We live in a fallen age when it comes to building materials. We’ve traded wrought iron fences for chain link, butter-jointed bricks for inch-thick brick facing, marble steps for concrete, copper bay windows for stucco at best, vinyl siding at worst. And let’s not get into what’s happened to doors. Economics made these changes inevitable, but that doesn’t mean we must like them.
So it came as something of a shock to see dozens of pieces of granite destined for curbstones stacked up along Front Street, just north of Chestnut. Granite–rock of the ages–a material that can last for hundreds of years. We see ancient specimens throughout Center City, the stone worn smooth by weather and use; they provide a feeling of permanence and continuity with the past that concrete never will. Kudos to the City (for once) for still using such a durable, quality material in its commercial and historic districts. Future generations will have at least one thing to thank us for.