• 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.

From Above: Old City and Society Hill waterfront, 1925

Our last two From Above aerial selections have showcased the Central Delaware Waterfront in the 1920s, checking in on bridge construction in 1924 and catching a bird-eye view of waterfront life in 1920. Today we stay on the Delaware waterfront, but head inland for a look at Old Dock Street and the blocks of Society Hill and Old City near the river back in 1925. 

    • Old Dock St, 1925 (Image no. 4886) | Aero Service Corp. | Aerial Viewpoint, Spring, TX
      Old Dock St, 1925 (Image no. 4886) | Aero Service Corp. | Aerial Viewpoint, Spring, TX

Dock Street, the meandering cobbled road that winds from the Delaware River up toward Walnut and 3rd streets, was the city's wholesale food hub well into the mid-20th century when the food distribution center was built in South Philadelphia. In this view Dock Street's curves (seen lower left) are easy to pick out against the orderly grid, framed by large warehouses near the piers. Look closer and you can see that the buildings on Dock are lined with a steady canopy of shop awnings. In this view you can also make out the Frankford Elevated Railway running along North Front, which officially opened as an elevated line in 1922, as well as an elevated spur along Delaware Avenue, connecting riders to ferry terminals at Market and South streets.


At first blush the Benjamin Franklin Bridge looks like it does today, but look closer and you quickly notice that it's still being constructed. The bridge wouldn't open until the following year. Here we see the bridge abutment along Race Street as it is being built, and the block between 2nd and Front has been cleared to make way for the bridge's eventual path.

Click to enlarge the photo and get lost in the past for a while.

---------

This image is part of the Free Library’s Print and Picture Collection, and is used by PlanPhilly/Eyes on the Street with the express permission of Aerial Viewpoint, which owns these aerial images. For reproductions contact Aerial Viewpoint.

To learn more background about these aerial photographs, head over here.

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.


blog comments powered by Disqus

Article Information

    Neighborhoods: Old City Society Hill
    Projects: From Above
    Photo Credit: Courtesy of Aerial Viewpoint, Spring, TX

Recent Comments on PlanPhilly

Powered by Disqus

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required
Which weekly emails would you like to receive?