Monday, March 31, 2008

Philadelphia Scenes: Then and Now

Second in a series comparing some photos I took from the top of City Hall in Philadelphia in 1968 to similar pictures I took in 2006.

This first photo is the Philadelphia Municipal Services Building. I think it is also called the City Hall Annex. It was completed in 1963 so was still a new building in this photo. It has a large, empty plaza on one side. It's 265 feet tall (16 stories) and the design won an award from the American Institute of Architects in 1967.

38 years after I took this photo the building is still standing but as you can see the plaza is no longer empty.

There are several art works now in the plaza. One is a bigger-than-life statue of former mayor Frank Rizzo. You can just make it out if you click on the photo to enlarge it. The statue is in the lower left corner. The statue is made to look like Rizzo walking down the short flight of steps from the plaza to the street. At the center bottom of the picture is a very large piece called "Government of the People". It is my recollection that this statue was previously located on the Ben Franklin Parkway. I also remember that Frank Rizzo was very critical of this statue. I find it ironic that they now share a public space. It was erected in 1976 and there are some good pictures of it here. This site also shows two other statues on the plaza which aren't visible in my photo.


You can also see a number of small pieces scattered all over the plaza. These pieces collectively are called "Your Move" and represent many game pieces. In this close-up you can see dominoes and several game markers. There are also chess men and checkers. To give you a sense of scale, the dominoes are about 8 feet tall. It was completed in 1996.

1 comment:

Margaret Walk said...

Love the new header image you've got.