Old-ass Building of the Week-- July 11th

City Hall Annex (aka Courtyard Marriott)

21 North Juniper Street

Take notes, motherfuckers. This is how you do it!
                     Now this is how you do a building. It's just a box but it doesn't seem like one... it has differentiating sets of details and styles going all the way up... it's like five awesome-looking shorter buildings stacked on top of each other. Then you have an arcade that straddles the sidewalk, wrapping around the back corner of the building. Cover it all with Indiana Limestone and you have one can-kick-Godzilla's-ass building. It's LEED Fuck You Certified, asshole!
                     In the start of the 1920's, the horrendously corrupt city government was growing to such an immense size that it started to exceed the bounds of Philadelphia's City Hall. Just to put that into perspective, this city government was so swollen with corruption by 1920 that the largest municipal building in America with it's 695 rooms was too fucking small for it. They needed a brand new 15-storey building and they needed it now... they couldn't wait 30 years for it like the last time. 
                    They called up city architect/Ed Bacon of the 20's Phillip H. Johnson.

Phillip H. Johnson shortly after his 2nd Rite of Ascension.
                  Appointed by his corrupt state senator brother-in-law Israel Wilson Durham, he designed many of the civic structures found in the city in that era. We're lucky that Senator Durham's brother-in-law was a good-ass architect. Johnson didn't fuck around. He came up with a design that kicked ass but was also quickly buildable.
                  Work begun on it in 1926.

Under construction on October 21, 1926. Check out the Bulletin Building on the left.
                   The city government needed this thing done so quickly that it was built in two phases so they could open sooner. The Juniper Street side was done first, then they started the 13th Street side. The whole thing was done by the end of 1928.

Phase One nearly complete. Begin Phase Two!
                  The City Hall Annex held various city offices for decades. The city government expanded even more, building even more annexes to fit their fat asses. Even today the city rents offices in other buildings because the many buildings they have aren't enough.

The 13th Street side looking dirty as shit in 1965.

Central air conditioner being installed in 1966.
                    By the 1980's, this former Temple of Kung Fu Crotch Kicks was a piece of crud. A design flaw caused water to leak into the walls above each window, accelerating the aging process of the building. In 1987, the city peaced the fuck out of the barely standing structure and it was nearly marked for demolition. The beast sat rotting away while development deal after development deal fell through.
                  Finally in 1997 Marriott came along and was like "Hmm... great location, windows on all sides, new convention center nearby... SCOOOOOOORE!!!". They converted it to a hotel over a long 2 year boondoggle of construction. The design flaw in the windows was fixed and history geeks bothered the fuck out of them over every detail. The awning over the door became a source of massive controversy.  The hotel opened as the Courtyard Marriott Philadelphia in 1999 to great fanfare.

The new awning is not awesome.

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