• Learn about the conditions that led to Frank Furness' most incredible masterworks, including the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts seen here, on Wednesday.
      Learn about the conditions that led to Frank Furness' most incredible masterworks, including the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts seen here, on Wednesday.

Mid-century Philly: Spruce Food Market

For today's mid-century Parker & Mullikin, we turn to the 1500 block of Spruce Street for a revelation in moderne neon.


One of Center City's classic neon signs sits above the Spruce Food Market. Isn't it fabulous that this streamlined facade and sign are still intact?

In this image from 1950, the block looks very similar to today. Note the Town Garage's sign ("Enter one block north on Latimer Street") hanging from the Spruce Street facade. The neon signs in the windows read: "Garden Fresh Produce, Ocean Fresh Seafood," (I think) "Nicely Cut-Up Poultry, Quality Meats" and "Spruce Food Market," as though the larger sign wasn't sufficient.

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This image is part of the Parker & Mullikin collection held by the Free Library’s Print and Picture Collection.

    • June 1, 1950, Spruce Food Market | Parker & Mullikin | Free Library of Philadelphia Print and Picture Collection
      June 1, 1950, Spruce Food Market | Parker & Mullikin | Free Library of Philadelphia Print and Picture Collection

About the author

Ashley Hahn, Contributor

Ashley Hahn is an independent writer with a background in historic preservation and city planning. She started Eyes on the Street for PlanPhilly in 2011 and was PlanPhilly's managing editor from 2015-2017. Ashley has lived in 12 zip codes that she can think of, including neighborhoods in Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, and New York. She is a Philadelphian by choice.

Contact Ashley via email or find her on twitter: @ashleyjhahn.


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