Mount Moriah Cemetery, straddling Cobbs Creek in Southwest Philadelphia and Yeadon Borough, is one of the area’s largest and most historic burial grounds. At a reported 380 acres, it’s bigger than Laurel Hill, Woodlands, and Greenwood Cemeteries combined. It is also virtually abandoned, slowly being engulfed in a forest of weeds and a plague of illegal dumping. Featured on the Preservation Alliance’s 2005 Endangered Properties List, Mount Moriah returned to the news this year when the cemetery, which had remained open for burials and visits despite having no clear owner, abruptly shut down. The City of Philadelphia is now asking the courts to declare the site a public nuisance and assign a new receiver.
While the cemetery’s legal fate plays out, however, there are signs of hope and an opportunity to help. The Friends of Mount Moriah, in conjunction with the City, Greater Philadelphia Cares, and Global Citizen, have organized a day of volunteer action on Saturday, July 16. For the first time in decades, Mount Moriah will be open for debris and weed removal, and all individuals and volunteer groups are eagerly invited to participate. CLICK HERE for more details, and learn more about Mount Moriah HERE and HERE. The following is an excerpt from the Scribe Video Center’s documentary “Buried Stones, Buried Dreams.” The full 10-minute film can be viewed HERE.
Still a functioning SEPTA bus shelter at 33rd and Dauphin, the Strawberry Hill Bus Barn was built in 1901 as Philadelphia’s first and only trolley depot. Meet the neighbors who are fighting to protect this neighborhood landmark from demolition– the sad fate of so many other pieces of Philadelphia’s transit history, including the Fairmount Park station pictured above.
Via Newsworks and Aaron Warkov, a day in the life of Allen Lane Station, one of six SEPTA regional rail station restoration projects receiving a Preservation Achievement Award at our upcoming Awards Luncheon. CLICK HERE for more on the event and this year’s other winners.
Q: If the Spectrum implodes in an apocalyptic dust storm and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?
A: Yes, because it’s on Youtube.
Field Notes would’ve really jumped the shark with this bizarre piece of medical noir if it weren’t for the choice shots of vintage Philadelphia architecture contained herein– the Art Museum, 2601 Parkway, rowhouses, daylight factories, colonial revival ‘burbs. Oh, the good old days, when the factories churned and the sanatoriums cured….
This is a Cliff Notes version we edited down from the full 16-minute film found here: http://www.archive.org/details/gov.archives.arc.98572
WPVI, we hardly knew you. Demolished earlier this year, Vincent Kling’s donut-shaped television studio on City Line Avenue sure looks like a keeper in this mod-tastic 1963 glimpse into its design and construction, featuring a star turn by Kling himself. Click on the screenshot above for a link to the video, and apologies in advance for the pre-clip commercial.
Part John Steinbeck, part Lewis Mumford, part Alfred Hitchcock, all Philadelphia. The more things change….
Don’t miss the incomparable beer historian Rich Wagner TONIGHT at 7:30 at the Center for Northeast Philadelphia History (1507 Orthodox St.) as he presents “The Breweries of Frankford, Kensington and Bridesburg.” Sponsored by the Historical Society of Frankford, $5 general public (free for HSF members). CLICK HERE for more information. Special thanks to Stephen Metzger for his great documentary.
In honor of the 2010 Phillies’ fourth straight NL East title, scenes from the late great Shibe Park. Later coined Connie Mack Stadium, it was the first concrete and steel stadium in the majors, designed in 1909 by Philadelphia architects William Steele & Sons. The fifty-foot outfield wall was erected 1935 to block views from rowhouse roofs across the street (the “cable blackout” of its day). Abandoned in 1970 and arson-ravaged in 1971, the park was demolished in 1976.
In this gem of an interview produced by Temple University, photographer Betsy Manning and professor Ken Finkel (whose Redbricker column for Philly Brownstoner never ceases to amaze/amuse) discuss Manning’s passion for documenting the lesser-known corners of the city. She describes her subjects as “architectural wallflowers”– overlooked, ignored, nondescript, until you stop and really see them. The Preservation Alliance is excited to host Manning as she presents more of her work on Wednesday, October 27 at 6:30 pm at the Northeast Regional Free Library (2228 Cottman Avenue). Free and open to the public, registration is encouraged by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 215-546-1146 x5.
And a teaser– expect more of Manning’s finds to turn up on Field Notes in the near future….
Another gem from the dustbin, this is classic footage of the 1947 Better Philadelphia Exhibition and its famous flipping model designed by Louis Kahn, Edmund Bacon, and Oskar Stonorov. The narration on this newsreel is sadly lost, so we may never know what’s going on with the guy in the undershirt and sandals. Read more about the exhibition here. (This is just one of many interesting Philly clips available at http://www.criticalpast.com).
Pure vintage boosterism. Worth it for the street scenes alone– skip up to 2:30 for some amazing neon, “flashing in the night of complacency and ignorance!”
A portrait of “Eraserhood,” the Callowhill neighborhood that inspired David Lynch’s Eraserhead. A portion of this neighborhood is in the process of being added to the National Register of Historic Places (but not because Lynch lived here):
Greenbelt Knoll was designated a Philadelphia Historic District in 2006, and in 2007 the residents of the neighborhood received the Preservation Alliance’s Community Action Award. This short documentary was produced for the Scribe Video Center’s Precious Places series.
For more on Greenbelt Knoll, click here.
Michael Stern led a Preservation Alliance-sponsored tour of North Philadelphia’s Mansion District as part of the North Philadelphia Arts and Culture Alliance’s Treasures of North Philadelphia openhouse on April 24. In case you missed it…