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Apr 23, 2007
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As continued from Phabulous Philly (Part IV)...

The Philadelphia Bourse was the first commodities exchange in the U.S. and was built in 1891.

Unfortunately, The Bourse today houses a mostly tired shopping centre that tends to cater mostly to the tourist set.

We then headed for another walk through the Old City neighbourhood and stumbled upon the Betsy Ross house.

Betsy Ross is widely credited with making the first American flag.

In Old Town we came across this awesome facade for the old National Products Restaurant Supply Building. This is also the proposed site of a condo that will save and augment the existing building and signage. More info here:

The National Products Restaurant Supply Building (cont.)

Old City, Philadelphia (cont.)

The bridge over the I-95 to Penn's Landing. Penn's Landing is a public gathering space along the Delaware River and an attempt to reconnect Philly with its Delaware riverfront.

Philadelphia's Delaware waterfront is cut-off from the rest of the city by a series of roadways, including the massive I-95. Sadly, some of the oldest and most historic neighbourhoods in America were razed for these roadways. Since then, there's been a variety of tunnel proposals and such to correct the problem of Philly's disconnected riverfront, but nothing is likely to come to fruition anytime soon.

Oddly, part of the Penn's Landing riverfront development is taken-up by a large parking lot. As an aside, Camden, NJ is across the Delaware and is considered one of America's poorest and most dangerous cities.

The Benjamin Franklin Bridge from Penn's Landing.

Benjamin Franklin Bridge from Penn's Landing (cont.)

A digital zoom of the decommissioned Richmond Power Station up the Delaware River.

Penn's Landing houses many popular summer concerts, but seems dated, cold and fairly barren unless something is occurring when you are there.

Back in Old City we stumbled upon a memorial to the Irish who suffered through the potato famine and sought a better life in America.

The Irish Memorial (cont.)

We decided to have our final meal in Philly at Old Town's famed Continental Restaurant.

Across from the Continental Restaurant is the 2nd Street SEPTA subway station.

The 2nd Street SEPTA Station. Even though service is generally lousy, the station's were fairly clean and relatively safe.

On Market Street in the base of SEPTA's headquarters is the small Philadelphia Transit Museum. This is a PCC streetcar in original "PTC" (pre-SEPTA) livery.

Philadelphia Transit Museum (cont.)

Inside an old Philly PCC streetcar.

The PSFS Building (which is now a Lowe's Hotel) is regarded as the first International Style skyscraper built in the US. It was completed in 1932.

PSFS Building (cont.)

The style might scream 1960s, but the building dates to 1932 which goes to show how ahead of its time it truly was.

PSFS Building (cont.)

We then did a quick walk through Philadelphia's famed Wanamaker's store (which is now a disappointing Macy's).

Wanamaker's department store was the first department store in Philadelphia and one of the first department stores in the U.S.

A parting shot of our hotel - The Alexander Inn.

A parting shot of Philadelphia as we head in our cab to the airport....We are crossing the Schuylkill River and looking at the old Main Post Office building, 30th Street Station and the Cira Centre.

Hope you enjoyed!
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Long Island Mike

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Apr 25, 2007
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Philadelphia - Part Five pics...

DK416: More good pics of your Philadelphia visit!
I will post comments and memories as time allows in the coming weeks.

I will start with the Bourse Building-converted in the 80s to the
shopping mall that you visited.
The National was one of the suppliers on "Restaraunt Supply Row" which were
the first two blocks or so of N.2nd Street N of Market Street. That facade has a interesting 50s look to it-a good move to save it.

When Interstate 95 was constructed by PennDot in the 70s it indeed had
divided the waterfront from Center City in ways-even with the tunnel that
was constructed under part of the Olde City/Society Hill area.
To this day Penn's Landing-even with the bridge connecting it to Market Street seems quite divided from its Center City neighbors.

This is at least a start-More insight next time...LI MIKE

Long Island Mike

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Apr 25, 2007
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Philadelphia-Part Five pics...second section...

DK416: I am resuming my thoughts on the Philadelphia pics posted:

The first PL pic is the Market Street connecting overpass looking E. Second one:
The overview of the area N of PL looking N is from left to right the I-95 build,
Delaware Avenue/Columbus Boulevard(Take your pick-original name/trendy name)below with the Ben Franklin Bridge in the background. Note the rail track between the road lanes-that is used for local freight customers and was once home of an historic volunteer trolley operation-the Penn's Landing Trolley that has ceased operation early in this decade.

The 2nd Street Market/Frankford subway station was renovated back in the late 70s and with it came that well-designed topographical map of Philadelphia. Some stations-like the adjacent 5/Independence Station were renovated in the mid 70s for the US Bicentennial.

SEPTA has a small transit museum and I recall that trolley car was placed below grade removing some front windows of the 1234 Market Street building that houses it and then delicately lowering it into place with a crane.
The best feature of it is the good Museum Store that is there.

PSFS Building next door is classic Art Deco converted from an office building into a luxury hotel keeping the classic look intact along with the locally famous PSFS sign on top of the building keeping that defunct bank's name alive at least on their own former HQ building.

Wanamaker's Department Store is an old classic perhaps best known for the
organ and its music-one of the largest and best preserved I recall-and The Eagle. It was and perhaps still is one of the best known meeting points in the entire city-just think of this phrase "Meet Me at The Eagle". Wanamaker's also was known for the Christmas light show that they had there in the store's center area. Philadelphians were apprehensive seeing it become a Macy's-many associate it with New York-but they have kept things like the Wanamaker's looks and traditions alive.

The last pic of the 30th Street Post Office and Cira Center shows the contrasts between different era's in Philadelphia architecture as a good example.

Insight and info by Long Island Mike