Monthly Archives: September 2011

After All These Years: Political, Erotical and Mystical Claes Oldenburg

Claes Oldenburg’s Clothespin, 15th and Market Streets, in 1979 At first, the idea of a 51-foot paintbrush in front of an art school/museum seemed unoriginal, little more than a logo for the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Had Claes Oldenburg, after more than thirty five years and in his fourth major work in Philadelphia, […]
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Finding Philadelphia’s “Wow Factor”

Construction of the Sesquicentennial Bell at the base of Broad Street, 1926 Philly history is telling us something: We lost our sense of humor at the bottom of Broad Street. Consider the new spine of lights proposed for a stretch of Broad, the 2 ½ miles from Spring Garden to Norris. These 29, 55-foot tall […]
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Philadelphia as Athens of America: More than Skin Deep

The Merchants Exchange Building by William Strickland at Walnut and Dock Streets, ca. 1859. Philadelphia’s façade of choice used to be one bedecked with columns—and the more the better. Greek and Roman orders ruled from the late 18th century clear through much of the 19th century. Whether you had a bank, a church, a town […]
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A Challenge for Philadelphia: What Should Our 9/11 Memorial Look Like?

Public memory fails us at Second Street, Walnut to Chestnut Streets. Photograph by Wenzel J. Hess, August 13, 1936. America has another 9/11. September 11, 1777 also resonated with pain and sadness and was long remembered as a failure of freedom at the heart of the American cause. On that day, 234 years ago, a […]
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Time For Rocky To Step Aside?

The Rocky Statue at its original location, July 29, 1982. Five years ago, the statue was installed at its current location near the base of the Art Museum’s steps. Rocky’s been in place for five years now, and it’s been 35 years since the film character gave Philadelphia a boost and Sylvester Stallone a brand […]
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Philadelphia Department of Records Wins 2011 Award of Merit!

We’re excited to announce that the Philadelphia Department of Records has been awarded a 2011 Award of Merit from the American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) for the work on PhillyHistory.org! Now in its 66th year, the Leadership in History Awards from AASLH are awarded annually for projects that demonstrate excellence in the […]
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