Thursday, August 27, 2009

Then and Now: Market East viewed from City Hall tower, Philadelphia


Though it seems much less gargantuan by today's standards, when John Wanamaker's Department Store (Now Macy's, bottom right corner) opened in 1910, it's grandeur and size were entirely in a league of their own. Designed by Chicago architect Daniel Burnham, at 15 stories and over 270 feet, Wanamaker's was by far the tallest building on Market Street east of City Hall, even dwarfing its closest competition, the Reading Terminal Headhouse.

The other true gem of Market East is of course the International Style masterpiece, the PSFS Building, completed in 1932 with the distinction of being the world's first true modernist skyscraper. It remains one of the finest examples of the International Style in North America.

A horizontally aligned comparison may be found here.

Photographs of the PSFS Building [PhillySkyline]

Source: "Wanamaker Building, Philadelphia." 27 Aug. 2009.
Original photo: Rolston, N.M., "Department of City Transit-954-0." 1915. Philadelphia City Archives. Philadelphia Department of Records. 27 Aug. 2009.

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