Storefronts

The former Robinson department store at 1020 Market Street was designed by Victor Gruen in 1946.  Though altered, it is one of the few surviving storefronts Gruen and his partner Elsie Krummeck designed coast to coast in the early years of his career.  Now stripped of its bold signage, the swooping mosaic facade is still an imposing presence along Market Street.

Sophy Curson was built c.1952 at 122 S. 19th Street.  The dress shop was designed by Beryl Price, a Philadelphia architect responsible for a number of interesting shop fronts across the city.  This is one of the few that survive and is remarkably intact.

The Ott Camera shop at 6901 Castor Avenue has recently closed, leaving its incredible storefront at risk is alive and well, with reports of its closure greatly exaggerated.  A virtual catalog of popular mid-century storefront materials and motifs, it is a tour-de-force of neon, stainless steel, permastone and vitrolite.

The National Products Building at 109-131 N. 2nd Street was the first midcentury commercial building individually listed on the Philadelphia Register. Designed in 1957 by Sabatino & Fishman, its bright orange facade and zig-zag canopy once attracted shoppers to the city’s restaurant supply district.  Now sitting in limbo, a planned condominium conversion has yet to materialize.

Stein Flowers at 7059 Frankford Avenue is a Northeast Philadelphia institution and neighborhood landmark.  The Stein family has been in the flower business since 1887 and has occupied this building for the last six decades.

Round banks, like this former Broad Street Trust Company branch at the corner of Adams and Howard Streets, began to sprout up in the early 1960s.  Few survive today– this example, now converted to a dentist’s office, was designed c.1962 by architect Aaron Colish.

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