Preserving Philadelphia Modernism: Are We Finally Ready?

  • April 17, 2013
  • 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM
  • Center for Architecture, 1218 Arch St.
  • 47


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Each architectural period faces a battle to be thought of as worthy of preservation. The public's natural tendency to to dislike the previous generation’s buildings must be overcome, as well as its inability to see more recent buildings as historic. This is particularly true in Philadelphia, where we have often struggled under the weight of our colonial legacy.

Beer, wine and bit of mingling to start, then we’ll start things off 6 PM with photographer Betsy Manning’s images of the often overlooked–and often wonderful!–small-scale modernist buildings, vernacular and otherwise, scattered throughout Philly’s neighborhoods. After that we’ll explore the fate of Post-War architecture in Philadelphia generally, and take a closer look at the prospects for three buildings–The RoundhouseWilliam Penn High School, and Health Center #1–with Ben Leech, Advocacy Director for the Preservation Alliance of Greater Philadelphia, Bill Whitaker, Manager of the Architectural Archives at the University of Pennsylvania and at least one mystery guest.

This will be the third and final installment of Hidden City Philadelphia and AIA Philadelphia’s series of conversations, “Impossible Buildings, Creative Responses.” This event was made possible through the support of the Philadelphia chapter of Docomomo US
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