• 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: Before Schuylkill Banks



What came before Schuylkill Banks and Schuylkill River Park? For today's Mid-Century Philly, we shift our gaze from commercial corridors to look down 26th Street from Locust. Before the recreational path, community garden, dog run, AT&T and building, there was a dense mix of industrial and residential properties stretching southward along the Schuylkill River.

In 1953 warehouses and factories lined the railroad tracks river's eastern shore. The old South Street Bridge is the river crossing at right, and the PECO plant is visible (with a neon sign if you click through and enlarge) in the background. You can also make out St. Anthony of Padua's bell tower at left behind the Thornton-Fuller Automobile Company's facility (now demolished).

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

    • March 18, 1953: Looking south along 26th Street | Parker & Mullikin, Free Library of Philadelphia Print and Picture Collection
      March 18, 1953: Looking south along 26th Street | 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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