Sunday, August 30, 2009

Then and Now: Northwest corner of 37th and Spruce Streets, Philadelphia


The original photograph seems to have been taken in anticipation of a period of major changes for West Philadelphia in the vicinity of the ever-expanding University of Pennsylvania. Soon after, Woodland Avenue's trolleys went underground into the expanded subway-surface tunnel. Woodland Avenue was closed to traffic east of 37th Street to become the University's Woodland Walk.

The shops on the northwest corner of 37th and Spruce made way for Vance Hall of the Wharton School, designed by Bower & Fradley and completed in 1972. Like many otherwise well-designed institutional buildings of the time, it projects an unfortunately cold presence to the sidewalk.

Source: Philadelphia Architects and Buildings
Original photo: Cuneo. "Department of City Transit-29597-0." 1952. Philadelphia City Archives. Philadelphia Department of Records. 23 Aug. 2009.

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