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Foto Friday: Ain’t that America

April 18, 2014

Foto Friday: Aint that America

Seen on a recent field trip. (Photo: Sabra Smith)

Foto Friday: Window

April 11, 2014

Old window in Lancaster, PA

Visual evidence of why old windows are important.  Seen in Lancaster, PA.  (Photo: Sabra Smith)

News Flash: Suit Corner Two-Alarm Fire

April 9, 2014

Suit Corner fire at Market & N. 3rd Streets. (Photo by Cheryl Sams O’Neill)

This morning there are reports of a two-alarm fire at the Suit Corner building on the corner of Market and N. 3rd Streets.  Photos show flames on the roof of the five-story building next to the Suit Corner store.

A recent Time Machine post noted the collapse of the graphically attention-grabbing Shirt Corner buildings kitty corner to the location of the fire.  I said that we’d at least still have the Suit Corner graphics — but that appears doubtful now.

Philly CBS news offers an updated report that says the fire started in the front window of the Suit Corner building.

Dramatic photo gallery at the NBC website.

 

 

Foto Friday: A Philadelphia View

March 28, 2014

There’s a lot of brick construction in Philadelphia, what with all the city’s connections to colonial times.  What is not appreciated often enough is the rich portfolio of architecture from other periods, from Victorian to mid-century modern, found within the city limits.

Sometimes you look left while crossing the street and come across the most remarkable layers…

architecture in Philadelphia

The Kimmel Center is just one layer in this view of Philadelphia’s architectural layers (Photo by Sabra Smith)

So Long Shirt Corner…

March 26, 2014

While I was still working in Old City, work began on rehabbing the old brick buildings — better known as Shirt Corner, for the bold red, white, and blue graphic painted on their exteriors.

Shirt Corner buildings being rehabbed

Shirt Corner buildings being rehabbed, at the corner of Market and N3RD Streets. (Photo by Sabra Smith)

 

Not long after, this happened.

 

shirt corner

 

The article reports that the buildings were found to be unstable while the rehab work was underway, necessitating demolition.  Though I have heard cynical old building fans express the opinion that clearing the site was the plan all along, providing the owner with a large, cleared lot and the option for new construction without working around old buildings.

Either way, we would have lost the bold bicentennial-era graphics.

But at least we still have Suit Corner across the street.

 

 

Foto Friday: Then & Now

March 23, 2014

THEN

"Hats Trimmed Free of Charge," Lit Bros. Building, Market Street, Philadelphia (Photo by Sabra Smith)

“Hats Trimmed Free of Charge,” Lit Bros. Building, Market Street, Philadelphia (Photo by Sabra Smith)

AND NOW

sign on building

“Hats Embroidered While You Wait,” near Penn Station, New York City (Photo by Sabra Smith)

Eloise never lived here…

February 26, 2014

Hotel Plaza (Card Cow image). Poscard text reads: “5th and Cooper Sts. Modern popular priced coffee shop restaurant, Brigantine bar, cocktail lounge, offices, barber shop. 222 rooms in a fireproof building”

The Plaza Hotel (built 1927) in Camden, New Jersey, is no more.

Heavy equipment started work on razing the building on Tuesday, February 25.  The demolition crew anticipates leveling the site in a few weeks.

A local member of the Camden County Historical Society calls the building’s demise another case of demolition by neglect, blaming absentee owners for the loss.

According to an article in the Philadelphia Inquirer, “The seven-floor brick hotel in its heyday featured a German dining room and live music in the ballroom. Its proximity to the RCA recording studio made it a common place for visiting musicians to stay.”

Hotel Plaza upper floors

Photo by Sabra Smith

doorway detail of The Plaza Hotel, Camden NJ

Photo by Sabra Smith

historic preservation, building to be demolish, demolition by neglect

Photo by Sabra Smith

Hotel Plaza architectural detail, demolition by neglect

Photo by Sabra Smith

 

 

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