Thursday, July 2, 2009

Then and Now: Arch Street east of 10th Street, Philadelphia


It's often hard to see the potential of neglected buildings before seeing them in their original state. While urban renewal largely flattened Arch Street between 8th and 5th Streets, the 900 block, including these three buildings, and was later spared from redevelopment by the Chinatown area's poor economic status. Sometimes, poverty plays an unexpected role in historic preservation. On the other hand, neglect and unsensitive alterations removed their original storefronts, detailing, and hence, their elegance. If it's any consolation, at least they didn't end up like the other side of the street.

Original photo: Biggard, D. Alonzo. "Department of City Transit-3277-0." 1916. Philadelphia City Archives. Philadelphia Department of Records. 1 Jul. 2009.

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