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Turning a gritty, industrial neighborhood into Philadelphia’s version of the Champs-Élysées 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. We’ll learn about ambitious plans for the Parkway that never came to fruition, including architect Louis Kahn’s “Triangle Redevelopment Plan,” the Tadao Ando-designed Calder Museum, and the Philadelphia Orchestra’s grandiose “Temple of Music.”
And, of course, we’ll also 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 Foundation, and two fruits of the Works Progress Administration: the Family Court Building, and the former School District of Philadelphia headquarters, which was recently converted into luxury residences.
All tours are free and open to the public, but space is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis. To reserve a space on a tour, and for more tour information and schedules, visit Hidden City Philadelphia's website.
This series of walking tours is a public program scheduled in conjunction with the exhibition Living as Form (The Nomadic Version), which is on view at The Galleries at Moore through March 16.
Organized in partnership with Hidden City Philadelphia, an organization that celebrates the power of place to inspire social action, Impossible Buildings & Contested Futures is a series of walking tours that contextualize the city’s social, political, historical and physical landscape.
This program has been supported in part by the Pennsylvania Humanities Council, the Federal-State partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities.