The City Of Firsts, The City Of Homes

 

William Birch’s engraving of “an unfinished house, in Chestnut Street,” 1800 | via Curbed Philly

William Birch’s engraving of “an unfinished house, in Chestnut Street,” 1800 | Image: Athenaeum of Philadelphia

  • Curbed Philly’s Melissa Romero traces the land-use history of the endangered Jewelers Row, the nation’s first set of rowhomes. For a century what is now the 700 block of Sansom served as pastureland on the city’s western frontier, finally being developed, for a time, in the 1790s by Revolutionary War financier Robert Morris for his capital city mansion. Yet, with architectural flourishes deemed too opulent for even his Federalist elite neighbors, in the midst of a restructuring of the national economy not unlike the postindustrial years of the mid-twentieth century, “Morris’ folly” was never completed, and its land sold to William Sansom, who would construct there the first speculative housing development in the nation.
  • The Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority will introduce a social-impact requirement to its formal request-for-proposal process next week, reports Jared Brey of Philadelphia magazine, when it releases an RFP for the 80,000-square-foot surfacing parking lot on the northwest corner of 8th and Race Streets. Brey explains that the additional category will be taken broadly, perhaps: “affordable housing and minority-business participation to healthy food access, job creation, or even simple cash donations to nonprofits or community groups.”
  • Samantha Maldonado speaks with the graphic designer behind the Fairmount Park Conservancy’s new user-friendly guide to the eponymous West and East sections of that park, mapping out an itinerary of 50 “unique experiences” to enjoy. “I had the space to reveal the park’s topography, and that’s a crucial layer to see if you want to understand the park’s heritage as a working landscape, and why the landmarks are connected,” said Andee Mazzocco of Whole-Brained Design.
  • Conrad Benner showcases the newly installed work of Brooklyn-based artist Patrick Jacobs on his Streets Dept blog. In collaboration with The West Collection, Jacobs has wrapped an entire 4-story building at the corner property of 16th & Chancellor Streets in a close-up shot of a daffodil-and dandelion-covered field, providing an massive background for a miniature landscape of the same subject matter.
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.

Send a message!



Leave a Reply

Comment moderation is enabled, no need to resubmit any comments posted.

Recent Posts
Fear & Floating At The Gimbels Thanksgiving Day Parade

Fear & Floating At The Gimbels Thanksgiving Day Parade

November 22, 2017  |  Last Light

Michael Bixler has this tribute to the zany hometown floats of the old Gimbels Thanksgiving Day Parade > more

New Book Claims PAFA As Catalyst For Modern Design

New Book Claims PAFA As Catalyst For Modern Design

November 21, 2017  |  Walk the Walk

In his new book, "First Modern," historian George E. Thomas asserts that Frank Furness opened the door to Modernism in 1876 with his design of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Joe Brin walks us through the architectural brilliance of the nation's first art school with this review > more

After 45 Years, Brandywine Workshop Still Thinking Creatively

After 45 Years, Brandywine Workshop Still Thinking Creatively

November 20, 2017  |  Vantage

It looks quiet, but the old 19th century firehouse at 730 South Broad Street, home of Brandywine Workshop, is buzzing with art and adaptation. Contributor Karen Chernick takes us behind the blue-green doors. > more

Cret Exhibition Captures Vibrations Of The City

Cret Exhibition Captures Vibrations Of The City

November 17, 2017  |  Vantage

Illustrator Ben Leech enlivens the dying art of architectural drawing with his exhibition, "Cret Illustrated: Revisiting a Philadelphia Icon in Sketches," at Woodlands Cemetery. Michael Bixler has the preview > more

Task Force Inches Closer To Delivering

Task Force Inches Closer To Delivering “State Of Preservation” Report

November 16, 2017  |  News

Mayor Kenney's Historic Preservation Task Force convened today for their fourth official meeting. Starr Herr-Cardillo reports > more

Give $$$, Get a Cool Perk: 2017 Campaign

November 13, 2017  |  Uncategorized

  Now more than ever, independent journalism needs the support of readers like you. DONATE to the Hidden City Daily today and receive something nifty in return. > more