Historic Architecture in West Philadelphia 1789-1930s

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Overview

West of the Schuylkill River, what was once Blockley and Kingsessing Townships is now West Philadelphia. Here is a comprehensive look at the rich architectural history of neighborhoods in and around University City and biographies of the architects who made it possible. In more than 500 images, see this area of the "City of Brotherly Love" transition from humble beginnings as a collection of sprawling farms and dusty hamlets to a streetcar suburb for upwardly mobile types looking to escape the old city and a ...
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Overview

West of the Schuylkill River, what was once Blockley and Kingsessing Townships is now West Philadelphia. Here is a comprehensive look at the rich architectural history of neighborhoods in and around University City and biographies of the architects who made it possible. In more than 500 images, see this area of the "City of Brotherly Love" transition from humble beginnings as a collection of sprawling farms and dusty hamlets to a streetcar suburb for upwardly mobile types looking to escape the old city and a haven for esteemed educational institutions. Packed with archival images, maps, and color photos, the book covers Cedar Park to Powelton Village, chronicling the charm and elegance found in West Philadelphia's architecture, much of which is still on public display. Examples include Second Empire, Victorian, Queen Anne, Collegiate Gothic, and Italianate styles. This is a global and historic review ideal for architects, urban planners, historians, and of course residents of Blockley and Kingsessing.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780764337710
  • Publisher: Schiffer Publishing, Ltd.
  • Publication date: 7/6/2011
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 1,450,314
  • Product dimensions: 12.10 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Joseph Minardi is an award-winning photographer and recipient of the 2007 Preservation Initiative Award from the University City Historical Society. He lives in Philadelphia.
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  • Posted November 26, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Historic Architecture in West Philadelphia, 1789-1930s by Joseph Minardi: An Excellent, Engaging, Primarily Visual Tour of the Historic Architecture of West Philadelphia, PA

    For many residents of Philadelphia, PA, West Philadelphia, the area situated west of the Schuylkill River that once was Blockley and Kingsessing Townships, is comprised of a cluster of at least seven neighborhoods, including the Woodlands, University City, Spruce Hill, Cedar Park, Squirrel Hill, Garden Court, Walnut Hill, and Powelton Village. Originally a collection of farms and hamlets along the Schuylkill River, West Philadelphia grew into a streetcar suburb of Philadelphia during the mid- 19th century, when it was incorporated into the City of Philadelphia. Today West Philadelphia is a thriving locality, made up of residents, businesses, and esteemed institutions of higher education, not limited to Drexel University and The University of Pennsylvania. In this architectural history of West Philadelphia and the architects who made it happen, one of the first, nearly comprehensive, largely pictorial examinations since the comparable West Philadelphia Illustrated by Vieira M. Laffitte was published in 1903 (p. 5), Minardi, a graphic designer (p. 5), award-winning photographer (recipient of the 2007 Preservation Initiative Award, University City Historical Society), and resident of Philadelphia (inside back book cover), takes readers on a historical, visual tour of West Philadelphia¿s neighborhoods and its buildings, constructed between the late eighteenth and early twentieth-centuries. In nine chapters, the author presents brief historical overviews of West Philadelphia¿ s neighborhoods as well as more than 500 images illustrating the various architectural structures comprising them. Minardi showcases apartment buildings, churches, charitable institutions, clubs, colleges, housing developments, homes, inns, libraries, monuments, universities, row houses, schools, stadiums, train stations, and more. In chapter nine, the author features alphabetically-arranged biographies of selected architects and their firms. Thoughtfully-presented and very generously-illustrated, with archival images, maps, and many color photographs taken by Minardi, this well-written, easy-to-read, accessible, engaging publication provides an excellent introduction to the historical architecture of West Philadelphia. Sufficiently well-documented, with image captions, including building names, addresses, and styles, back-of-the-book endnotes, a bibliography, and an index, it only lacks a chronology, maps keying the various architectural landmarks on them, an index of buildings by street addresses, and appendices containing suggested, brief, walking or driving tours of the featured neighborhoods, all of which further would have enhanced the subject and the its presentation. Constituting a visual feast of exterior and interior views of many historic edifices in West Philadelphia, this book is sure to delight, inform, and educate Philadelphians, general readers, students, scholars, architects, urban planners, historians, professionals, and others. It is very highly recommended for local and large public libraries as well as for academic and special libraries¿C. A. Lajos, Art History, Architecture, Decorative Arts, Museum, and Visual Studies Book Review Blog,

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