What Could Have Been? Alternate Histories of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway--sold out

  • March 09, 2013
  • 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM
  • The Galleries at Moore, 1916 Race St.
  • 0


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Turning a gritty, industrial neighborhood into Philadelphia’s version of the Champs-Elysees in Paris was an act of daring that verged on the foolhardy. Travel back to a time when the city still made grand plans with tour guide Rob Armstrong, Preservation and Capital Projects Manager for Philadelphia Parks & Recreation.

We’ll explore the long process of building the Parkway, and the different design iterations it went through prior to construction, as well as learn about ambitious plans for the Parkway that never came to fruition, including architect Louis Kahn’s “Triangle Redevelopment Plan,” the Tadeo Ando-designed Calder Museum and the Philadelphia Orchestra’s grandiose “Temple of Music.”

We’ll take a look at what did get built--the Philadelphia Museum of Art, derisively nicknamed the “Greek Garage” in its early days, the Rodin Museum, the Barnes. Plus we'll get a chance to gaze at the Works Progress Administration murals inside the Family Court Building.

And we’ll talk about recent and upcoming improvements to the Parkway that seek to achieve elements of the original planners’ vision for beautiful public spaces within the confines of Center City.

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