Archive for February, 2011

Building Philadelphia: Architecture, History & Politics

Photo via

From our friends at the Center for Architecture:

“Building Philadelphia: Architecture, History & Politics” is the definitive course on the development of Philadelphia and its architecture. This engaging 10-part lecture series is taught by a selection of architects, urban planners, art historians and social historians from local universities and architecture firms. Topics covered include William Penn’s original plan, Archaeology & Preservation in Philadelphia, major urban planning projects such as the Benjamin Franklin Parkway & Society Hill, Skyscrapers, Modernism in Philadelphia, and the future of development in the city.

Ten Tuesday evenings, March 1 through May 3, 2011
6 to 8 p.m., Center for Architecture, 1218 Arch Street

Click Here to register

Full Series: $250 General Public, $200 Members, $100 Students / AIA Associates
Lectures: $30 General Public, $25 Members, $15 Students / AIA Associates


MARCH 01 – The First 100 Years: from 1682 – 1782
Paula Spilner, PhD, Drexel University

MARCH 08 – Penn’s Plan and the Founding of the City
John Andrew Gallery, Executive Director
Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia

MARCH 15 – Philadelphia Railroads
Joel Spivak, author of Philadelphia Railroads

MARCH 22 – The Victorian City
Jeffrey Cohen, PhD, Bryn Mawr College

MARCH 29 – Going on Stilts: The Tall Building in 19th c. Philadelphia
Paula Spilner, PhD, Drexel University

APRIL 05 – Immigration to the City
Caroline Golab, PhD, Thomas Jefferson University

APRIL 12 – The Hidden City: Archaeology of Philadelphia
Rebecca Yamin, PhD, John Milner Associates, Inc.

APRIL 19 – Planning the Modern City: The Parkway and Society Hill
David Brownlee, PhD, University of Pennsylvania

APRIL 26 – Misfits and Heroes: Modernism in the Delaware Valley
William Whitaker, Curator, Architectural Archives,
University of Pennsylvania

MAY 03 – Ed Bacon and the Future of Philadelphia
Scott Gabriel Knowles, PhD, Drexel University


Photo courtesy Karen Singer Tileworks

The National Trust’s PreservationNation just featured the Uptown Theater in an article by the Alliance’s own Melissa Jest.  Click the link below for more on this exciting, homegrown preservation campaign.

Tube Tuesday: Spectrum Demolition

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.



Other than irreplaceable architectural character and neighborhood identity, what do Philadelphia’s historic churches contribute to the secular health of the city? Our friends at Partners for Sacred Places have the eight figure answer.  Read more from yesterday’s Inquirer:

Mod Winners Announced

Montgomery & Bishop’s District Health Center #1, Louis Kahn’s Richards Medical Labs, and I.M. Pei’s Society Hill Towers were among the top vote-getters in the Alliance’s recent “I Like Mod” online poll of Philadelphia’s favorite mid-century modern architecture. Over 1600 votes were cast for 65 buildings in ten categories. Surprise winners included Juniata Park’s Ferko Playground (Parks and Plazas), North Philadelphia’s Holy Cross Lutheran Martin Luther King Jr. Center (Religious Buildings) and a photo-finish tie between Old City’s National Products and Tacony’s Stein Flowers (Storefronts). A few interesting sidenotes: Mitchell/Giurgola buildings took top honors in two categories, while Venturi Scott Brown, despite competing in four categories, failed to rank higher than third place.  And of the eleven winning sites, only four (National Products, Society Hill Towers, Richards Medical Labs and the United Fund building) are currently protected on the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places.  CLICK HERE or on the ribbon above for the complete list of winners, and thanks to everyone who voted!