City Hall

Philadelphia’s City Hall is one of our favorite buildings. It’s the most ornate and largest City Hall in the country and was almost torn down two times. It’s located at 1 Penn Square and was the tallest building in the world from 1894 to 1908 surpassing the Eiffel Tower and Washington monuments. It remained the tallest building in Philly until  the construction of 1 Liberty Place that formally ended the gentlemen’s agreement limiting the height of the city’s buildings (no building was built taller than City Hall until Liberty Place was constructed 1984-1987). Continue reading

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Elfreth’s Alley

Elfreth’s Alley is a street in Philadelphia and referred to as “Our nations oldest residential address.” It dates back to 1702 and is a National Historic Landmark. The cobblestone street and Federal and Georgian style houses that line the street were common back in the 1700s. It’s named after Jeremiah Elfreth, an 18th century property owner and blacksmith. Trades people lived on this street and was once full of printers, carpenters, and different types of crafts people. Continue reading

NY Farm Colony & the Cropsey Legend

NY Farm Colony is located in Staten Island. It was a poorhouse, a government run facility to support and provide housing for the dependent or needy. The Farm Colony was abandoned in 1975. After sitting empty for so many years, the Farm Colony will get a second life. 5 of the ruin buildings will be rehabilitated and turned into senior housing for people 55 years and older, commercial space, green space, and parking. It will be called Landmark Colony. Some of the units will be set aside for affordable housing. One ruin, the men’s dormitory will be a stabilized ruin and the others will be demolished. The condition is so bad in some of the buildings they can’t be preserved. Continue reading

Bialystoker Synagogue & Congregation Beth Hachasidim De Polen

Bialystoker Synagogue is at 7-11 Bialystoker Place which use to be known as Willet Street. The building was constructed in 1826 and was the Willet Street Methodist Episcopal Church. In 1905, the synagogue bought the church. Continue reading

Edward Mooney House

At 18 Bowery in Chinatown (on the corner of Pell Street) stands the Edward Mooney House. It was built between 1785-1789. The land was seized from British Loyalist James Delancy and sold at auction for around $50,000. Edward Mooney was a wealthy merchant and ran a wholesale meat business and was a race horse breeder. He lived in the house until his death in 1800. Continue reading

Bloody Angle aka Doyers Street

Doyers Street is an angled, narrow street that runs 1 block at a sharp angle from Pell Street into the intersection of Bowery and Chatham Square. In 1791, Dutch immigrant Hendrik Doyer bought the property and ran a distillery at 6 Doyers, the spot where the post office stands today. It was once known as the Bloody Angle for the many battles of the Tong gangs (On Leong Tong and Hip Sing Tongs) of Chinatown in the late 1800s and lasting into the 1930s. The term ‘hatchet man’ was used in the late 19th century to describe a Chinese assassin who carried a handleless hatchet. Continue reading

Kahal Kadoosh Beth Elohim in Charleston

Congregation Kadosh Beth Elohim was founded in 1749 and is the 4th oldest in the nation. On wiki it says the Greek Revival building  is the 2nd oldest in continual use while their pamphlet from the synagogue says it’s the oldest. Sometimes they are considered the place where Reformed Judaism was born when individuals split from the group in the mid 1800s. This new belief system spread and became the dominant belief system of American Jews. More that 90% of American synagogues were Reform by 1880. Continue reading