Monday, July 27, 2009

Then and Now: 11th and Market Streets, Philadelphia


Save for its grandest buildings - the PSFS Building, the Reading Terminal, and Wanamaker's Department Store - little remains of pre-1950 Market Street east of City Hall. Hardly any of it seems to even suggest to unknowing passersby that the half-mile strip known as Market East was once one of the nation's most legendary retail districts, before it falling to neglect, destruction, and ill-conceived urban renewal.

The vacant lot in the original image was what remained of the former Frank & Seder Department Store in 1960. The Denkla Building ("Howard" on the ground floor) and its neighbors went down sometime between then and 1984, when the pink and brown One Reading Center now known as the Aramark Tower was completed. The Gallery at Market East's expansion to 11th street (right side of current view) was completed in the same year.

1. "Philadelphia Land Use Map, 1942." Library Company of Philadelphia. Philadelphia Geohistory Network. Athenaeum of Philadelphia. 27 Jul. 2009.
2. Philadelphia Architects and Buildings
3. "Aramark Tower, Philadelphia." 27 Jul. 2009.
Original photo: "Department of Public Property-41263-0." 1960. Philadelphia City Archives. Philadelphia Department of Records. 27 Jul. 2009.

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