Monday, October 27, 2008

Then and Now: Northeast corner of 4th and South, Philadelphia


It is well known that there are few streets in Philadelphia as storied as South Street, and its a history that I could not to justice to at this moment. Suffice it to say, its ability to reinvent itself and its resilience to destruction under the pressures of 20th century urban planning and economics are truly remarkable. At the time of the original photo, South Street's entire existence was threatened by emerging plans for the Crosstown Expressway. The victory of neighborhood groups in their fight against the project is well known and deservedly revered. Though the strip has lost much of its bohemian flair since then (note the Starbucks), it remains one of the city's liveliest and most beloved streets.

As of now, the South Street Headhouse District's streetscape project is nearing completion. Entirely new streetlights (visible above), sidewalks, and street trees have been put into place, and will ensure that South Street has many great years to come.

A History of I-695 [Philly Roads]

Original Photo: Carollo, R. "Historic Commission-50503-0." 1963. Philadelphia City Archives. Philadelphia Department of Records. 26 Oct. 2008.

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