New view of PAFA’s Furness Building

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PAFA's Frank Furness building--one of the city's architectural jewels on North Broad Street. Unfortunately the building is so short it's completely hidden from view except when you're virtually in front of it. So when I saw this "new" view of the building (albeit partly obstructed by the piles and fences in the excavation site in the foreground) I got all excited.
PAFA’s Frank Furness building–one of the city’s architectural jewels on North Broad Street. Unfortunately the building is so short it’s completely hidden from view except when you’re virtually in front of it. So when I saw this “new” view of the building (albeit partly obstructed by the piles and fences in the excavation site in the foreground) I got all excited.

 

I was on Arch and 13th St. the other day and because they’ve begun demolishing two historically significant buildings on North Broad Street to make way for the Convention Center expansion you can now see PAFA’s little jewel of a building from afar, albeit peeking out from behind a pile of rubble and through some fencing. Until the expansion is built PAFA’s architectural gem will be visible from this angle. After that, hidden again except when you’re right across the street from it.

pafaoldpostcard.jpg
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA, 1871-76 (Furness & Hewitt), view from northeast, tinted photo, from an old postcard (J. Howe). Just in case you can’t locate the building in my photo above this antique postcard image of it shows you what you’re looking for.

Whoever authorized that huge building immediately south of the little Furness should be resurrected and put on trial for bullying and bad taste. How about tearing that building down so the Furness gets a little breathing room and so we can see it from another side. How about a park with trees in its stead — North Broad needs a park and trees so badly!

Here’s a link to the Bryn Mawr College website where I found the postcard image — it’s a photo database of lots of interesting architectural buildings. Very cool.

Tags

frank furness, pafa

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