2 South 15th Street
|Now that is one sexy motherfucker.|
All the trimmings and balconies and shit are meticulously sculpted to the nth degree. Check out a super-highres version of the pic above here. Details like these make a building age beautifully. The crud that accumulates on concrete and plastic-looking architecture of today make them look horrible within 30 years. In buildings from this era, the crud actually accentuates their sculpted details.
Alfred C. Harrison was a rich motherfucker born from a long line of rich motherfuckers. He helped run his dad's Franklin Sugar Refinery and had made mad stacks on top of his already huge family fortune. In 1893, both him and his father Charles built office buildings in Center City. His father's was done first, a little seven-storey box at 10th and Market. His dad wanted it there because the location was close to the new City Hall that had begun construction and the new Reading Terminal. He called it the Harrison Building.
|Here it is, after the bottom got mangled as fuck in the mid 20th.|
Alfred Harrison gave a big "up your taint" to his father and built his office building twice the height, much closer to City Hall, across the street from Broad Street Station, and much more high-tech... using the same architects. It had hot and cold water in the public bathrooms and a long-distance fucking telephone!! Construction took much longer and it was completed by 1895. Alfred decided it should be called the Harrison Building. This is how you get two Harrison buildings at the same time.
Big Papa Charles, however, posthumously got his comeuppance. His little dinky 10th and Market building survived for 10 more years than his son's. Alfred was a smart motherfucker but there's one unstoppable force that he could never have predicted: the Mid 20th Century Concrete Revolution. The perfectly maintained Alfred Craven Harrison Building was knocked the fuck down in 1969. Why was it knocked down? Developer Jack Wolgin was an art lover and wanted a sculpture for the buildings he wanted to construct in the surrounding lots. He had this sketch by his buddy Claus and wanted to build it:
|"A 45-foot clothespin! That'll make perfect sense in front of my ugly concrete office buildings!" -Wolgin|
|The main entrance. It still had old-timey window signs for the businesses that used to occupy the upper floors. Oh yeah, real demolition material.|
|The Harrison Building retained 99% of its facade details right up until demo day. Check out the Arcade Building Expansion in the background.|