade Was The First

We Haven’t Forgotten: Gimbels Thanksgiving Parade Was The First

November 24, 2014  |  Vantage

Another first Philadelphia can claim is inventing the Thanksgiving Day parade. Gimbels department store started it all in 1920. Kyrie Greenberg gives us the backstory on this iconic public celebration > more

12th Street Gym Is Great, But It Used To Be The <em>Shvitz</em>

12th Street Gym Is Great, But It Used To Be The Shvitz

November 19, 2014  |  Vantage

Nothing says healthy living like a corned beef sandwich, a lit cigar, and the sauna. Ron Avery gives us an old-world tour of Camac Baths, the former Jewish bathhouse at 12th Street Gym > more

The <em>Cobertizos</em> Of Kensington

The Cobertizos Of Kensington

November 5, 2014  |  Vantage

Steeped in culture, community, and a sense of ownership, Kensington's porch cages are anything but a neighborhood quirk. Michael Buozis brings us this latin-infused story of tradition and architectural modification > more

City For Families? Millennial Parents Say So

City For Families? Millennial Parents Say So

October 28, 2014  |  Vantage

If schools are a key to retaining families, what is Philadelphia to do? Quite a lot, says David Feldman, who takes us inside the parent and community-led movement to invest in ten public elementary schools > more

A Monumental Shift At Dilworth Park

A Monumental Shift At Dilworth Park

October 24, 2014  |  Vantage

Olin's design for Dilworth Park gives Philadelphia what it has long struggled for: a suitably grand approach to the monumental City Hall, says Hidden City co-editor Nathaniel Popkin. Here's his review of the park, now essentially complete > more

The Tombstone Wall Of Society Hill

The Tombstone Wall Of Society Hill

October 17, 2014  |  Vantage

With October at hand and Halloween on the way, we thought a series on historic cemeteries was most appropriate. Our first story presents the strange tale of thirty tombstones that sit embedded in the back wall of the Presbyterian Historical Society > more

Lisa Roberts: Inside A Design Mind

Lisa Roberts: Inside A Design Mind

October 14, 2014  |  Vantage

What makes good design and why should you care? Nathaniel Popkin talks to keen design observer Lisa Roberts, as her second book, DesignPop, launches tomorrow night at the Philadelphia Museum of Art > more

A Decade In, Reflecting On DesignPhiladelphia

A Decade In, Reflecting On DesignPhiladelphia

October 10, 2014  |  Vantage

Design Philadelphia's 10th year kicked off Wednesday night. With more than 130 events, the festival has come a long way since 2005. Marsha Gorshin takes a look back at their humble beginnings and the impact Design Philadelphia has made along the way > more

Let's Skate! Take A Spin Around Philly's Bygone Roller Rinks

Let’s Skate! Take A Spin Around Philly’s Bygone Roller Rinks

September 24, 2014  |  Vantage

We'll celebrate the Hidden City Daily's 3rd anniversary October 3 in one of city's best remaining roller rinks. Once, there were roller rinks in just about every neighborhood, says Rachel Hildebrandt, and like movie houses, you can spot some of them today > more

'Scared Half To Death,' Reporter Says

‘Scared Half To Death,’ Reporter Says

August 28, 2014  |  Vantage

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the Columbia Avenue riot. For the second installment of our series, we have a first person account by Philadelphia Evening Bulletin reporter William Naulty, who was sent in to cover the mayhem on the night of August 28, 1964 > more

When Columbia Avenue Erupted

When Columbia Avenue Erupted

August 27, 2014  |  Vantage

This Friday marks the 50th anniversary of the Columbia Avenue riot, an incident that would deeply impact North Philadelphia and the politics of the city for decades to come. "When Columbia Avenue Erupted" is the first installment of a four-part series that begins today > more

Taking Back Taney: All-Star Little Leaguers Make Good A Sullied Name

Taking Back Taney: All-Star Little Leaguers Make Good A Sullied Name

August 20, 2014  |  Vantage

Taney Dragon fever is boiling red hot and we couldn't be prouder. Ryan Briggs looks into the name behind the team behind the street behind the gang behind the man > more

The Pintos: A Philadelphia Immigration Story, Told Through Art At Washington Avenue Pier

The Pintos: A Philadelphia Immigration Story, Told Through Art At Washington Avenue Pier

August 15, 2014  |  Vantage

With Pier 53 officially open on the Delaware Riverfront today, Philadelphia welcomes its newest park—and its newest piece of public art. Brad Maule profiles Jody Pinto's Land Buoy and the tale of art, nature, and immigration it weaves on the site where her father came to America with his family > more

The Other Shoe Drops On Modernist Landmark

The Other Shoe Drops On Modernist Landmark

August 13, 2014  |  Vantage

Coward Shoe Store on Chestnut Street was once a testament to post-war modernism. With demolition close at hand, the Stonorov and Kahn building gives way to the cycle of redevelopment > more

With Demolition Likely, RIP Dewey's Famous

With Demolition Likely, RIP Dewey’s Famous

August 11, 2014  |  Vantage

Bob Skiba reviews the pathbreaking LBGTQ history of Dewey's Famous coffee shop on 13th Street in Center City. The unusual one story building may be demolished > more

Life Anew For The Living Collections At The Barnes

Life Anew For The Living Collections At The Barnes

August 8, 2014  |  Vantage

When the Barnes Foundation moved to the Ben Franklin Parkway, they recreated the galleries Albert Barnes crafted to a T. But the Barnes' living collections—the trees and gardens that his wife Laura crafted to enhance the total Barnes Foundation experience—were immovable. Two years after the art's relocation, the gorgeous 12-acre Barnes Arboretum is open to the public in a way it never was before > more