With Rohm & Haas Building Nomination, A Layered & Proactive Approach

 

View from below of one of Gyory Kepes' 16’ by 16’ Plexiglass rod chandeliers, nominated as objects for historic protection within the Rohm & Haas building on Independence Mall | Photo: Alan Jaffe, for Plan Philly

View from below of one of Gyory Kepes’ 16’ by 16’ Plexiglass rod chandeliers, nominated as objects for historic protection within the Rohm & Haas building on Independence Mall | Photo: Alan Jaffe, for Plan Philly

  • Plan Philly preservation reporter Alan Jaffe considers the rather thorough historic nomination of Independence Mall’s Rohm & Haas Building, set to go before the Philadelphia Historical Commission’s designation committee on Friday. Already on the National Register of Historic Places, Pietro Belluschi’s 1965 modernist building would provide the city with its first protected interior of that architectural style. Protection of the exterior is of course sought, as Ben Leech explains in his nomination, in light of the pivotal role it played in ensuring the success of Edmund Bacon’s redevelopment of the Mall.  “The whole post-war story of Philadelphia and the corporate buy-in” to locate modern offices in the city “wouldn’t have happened without Rohm & Haas.” Finally, in a third classification of historic protection, the nomination calls for the preservation of eleven of the building’s fourteen publicly viewable chandeliers, made from the Rohm & Haas firm’s signature Plexiglas acrylic plastic.
  • Saint Malachy Catholic School reopened yesterday morning inside the former William Harrison Elementary School at North 11th & West Thompson Streets in Yorktown, just a block away from its original 1891 building, reports CBS Philly. The pre-K-through-eighth-grade school, under the operation of Independence Mission Schools since 2013, now has 255 students enrolled but administrators expect the new building to allow that number to double within five years.
  • Temple University hopes to be carbon-neutral by 2050. The Temple News looks at what the Office of Sustainability is doing to meet that goal, from installing additional bike racks around campus, to raising awareness to energy usage with a demonstrational “tiny house” at Broad & Diamond Streets.
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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