Philly + Architecture = Art Deco

While it may not be Miami Beach (Philly doesn’t really do pastels), Philadelphia has some amazing Art Deco buildings.  These are a few of the highlights in Center City:

The former Fidelity Mutual Life Insurance Company, now an annex of the Philadelphia Museum of Art (2525 Pennsylvania Avenue). Covered with decorations symbolizing attributes of insurance and hard work, including: the owl of wisdom, the dog of fidelity (origin of the dog name Fido – a tribute to the loyalty of dogs) , the pelican of charity, the opossum of protection, and the squirrel of frugality:

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The old WCAU radio station (1618-22 Chestnut St.). The first building in the country designed specifically for a radio station. Decorated with lots of chrome and electricity symbols:

 

 

 

 

Suburban Station (16th & JFK Boulevard). It originally served as a terminal for Pennsylvania Railroad trains (yes- the same station on the Monopoly board – Pennsylvania Rail Road was one of the stations serving Atlantic City, home of all the properties on the board when it was first published in 1938):

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The Ayer Building (210 W. Washington Square).  Originally home to one of the oldest ad agencies in the country, N.W. Ayer – established 1884 and creator of the slogan, “a diamond is forever”:

 

 

 

The former Market Street National Bank (1 East Penn Square). Covered with Mayan theme decorations – a real contrast to the ornate City Hall across the street:

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1500 & 1528 Walnut Street (interior of 1528):

 

 

 

1608 & 1616 Walnut Street (interior of 1616):

 

 

 

The Metropolitan Apartments (117 N. 15th Street):

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The Drake Hotel (1512 Spruce Street). The decorations symbolize the voyages of Sir Francis Drake – dolphins, shells, globes:

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The old Horn & Hardart Automat (818 Chestnut):

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And… the Deco  influenced Liberty 1. Viewed behind the Architects Building (117 South 17th Street):

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