Stephen Girard was a French immigrant who died as both the richest man in America and potentially one of the most charitable. Girard College was opened in 1848 (with Girard’s funding) as boarding school for orphan children of Philadelphia.
Philadelphia’s Gilded bronze Joan of Arc statue by Emanuel Frémiet was unveiled in 1890 and moved to its current location in 1948. The French community of Philadelphia was aided by the Association for Public Art in bringing one of the most important French figures in history to Philadelphia.
Philadelphia’s Chinatown dates back to 1870, and has been one of the most active communities in challenging urban renewal. Throughout the past century resident organizations have protested expressways, prisons, and stadiums in protection of the neighborhoods architectural character.
Just above 8th street station a new Meg Saligman mural was completed in the summer of 2019. The mural is representative (and advertises) the Philadelphia based headquarters of Five Below.
The 1976 cor-ten steel clothespin by Claes Oldenburg creates the number 76 (in celebration of the 200th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence) with the clothespin’s silver spring. The sculpture has been likened to Philadelphia’s attempts to close gaps in income levels, and to Constantin Brâncuși’s “The Kiss”.
In 1745 the “New Market and Head House” was built as one of the Nation’s first markets. In 1805 ( in response to Benjamin Franklin’s ideas of fire protection ) the anchoring head house was built as a volunteer firehouse.
In 1957 Edmund Bacon ( yes Kevin’s dad ) awarded Webb and Knapp the redevelopment of Society Hill. The late I.M.Pei then designed and completed the towers in 1964.
The Pavilion & Children’s Discovery Garden at Sister Cities Park was completed by Digsau in 2012. The pavilion is a precedent for the growth and development of Philadelphia throughout the past decade, and currently features the Philadelphia Native: La Colombe.
In 1724 a schoolhouse was built in Sandy Bay Massachusetts (now known as Rockport) before evolving into a meeting house with a steeple and bell by Paul Revere by 1805. Since then the building has gone through enhancements and is now known as ”First Congregational Church of Rockport United Church of Christ”.
This Wednesday, September 4th will be the 5 year anniversary (opened in 2014) of Dillworth park by KieranTimberlake, Olin and Urban Engineers. The park serves as both a transit connection and a popular center city park for all ages.
Deriving its name and design from French and German stock markets of the 1800s, the Bourse was opened in Philadelphia in 1895. The Bourse was designed by the brother operated firm of G.W. & W.D. Hewitt who employed Horace Trumbauer before his fame.
Before being redesigned by Paul Cret in 1913, Rittenhouse Square was one of the original parks in William Penn’s plan for Philadelphia. The Friends of Rittenhouse Square maintain the park allowing for events ( and lunches for center city workers ) throughout the year.
In direct response to Diller Scofidio’s Highline in Manhattan, Philadelphia’s “Rail Park” opened in 2018 and was designed by Studio Bryan Hanes and Urban Engineers. Rail Park stands amongst feuding communities as reported by Inga Saffron in the Philadelphia Inquirer, and provides a glimpse into what the future may hold for the Callowhill Neighborhood (aka Chinatown North).
Located in the ground floor of The Tourain, a 1917 registered historic building, Rival Bros boasts an elegant interior with a humble entrance. Rival Bros Coffee was started by two friends out of a truck in 2011 and has continued to grow into servers brick and mortar locations like the 2017 Spruce location shown here.
Estimated to have been completed in 1910, 412 Washington street’s bright white facade is a unique break in an urban rhythm. Below the cosmic large letters spell out “The Lining Store”, but the building currently exists as retail below three stores of apartments.
In the 1970s a family of Greek Immigrants created a dynasty of center city dinners. Restaurant III is the lone survivor, and one of the last genuine 24 hour dinners in Philadelphia.
“The Harper” is located at 112 19th Street, and opened in June of 2019. A black steel truss extends from the lobby into the exterior public space.