Mid-century modern architecture is enjoying a resurgence of appreciation and interest nationwide, but here in Philadelphia, our eclectic collection of postwar buildings is often overlooked. To help identify and celebrate these emerging landmarks, the Preservation Alliance assembled a list of 65 structures and sites built in Philadelphia between 1946 and 1980. Grouped into ten categories, this ballot contained a mix of well-known buildings and hidden neighborhood gems from across the city. We then asked you to vote for your favorites.
After four months of voting and over 1600 votes cast, we are pleased to announce your list of Philadelphia’s favorite postwar architecture. We are thrilled with the results, a surprising assortment of both famous buildings and dark-horse underdogs. The full ballot and results, including photos and brief descriptions of each property, will remain ONLINE HERE and can be viewed by clicking each photo below. As always, we encourage you to add your own favorites to the comments field if they didn’t make our original ballot.
So without further ado, the envelopes, please….
Storefronts (a tie): National Products Building (1957, Sabatino and Fishman, 109-31 N. 2nd Street) and Stein Flowers (c.1955, architect unknown, 7059 Frankford Avenue) Stein photo courtesy Betsy Manning
Civic and Municipal Buildings: District Health Center #1 (1959, Montgomery & Bishop, 500 S. Broad Street)
Academic and Institutional Buildings: Richards Medical Lab (1957, Louis I. Kahn, 3700 Hamilton Walk)
Apartment Buildings: Society Hill Towers (1958, I.M. Pei, 200-220 Locust Street)
Single-Family Homes: Dorothy Shipley White House (1963, Mitchell/Giurgola Associates) Photo courtesy the Architectural Archives, University of Pennsylvania
Religious Buildings: Holy Cross Lutheran/MLK Center (1970, architect unknown, 813 W. Lehigh Avenue) Photo courtesy Betsy Manning
Commercial and Industrial Buildings: Penn Fruit/Thriftway (1954, George Neff, 5147 Frankford Avenue) Photo courtesy Betsy Manning
Parks and Plazas: Ferko Playground at Juniata Park (c.1970, architect unknown, 1101 E. Cayuga Street) Photo courtesy Betsy Manning
Cultural Heritage Sites: S.S. United States (1952, docked at Pier 82, South Philadelphia) Photo copyright and courtesy of Big Ship Films