DIscovering philadelphia - Places little known
Discovering Philadelphia carries on the mission launched by David Traub with his first book of photographs, Searching for Philadelphia. Once again, he introduces his readers to buildings, streets and places in the city that many of them are unlikely to know. This time, however, Traub takes a geographic approach to Philadelphia’s unusual sites. He divides the book into seven broad sections, each a web of neighborhoods with a distinct look and character, separated from one another by more than just miles.
“Historic Center” covers an area that might be called “greater Center City,” extending from Girard Avenue in the north to Tasker Street in the south. Among the places included in this section are Mole, Panama and American Streets; lesser-known views of Washington Square and sites near Rittenhouse Square, as well as uncommon parts of Old City, Queen Village, Spring Garden and Brewerytown.
“South Philadelphia” goes behind the mansions lining South Broad Street to explore the narrow streets and hidden pockets, including South Darien, Kenilworth and South Smedley Streets; the charming interiors of Point Breeze, Pennsport and Passyunk Square, and the little-known Mollbore Terraces, all three of them.
“North Philadelphia” also ventures behind the old mansions of Broad Street to find places seldom mentioned in guidebooks and online urban descriptions, including North Gratz, West Thompson, West Nicholas and West Hagert Streets, as well as urban oases like the Pearl Bailey House, the Village for the Arts and Humanities, and Mt. Peace and de Benneville Cemeteries.
“West and Southwest Philadelphia” goes west of the Schuylkill River, all the way to Cobbs Creek Park, and southwest to that little-known and often-forgotten part of the city. Sites visited include Powelton Village, Garden Court, Haddington, Kingsessing, Elmwood and Hog Island Road.
“Northwest Philadelphia” seeks out places in Germantown, Manayunk, Roxborough and East Falls that tend to be missed by visitors and even some locals. The neighborhoods of Mount Airy and Chestnut Hill may be better known, but not by much. Notable spots include Mishkan Shalom Holocaust Memorial Garden, the Old Academy Theater, Concord Schoolhouse, Pastorius Park, and the Thomas Mill Covered Bridge.
“The River Wards” brings the camera to a part of Philadelphia that once was unknown to all but its own residents. Today the quiet wonders of Northern Liberties, Fishtown, Kensington, Port Richmond and Bridesburg are starting to be appreciated more widely, but many special places remain largely obscure, including the old Harbison Dairy, McPherson Library, Campbell Square and the Lithuanian Music Hall.
“Northeast Philadelphia” reflects the uniqueness of a section that combines older neighborhoods such as Frankford, Tacony and Mayfair with extensive areas dating from after World War II. But even in this sprawling, seemingly unremarkable part of the city are genuine points of interest, including the home of the Frankford Historical Society, Tacony Music Hall, Pennypack Creek Bridge, Holmesburg Athenaeum and Byberry Friends Meeting.
Searching for philadelphia - the concealed city
Searching for Philadelphia - The Concealed City utilizes photographs to bring awareness of the many largely hidden and unexpected architectural treasures the city has to offer. Most of these would likely be missed except by the curious and alert pedestrian. The book is made up of seven distinct sections.
In "Alluring Entryways", memorable doors and portals are featured in various locations, including Pemberton, Smedley and Camac Streets.
In "Narrow Streets", one of Philadelphia s specialties walkable blocks practically inaccessible to car traffic is the principal subject. Included in this section are scenes showing Cypress, Delhi, Iseminger, Fitzwater, Addison, Irving, Jessup, Manning, Waverly, Bonsall and Quince Streets, as well as St. Mark s Square.
In "Walkways", small passages are given special attention, including St. Joseph s Way, the English Village, St. Alban s Place and Madison Square.
In "Hidden Courtyards", Philadelphia s architectural hideaways are showcased. These include Loxley, Addison, Bladen s, Bell s, Green s and Drinker s Courts, as well as picturesque Lantern Square.
In "Secret Gardens", some of the least known and most beautiful little verdant precincts are featured. Among others, the plots at Powell House, Physick House, the College of Physicians and the Society of Colonial Dames are wonderfully revealed.
In "Tiny Parks", recreational spaces both small and quaint are the focus. Included are sites ranging from Fitler Square, known by some, to places known by very few, such as Daniel Michaux Coxe Park, Bardascino Park and the Palmer Burial Ground.
Finally, in "Unnoticed Buildings", structures unique to Philadelphia are brought to light. These include two fine carriage houses, a Romanian Orthodox church, other intriguing Christian places of worship, a most unusual old shot tower, two notable synagogues from past and present, structures once housing a classic bank and firehouse, and residences only to be found in the Quaker City.
A photographic collection to be enjoyed for many years to come, Searching for Philadelphia gives recognition to the overlooked views that lend exceptional character and a human dimension to a great American city.