Friday, August 21, 2009

Then and Now: Northeast Center City viewed from City Hall tower, Philadelphia


I'm think the original photographer, a certain N.M. Rolston, would be more than a bit puzzled were he around today to look over Reading Terminal, only to see no railroad viaduct leading out of the trainshed, but a skybridge connecting to an enormously wide (and still growing) Pennsylvania Convention Center exhibition hall. The trains still run today, just underground in the Center City Commuter Tunnel. Much of the seedy landscape of factories, flophouses, and taverns that once dotted this part of downtown disappeared amid new hotels, office towers, and garages. The only area that has conserved much of its old appearance is present-day Chinatown, just east of the Convention Center.

A horizontally aligned comparison shot can also be found here

Original photo: Rolston, N.M. "Department of City Transit-953-0." 1915. Philadelphia City Archives. Philadelphia Department of Records. 18 Aug. 2009.

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