Philadelphia’s Favorite Buildings?
A few days ago, the American Institute of Architects published a list of “America’s Favorite Architecture.” The Philadelphia buildings on the list may be America’s favorites, but are they Philadelphia’s?
Can we even take seriously a list on which five, a slim percentage of the total 150, are homegrown?
No local edifice cracks the top 20, although Philadelphia’s City Hall comes in at 21 (between the Brooklyn Bridge and the Bellagio Hotel and Casino). Sixteen of the top 20 (and 25 of the top 50) are in New York City or Washington, D.C. Good thing the editors offer a chance for readers to chime in with what is missing.
And with such a short list, plenty is. After City Hall, there’s the Philadelphia Museum of Art (#24); Wanamaker’s Department Store (#32); the Frank Furness’ Fisher Fine Arts Library at the University of Pennsylvania (#54) and 30th Street Station pulling up the rear (#137).
If you want the straight and narrow, which the list seems most of the time, what about Independence Hall? Or Carpenter’s Hall? What about the PSFS Building? And how about Richards’ Medical Building? Or Venturi’s Mother’s House? Or other of our buildings (Eastern State Penitentiary, Mercer Museum in Doylestown) that cast significant light, as well as meaningful shadow?