401 and 409 Chestnut Streets
|You've been Furnessed.|
It all began in 1876. Provident Life and Trust Company wanted a building on Banker's Row. The problem was that there were already a bunch of kick-ass awesome bank buildings on the Row and they wanted theirs to stand out. They had a national design contest in order to figure out who could design the most unusual and memorable building they could throw down there. Now who would win a NATIONAL architecture contest in 1876? Frank Motherfucking Furness, that's who.
|Only known photograph of Frank Furness.|
|Furness designed this in like 5 minutes while sitting on the can. It took 3 years to build.|
Fifty-five years after its completion, the addition was destroyed. It became an Empty Lot of the Week for years next to the original, which itself was demolished fourteen years later when all the shit the facade was caked with by that point made it ugly as fuck. The building's footprint didn't end up seeing a new occupant until 1988, 39 fucking years later, when the garbage-looking Omni Hotel at Independence Park was built.
What a waste. This Tower to Nunchuck-shaped Diamonds could itself have been turned into a hotel to serve tourists of the Independence Historical Grass Lot Collection. It could house a Charter School if it was around today. It could have been the welcome center for the Grass Lot Collection... it looks a hell of a lot better than the two they've tried before. Shit, to keep this thing alive, I would have allowed it to become a 10 storey check-cashing place. The Dr. Scholl's Foot Fungus Museum. You could have made it a garbage storage center for 50 years and I would be satisfied... but NO. It just had to be demolished. Thanks for nuthin'.