New Haas Mural Revels In The City’s Many Architectural Layers


PMURAL31 CAPTION: World-renowned muralist Richard Haas will come to Philadelphia later this year to paint a tribute to phila architecture on a wall on 3rd Street in Old City. His tromp l’oeil style makes flat surfaces look 3-dimensional. His only other Philly mural, dating to the 1980s, is of William Penn at 23rd and Chestnut Streets. CREDIT: Phila Mural Arts Program.

“The primary mural will show a collage of famous Philadelphia buildings. Some are squat and colonial, others gleam with glass and stretch toward the heavens.” | Mural rendering: Richard Haas for The Mural Arts Program

  • Work on two murals begins today beneath the Benjamin Franklin Bridge at 251 North Third Street, reports The Inquirer. The Mural Arts commission being spread across the walls of Francis Purcell’s antique shop in Old City is notable in two respects. The artist behind them is the internationally renowned Richard Haas, who last painted his visually arresting Chestnut Place at 23th & Chestnut Streets in 1983 (before Jane Golden and Mayor Wilson Goode got the Mural Arts Program off the ground) and the subject matter is nothing short of an introductory tour of Philadelphia architecture in 2015. An adjoining wall provides Haas room for a more straightforward take on his famous trompe l’oeil style.


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.

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  1. This mural is horrible. It’s not art, it’s an advertisement for the city right down to the helicopter removing letters from the PNB building. While I HATE all the beige colored walls in this city I could easily live with this wall staying gray. With the way Old City is going it’s only a matter of time before an over-priced townhouse takes over that lot and blocks this anyway.

  2. I recognize 27 of the 28 buildings. (Easy to miss Latrobe’s Waterworks tucked in behind the Merchants’ Exchange.) Is the building between PSFS and the Inquirer Building the Hotel Walton?

  3. Yes–pretty sure that’s the Hotel Walton…

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