Friday, March 25, 2011

The Undiscovered Gems Of America's Birthplace

The Italian-Romanesque style 10th Presbyterian Church.

The ceiling of the Doges Room at 1801 Walnut featuring medallion portraits of the popes. This building is now the Anthropologie store.
The Thomas Hockley house incorporating French Empire elements. In the background you can see the garish, top-heavy 1970s-style Wanamaker House condos in exposed concrete.
The ornate crown of The Drake, now an apartment building.

A rambling Second-Empire mansion built for a sea captain on Delancey Place

A "cozy" Georgian Revival residence on the splendid, historically significant 1800 block of Delancey Place.

The spectacular Dr. Horace Jane house on South 19th featuring three triangular gables and terra cotta ornamentation.

The wildly expressive Welsh House at 1932 Spruce with golden pink Pompeian brick, terra cotta and heraldic devices.

Few cities can boast the rich, varied and historically-significant architecture of Philadelphia.
At every turn, there is something new to discover. And each bit of architecture comes with its own lesson and story.
We recently spent a wonderful spring afternoon enjoying a self-conducted architectural tour of Philadelphia's Rittenhouse Square area.
The Rittenhouse Square Fitler Historic District encompasses most of the southwest quadrant of the original city of Philadelphia.The entire district is part of the National Register of  Historic Places.Within its boundaries, several thousand buildings contribute to a priceless tapestry of residential and institutional architecture. This extraordinary concentration of buildings and streetscapes documents a period of rapid growth in the city in the 19th century.
But it also remains a cherished, functioning neighborhood for thousands of Philadelphians just as it's been for almost 200 years.
Now, here's an interesting question for you: How many of the buildings shown above are by renowned architect Frank Furness and which ones are they?
Before we give you the answer, we'll tell you that we downloaded our tour free from the Preservation Alliance of Greater Philadelphia. Click here for more information.
And now, the answer: The third and the seventh photos (from the top) that you see above depict homes designed by Furness in his distinctive style.
All photos copyright 2011 by Dan Cirucci.

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