Monthly Archives: July 2012

When Guion Bluford, the first African American in space, came home

November 1983: Guion Bluford speaks at a press conference in City Hall upon his homecoming after his first successful space mission. By Yael Borofsky for Guion Bluford — he goes by Guy — is the man at the center of all that attention in the photo to the left. Nearly thirty years after becoming […]
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100 years of the signage debate in Market East

A 1911 photo of a hodgepodge of signage covering buildings on North Juniper Street. Just over a hundred years after this photo of North Juniper Street was taken, businesses in the Market East corridor may once again find inspiration in the jumble of advertisements adorning this row of buildings. Late last year, Philadelphia adopted a […]
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PMN leaves the Inquirer Building: a look back in pictures

For decades, Philadelphians have picked up two of the most prominent city newspapers — the Inquirer and the Daily News — knowing that the lens through which they learned about Philadelphia, good and bad, was secure in the imposing, palatial Inquirer building on North Broad Street. The building and the publishing company have weathered alterations […]
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The archaeological investigation at the West Shipyard is open to the public Friday

A 1914 picture of Pier 19 possibly taken from the West Shipyard lot undergoing excavation. When someone says the words “archaeological dig,” ancient Greece, Egypt or Rome tend to come to mind along with visions of buried treasure and mummies galore. But Philadelphia has started its own archaeological excavation led by the John Milner Associates […]
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Sister Cities: the history of a newly restored piece of Logan Square

By Yael Borofsky for Sister Cities park, reopened this May, is a beautiful homage to urban revitalization, combining the charming with the whimsical in a series of landmarks signifying Philadelphia’s ten sister cities: a cafe, a boat pond, and other small wonders that draw people to Ben Franklin Parkway where the park is situated. […]
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Looking back to find hope for the future of Philadelphia’s vacant land

A vacant property as seen in Society Hill in 1959. By Yael Borofsky for the PhillyHistory Blog. Even with recent forward inertia by the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority (PRA) and the City of Philadelphia to implement a Landbank of vacant lots and the PRA’s recent release of vacant parcel availability map, the problem can seem sometimes […]
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What’s Preserved and What’s Forgotten: The Louis Bergdoll and Sons Brewing Company Grain Elevator

City Park Brewery in 1948, after the brewery shut down, from Pennsylvania Ave at 29th and Parrish. The looming brick complex pictured left, situated at 29th and Parrish, is the brainchild of Otto C. Wolf, a Philadelphia staple in brewery architecture. Louis Bergdoll had the complex built to house his City Park Brewery in 1856 […]
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When Americans Feared the Crack in the Liberty Bell

A crack in the Liberty Bell? No news there. But the discovery of a new, threatening crack through the word “Liberty” on the Liberty Bell? Well, that story resonated throughout the land. About a century ago, Philadelphia’s itinerant icon of patriotism sprouted a 17-inch hairline crack extending clear across the bell’s crown. Metallurgist Alexander Outerbridge […]
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