Friday, July 24, 2009

Then and Now: Southeast Corner of 18th and Walnut Streets, Philadelphia


Here's a continuation of the Parking in Prominent Places theme that began two posts ago. In the early 20th century, due to downtown's westward expansion, skyrocketing land values and improved building technology, the old town houses that flanked Rittenhouse Square began to gave way to the luxury high-rise apartments we know today. During that transitional period, the southeast corner of 18th and Walnut, where Philadelphia's most fashionable shopping street meets its most beloved park, spent over two decades as a parking lot. It was finally replaced in 1951 by the Rittenhouse Claridge apartments, an International Style Modernist tower designed by Samuel Oshiver.

It would also be impossible not to note the quaintness of the police officer in the picture manually operating a "traffic light."

Sources: Philadelphia Architecs and Buildings
Original photo: Abuhove, Maurice D. "Public Works-27978-0." 1929. City of Philadelphia Archives. Philadelphia Department of Records. 23 Jun 2009.

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