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Representing the shame of a great city
August 1, 2011 11:15 AM   Subscribe

Philaphilia, a blog about Philadelphia buildings past and present, in which the little known architectural terms "badassivity," "concrete testicles" and "shitfucktastic garbitechture" are presented for your edification.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders (36 comments total) 47 users marked this as a favorite

 
[this is a good jawn]
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 11:20 AM on August 1, 2011 [5 favorites]


Awesome! Love it. The comics look like something from Noel Fielding from the Mighty Boosh.

I loved living in Philly.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 11:20 AM on August 1, 2011


Man, if BLDG BLOG is the erudite world-travelling guy in an impeccable suit, this is his mohawked, punk-rock little brother who hasn't made it outside of home too much but hung onto his big brother's every word growing up.
posted by griphus at 11:22 AM on August 1, 2011 [6 favorites]




Like his writing style and eye for baddass architecture. Great post.
posted by AugustWest at 11:47 AM on August 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yet another reason I love this city. Yeah, the writer and the buildings.

Also: Philly is home to Jedi Master Cursewordologists. A great word can get you laughter, applause and drinks. English is alive, well and gets to the gym regularly in this town.
posted by djrock3k at 11:54 AM on August 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


Philly is home to Jedi Master Cursewordologists.

Fuckin A. The result of many years of horrible sports teams, cheap-assed owners, and miserable arenas (no one misses the Vet or the Spectrum.)

That is one thing about Philadelphia which has changed beyond recognition. One or two championships and people might even start being polite.
posted by three blind mice at 12:21 PM on August 1, 2011


One or two championships and people might even start being polite.

Are you fucking kidding me? Not while the fucking Yankees still walk the fucking Earth.

Go Phillies!

I mean, uh, Fuck Yeah Phillies
posted by Tomorrowful at 12:36 PM on August 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


The hell we will!
posted by Mister_A at 12:36 PM on August 1, 2011


edifice-ation
posted by LogicalDash at 12:44 PM on August 1, 2011


As someone who lives in Philly and loves 1) history, 2) architecture, 3) urban evolution, and 4) badassitude, I am honestly kind of embarrassed that I'd never heard of this before.
posted by Tomorrowful at 12:49 PM on August 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


There's pride in your city, then there's love, and not the gooey kind that's all pastel nostalgia, rose-tinted memories of what people say were happier, simpler times. This is some serious love of the past, pride in architects dead decades (if not centuries) ago, longing for a time when city-building was hardcore.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:51 PM on August 1, 2011


This is totally fun, interesting, and totally not the sort of thing I'd ever have looked at without Mefi. Love it!
posted by po at 12:57 PM on August 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm kind of surprised how few of these buildings I recognize.
posted by madcaptenor at 1:00 PM on August 1, 2011


My respect for Claes Oldenburg just went way down.
posted by Sys Rq at 1:12 PM on August 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


What do I mean by impracticality? Think about it. Do you think it's fun to put rectilinear furniture and equipment into a curvilinear room? Kiss half of your square footage goodbye. Being inside a big hollow box of concrete blows. It gets moldy and mildewy and it sucks if you need to install any new plumbing or wiring. Over time, the concrete develops holes and crumbly areas, causing a moist drafty building that's paradise for roaches and ants. Literally, the Roundhouse, as it came to be known, is an Arcology of Vermin.

That paragraph is great.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 1:16 PM on August 1, 2011


Hurray! Why I love Philadelphia (that and the bizarrely dysfunctional people). My home sweet home.
posted by Peach at 1:28 PM on August 1, 2011


I was sold after:
A Police Headquarters that looks like handcuffs. What a fucking joke. This concrete monstrosity is one of those buildings that stands between regular humans and architecture nerds. 99.9% of the people that see this building say "What a piece of shitfucktastic garbitechture!" but a small small sampling of architecture geeks love this fucking thing. Not me. Fuck this building and fuck concrete.
We should get this guy on some sort of study-abroad program so he can swear at Government Center in Boston.
posted by Kadin2048 at 1:30 PM on August 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Always amusiing to see the lengths people will go to to make up for the fact that they don't live in New York City.
posted by thescientificmethhead at 1:38 PM on August 1, 2011


> Always amusiing to see the lengths people will go to to make up for the fact that they don't live in New York City.

uh, what? This guy clearly loves his city, its buildings, its builders, and its general history. I don't know what kind of weird architectural jealousy you're attempting to project onto him, but I don't think that's the case.
posted by xbonesgt at 1:44 PM on August 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


This church has a theater in the back and I've been to plays there. That parking lot across the street may be ugly but it's damn cheap for evening parking.
posted by interplanetjanet at 1:52 PM on August 1, 2011


I hated philly architecture, i found it oppressive, and kind of sad--the only two i really loved were a modernist building that held a hotel by the mall downtown, and the Divine Lorriane Hotel...the later because I have a thing for mid century religious cults.
posted by PinkMoose at 2:15 PM on August 1, 2011


Always amusiing to see the lengths people will go to to make up for the fact that they don't live in New York City.

Believe it or not, not everyone thinks New York is the Best Place Ever.
posted by madcaptenor at 2:16 PM on August 1, 2011 [8 favorites]


Always amusing to see the lengths self deluded new yorkers go to to prove that they are the shit.
posted by nikoniko at 2:44 PM on August 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


Always amusing to see the lengths self deluded new yorkers go to to prove that they are the shit.

FTFY
posted by madcaptenor at 2:45 PM on August 1, 2011


I just realized, reading this is like getting the narrator of the Honeybadger video to review architecture.

Which works surprisingly well.
posted by emjaybee at 2:57 PM on August 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


I always wondered about the Logan Circle The Wonder Years sing about. I'll check out the blog.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 3:58 PM on August 1, 2011


This is timely! I just watched "Blow Out" with John Travolta speeding his Jeep through the middle of City Hall and have been musing on Philly architecture since. Totally agree on all the Butt Fugly choices. especially the Municipal Services building, complete with the Frank Rizzo statue that tips disturbingly forward, threatening to crush you under his 1000 lb metal girth.

I would nominate my work's former building for the "Bad Acid Trip" category, if there was one. Just for the murals and Huichol string art alone.
posted by medeine at 3:59 PM on August 1, 2011


I used to live in Philly, and just got back yesterday from a visit. This blog is great, and I wish that it had existed (if blogs had existed) when I lived there!
posted by moonmilk at 4:45 PM on August 1, 2011


Very nice.
posted by carter at 5:21 PM on August 1, 2011


I have never lived in Philadelphia but visit whenever I can. If I were free and Philadelphia asked me to run away with it, I would in a heartbeat. My spouse knows that if I ever disappear, she could find me on a weekend morning, buying burrata at the Italian Market.
posted by Morrigan at 6:12 PM on August 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


rest in peace, Philly Skyline
posted by dutch at 8:01 PM on August 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Goddamn, that Betz building was gorgeous. Great post, thanks.
posted by mediareport at 4:46 AM on August 2, 2011


Fuckshitty fuckshitty fuckshitty crap crap.
posted by Joe in Australia at 5:11 AM on August 2, 2011


This has been making the rounds lately and, while the profanity feels a little forced and tiresome, it's still an extremely compelling read and accurately conveys much of the spluttering rage I feel about what's been done to this city in the past 60 years. So many strange, beautiful, amazing buildings that could be adding life and character to Philadelphia today, most of them torn down or permanently disfigured for - well, what exactly? Because there wasn't a good enough view of Carpenter's Hall?

I think that describing North Philadelphia as the "ancient civilization that existed on North Broad Street" is spot-on, and describes much of what I feel about this city: that this advanced civilization lived here before us and laid out urbane, civilizated streets, houses, subways, and streetcars surrounded by gorgeous, interesting buildings before dying off, and now we live uncomprehending in their ruins, like medieval Romans scavenging off the Colosseum. Nothing that's been built here in the past 60 years will stand the test of time or ever be missed.
posted by deafmute at 6:41 AM on August 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


interplanetjanet: "This church has a theater in the back and I've been to plays there. That parking lot across the street may be ugly but it's damn cheap for evening parking"

Well, that's the secret to ensuring your city has cheap parking, isn't it? You have to reduce the number of people who want to visit, and if that means bulldozing some excellent old buildings, then that's what you gotta do.
posted by alexei at 10:29 PM on August 3, 2011


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