Monthly Archives: June 2012

The Bernsteins Move to Wynnefield

This is a continuation of the story of the Slifkin family, which had settled in Parkside in the early 1900s.  By the end of the 1920s, many upwardly-mobile Jewish families were leaving Parkside-Girard and moving to the Wynnefield neighborhood, nestled to the south of City Avenue.  Unlike the rambling (and increasingly outdated) Victorian mansions and […]
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More Hamburger History: When White Tower #1 Became Blue

After burger battles flared in courtrooms and White Tower lost to White Castle, the struggle returned to the streets. In only a few years, both chains had successfully dispensed burgers from ubiquitous crenellated cubes. But now, in the midst of the Great Depression, the White Tower chain had been forced to abandon its crenellated design in […]
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Parkside Revisited: The Slifkin Family

To see my original article on the development of Parkside, click here. During the early 1900s, Parkside-Girard evolved from being an upper-class German and Protestant neighborhood to a middle-class Eastern European Jewish one.   The neighborhood’s first synagogue opened in 1907 at 3940 Girard Avenue.* Many of the Jewish families who purchased the large Victorian […]
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How White Tower Restaurants Lost Their Crenellation and Joined the Modern City

White Tower opened its ninth location at Broad and Race Streets in 1932, only two years after expanding into Philadelphia. The Milwaukee-based company founded in 1926 by the father-son team John E. and Thomas E. Saxe produced restaurants at a fast-food pace. By the middle of the 1930s, the griddles of more than 120 White […]
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June 11, 1923: Fiery Destruction at Broad Street Station

Legend has it that a hapless Bulletin reporter overslept the Monday morning of June 11, 1923 and telephoned his editor from home. The conversation went something like this: “Just got into Broad Street Station. The train was late. I’ll be in as soon as I’ve grabbed a cup of coffee.” “You’re in Broad Street Station, huh,” […]
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Woodland Terrace and the Natchez Connection

In light of the impending demolition by the University of Pennsylvania of the David Porter Leas mansion at 40th and Pine, it is a good time to revisit the life and work the man who designed it…. Longwood Plantation in Natchez, Mississippi sits just as it did in 1861, when scores of carpenters laid down […]
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Lewis & Clark in Philadelphia (Part II): The Map’s the Thing

When last we checked in with Meriwether Lewis, he had just stormed the shops of Philadelphia, buying anything and everything his “corps of discovery” might need as they made their way across the North American continent. With more than a ton and a half of “portable” soup, calico ruffled shirts, tomahawks, fishhooks (and much more) […]
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Furness and Ivy

  The popular image of American collegiate architecture — majestic Gothic halls “with ivy-overgrown” to quote an old Penn song– was born in Philadelphia, the vision of two Quaker architects: Walter Cope (1860-1902) and John Stewardson (1858-1896). Ironically, neither of them completed college.  Cope took drafting classes at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, while […]
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