Sunday, May 1, 2011
To celebrate my husband's birthday yesterday we headed over the river to explore the area in and around Philadelphia. I took this shot yesterday but worked on the editing today so I'm counting it. I loved that old-style sign as soon as I spotted it and took a bunch of photos as we approached, hoping at least one taken from inside a moving car would be usable. I wish I could also have captured the front of the hotel as it was sadly boarded up with heaps of trash strewn across the stairs. Quite a contrast to the magnificence and promise of the facade.
Turns out the building's got a fascinating history as one of the first high-rise buildings built in Philadelphia and one of the few buildings remaining standing from the architect. It began its life as a luxury apartment building in an area popular with the nouveau-riche who'd earned their fortunes during the industrial revolution. After being bought by the leader of the Universal Peace Mission Movement in 1948 it became the first fully integrated hotel of its class (whatever that means). It was closed in 1999 and bought in 2006 by a developer intending to turn it into condos. For some reason that plan has stalled and it remains the run-down beauty you see here.
That's enough of a history lesson for today. If you're keen to read more go here.