Sunday, September 6, 2009

Then and Now: North Broad Street viewed from City Hall tower, Philadelphia


North Broad Street has always been home to an odd jumble of uses. By the early 20th century, the lower end near City Hall housed a small group of offices and institutional buildings, followed by concentration of large factories and warehouses between Vine and Spring Garden Streets. This general land use pattern remains hardly altered almost a century later, the largest single addition being the growth of Hahnemann University Hospital's campus.

North Broad's newest addition to come is the expansion of the Pennsylvania Convention Center, which will have 1 million square feet of saleable exhibition space upon completion, allowing the already massive building to maintain the distinction of having downtown Philadelphia's largest (and not green) roof.

It's a bit amusing to see the lines of cars parked in the median of Broad Street in the original photo, an odd Philadelphia tradition now confined to South Philadelphia.

A horizontally aligned comparison may be found here.

PCC expansion construction thread [Skyscraperpage]

Original Photo: Rolston, N.M. "Department of City Transit-950-0." 1915. Philadelphia City Archives. Philadelphia Department of Records. 31 Aug. 2009.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There were also an amazing number of car dealerships along North Broad between Cherry and Fairmount Ave during the first half of the 20th century. The Packard building north of Vine (now apartments)is an example. The Philly History site has a lot of photos of these, most of them selling cars that have long since vanished, like the Reo, the Hudson, and Studebaker.