The Hidden City Daily celebrated its fifth anniversary in September, and looking back it seems as though we didn’t so much come up with something new as tap into the deep well of passion Philadelphians (or former Philadelphians!) feel for their city. And so in the course of publishing more than 2,000 stories since our launch, something small but remarkable happened: we’ve become part of each others’ lives even though most of us have never met. This virtual community feels more precious than ever to us, and we believe its something you value as well.
But (there’s always a “but,” isn’t there?) we can’t keep doing it without your help. Today, we launch our annual fall crowd funding campaign to raise $30,000 on Generosity
You can guarantee another year of the Hidden City Daily right now. Donate!
This isn’t one of those great-if-it-happens goals. It’s one we must reach or we won’t be able to pay our editors, writers, and photographers to keep doing what they’re doing. Between becoming members of Hidden City, and donating to this annual campaign, readers like you provide more than half of our $75,000 budget.
In 2016, we focused hard on the preservation crisis facing the city, and there was much to do. We’ve offered potential reuses for buildings, questioned the Archdiocese of Philadelphia on its effort to keep buildings off the Historical Register, laid out a plan for preservation compromise, provided a forum for Fishtown residents seeking to save a neighborhood icon, evaluated Schuylkill Yards, examined what “World Heritage City” really means, took a deep dive on Fishtown past and present, examined gentrification around Temple University, reported first on the reuse of the Most Blessed Sacrament campus, and revealed the rec centers most in need of soda tax funding.
We’ve been out in front of the crisis on Jewelers Row, too, and continue to carefully monitor the Historical Commission.
Do something good for your world: keep the stories coming in 2017. Please donate now!
Where else will you read a three-part series on pioneering Philadelphia architect Minerva Parker Nichols, America’s first independent female architect? How about regular features highlighting Philly photography, including recent stories about John Mosley’s images of the city’s African-American community, and Joseph Elliott’s brooding portraits of PECO power plants? Or Ann de Forest’s look back at the 1986 City Visions design competition or her requiem for the Moderne post office at 9th and Chestnut? And that’s just over the past two months!
On the tech side, we upgraded our server this summer, and it’s been keeping the site running like a champ since then. In 2017, we’re planning on (finally!) making our website friendly for your smartphone. To do that, we need your support right now.
Mostly, though, we’re planning to keep on keeping on. That means 150 news and feature stories about the city you love, its great buildings, its forgotten past, and the threats to its future, including:
• Continued coverage of Philadelphia’s historic preservation crisis. This means not only keeping you up to date on the latest news from Jewelers Row, but also the next swatch of the city’s fabric to be threatened by the wrecking ball, as will almost certainly happen again given the tremendous development pressure in some neighborhoods.
• Speaking of which, our annual, year-end roundup of notable buildings that have been demolished (unfortunately longer than ever this year).
• New dispatches from Theresa Stigale, whose intimate portraits of neighborhood shopping districts, including Fabric Row, 52nd Street, Woodland Avenue and the Calle de Oro have become a Hidden City staple.
• Another year of our longtime columnists, GroJLart, (The Shadow Knows), Harry Kyriakodis (Harry K’s Encyclopedia) and new(er) columnist Shila Griffith (Marked Potential), who imagines new futures for terrific Philly buildings that could use some fresh thinking.
Let’s keep exploring the city together.
With your continued support, we promise to embrace all of Philadelphia’s neighborhoods as places of complexity and hope. The thing that you, our readers, have always told us is that we enhance your connection to the city—and now, more than ever, we need that connection.