A Knockout Season Of Tours And Events


Harrison Elementary School | Photo: Katrina Ohstrom

Back to School Bike Tour with Hidden City Contributor Katrina Ohstrom

When: Sunday, November 4, 2-5PM, rain or shine
Cost: $15 general, $10 for members
Number of slots available:
Maximum 20 people
Where: Meet in front of the Divine Lorraine at Broad Street and Ridge Avenue

Sign up for the Back to School Bike Tour HERE.

Artist Katrina Ohstrom has been photographing Philadelphia’s changing urban landscape for over a decade. Her photographs and essays have appeared in publications including Megawords Magazine, Hidden City Daily and East Village Radio. This past summer Ohstrom began documenting the closing of Philadelphia public schools. In conjunction with Temple Contemporary, Ohstrom presented her School Portraits of recently-closing schools Drew Elementary, Fitzimons High and Harison Elementary. In this bicycle-based tour of schools, we’ll visit and talk about the school district’s economic meltdown, the impact of school closure on students and the physical infrastructure. Please bring a bicycle, lock, and helmet. Optional pub meet-up after tour at own expense.

Second Inside-Out Tour Hidden Camden: Beyond The Rhetoric, with Gayle Christiansen

When:November 10, 10AM – 1PM
Cost: $30 general, $20 members
Number of slots: Maximum 25 people
Where:  Meet in Camden outside the PATCO station on the northeast corner of 5th and Market Streets, in front of the Camden Seafood and Deli

To sign up for Hidden Camden: Beyond the Rhetoric, click HERE.

We’ll go beyond the waterfront and downtown to see Camden’s thriving Hispanic commercial corridor, the quiet Fairview neighborhood built as the nation’s first federally financed planned community, and stop at favorite local gathering places. We’ll also examine current conflicts existing in the city through a visit to the not-standing-for-much-longer Sears building, decaying Carnegie library, and a neighborhood clashing over a Renaissance school proposal. If you wanted to get to know Camden, but never knew where to start, now is the chance to join us.

The popular commentary on Camden, New Jersey goes something like this: A booming industrial city loses its manufacturing base and then its population. It looks to a “rebirth” first through state intervention and waterfront development and then by expansion of the “eds and meds anchor institutions.” Yet headlines continue to proclaim crime rates and poverty levels among the highest in the country, one of the state’s lowest performing school districts, and a city hall so broke it is looking to outsource its police force to the county. For thirty years “rebirth” evades the city, its supposed imminent end still out of reach.

Those who know Camden realize the city is not a blank slate or an empty urban wilderness calling for “pioneers” to settle here. It hums with the not always easy life of residents and business owners who call it home. It’s steeped in a history visible to those who know where to look, even without many of its historic buildings still standing. Come with Hidden City to explore this city, the one that has shaken off the “rebirth” rhetoric and is writing its own reality by living each day instead of waiting for the next supposed silver bullet of transformation.

Castle Ringstetten | Photo: Daniel Cox

Second Annual Frank Furness Birthday Party at Historic Castle Ringstettenn

When:November 10, 5 PM-9 PM
Cost: $40 general, $30 members
Number of slots: Maximum 80 people
Where: Undine Barge Club/Castle Ringstetten (see below for details)

To sign up for A Frank Furness Birthday Party, click HERE.

Join us for our second annual birthday salute to “Fearless Frank” Furness at historic Castle Ringstetten, the up-river retreat of the Undine Barge Club. We’ll tour Undine at 5 PM before the party starts. Located at 13 Boathouse Row on Kelly Drive, Undine is a memorabilia-filled gem that boasts what must be the most remarkable locker room–yes locker room–in America. We are pleased to offer extraordinary access to these remarkable buildings, both of which were designed by Furness.

Festivities will commence at the Castle at 6 PM. We’ll have plenty to drink, plus hors d’oeuvres and, of course, a birthday cake. By car, use the Castle’s driveway on Kelly Drive–there is parking in the back. For google map purposes, the more accurate address is 4442 Kelly Drive.

The acclaimed Philadelphia architect Frank Heyling Furness (1839–1912) designed more than 600 buildings, most in the Philadelphia area, and is remembered for his eclectic, muscular, and eccentric buildings, and for his influence on other noted American architects, such as Louis Sullivan, Louis Kahn, and Robert Venturi.

Furness was a gritty, pioneering personality, famous for his gun-toting romance with the Wild West, taste for taxidermy, and testosterone-laden yet elegant design. In addition to his accolades as an architect, he was awarded a Congressional Medal of Honor for his bravery during the Civil War. Know as a character equal in eccentricity to his designs, he was said to fire his pistol from time to time into a stuffed moose head that hung above his desk in order motivate slacking employees in his architecture office.

Much of his work has been unfortunately lost to demolition, such as the former Broad Street Station, pictured here. In addition to the well known Fisher Fine Arts Library at University of Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art, there are precious few buildings left.

This is a rare opportunity to explore two of Furness’s lesser known, but remarkable spaces.

This event has been made possible thanks to the generous sponsorship of Erdy McHenry Architecture

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