1301 Locust Street
|Still hanging on, still ugly as fuck.|
The northwest corner of Locust Street first got attention for two things before this piece of shit was built. One was the fact that the Pennsylvania Society of the Colonial Dames was founded in the mansion that once occupied this spot in 1891. The second is how a lone wild-growing pine tree at the corner managed to survive the city's growth around it. That little tree became the subject of scientific curiosity in the early 20th Century.
|The tree in question. I guess it was a big deal at the time.|
Crane kept the showroom open and held some offices there through the 1930's. Skip ahead to 1943. That's when Frank Palumbo, Philaphile and nightclub promoter, came along and decided that this building would be a great addition to his entertainment empire. He opened a Jazz club inside called the Cove on March 20th. It's opening and subsequent headliners were covered in Billboard Magazine all through the 40's.
|Original blurb from Billboard about the opening.|
Over the years, the classiness of the neighborhood began to wain. The jazz clubs gave way to lunchtime eateries and supper clubs. The tenants changed with the times based the level of the neighborhood.
|1959. The southern end of the building became the Cub Lounge.|
|The side of the shitpile in 1972.|
|The ever-lasting All in the Family Lounge (great name) has the northern end in this pic from 1977. Club 13 opened (in a much different form) in 1948.|
The All in the Family Lounge was the biggest target... many objected to a strip club where the strippers would sometimes be visible from the street when working. In 1996, they tried to take down Frank Palumbo Jr., current owner, over the tenant's licenses. Luckily, Mr. Palumbo was the municipal court judge that was chairman of the Licenses and Inspections review board. All kinds of speculation swirled around for years over whether Palumbo or the owner of the All in the Family were corrupt or had mob ties, etc.
In 2000, the owner of the All in the Family Lounge retooled the place. He used his grandfathered-in strip club license to open a much larger strip club called Signatures in the same building. As long as the actual stripping only occured in the room in the back (the old All-in-the-Family space) he was golden. The exterior was redone with extremely cheesy-looking reflective black crap and fake-ass gold lanterns. I guess they were trying to class-up the joint.
|Signatures as seen in Season 2 Episode 16 of Hack. Check out the episode... you can see the inside of the building when it was all stripclubbed-out.|
In 2005, Signatures' liquor license was denied and the place shut down... the NIMBY's scored a victory for their neighborhood. The butt-fugly Wall of Whining Neighbors sat vacant for 6 years while proposal after proposal came and went. A club called Evolve was pretty set on moving in 2007-2008. That all fell through like a motherfucker. A large entertainment complex appropriately named Thirteen01 came after that. Both Evolve and Thirteen01 planned to completely remake the building, which have made it slightly less ugly.
|Hey, All in the Family Lounge would be an appropriate name for it!|
For six years I cursed NIMBYs for causing this ugly piece of shit to sit empty for all that time, but it looks like in the end this will be extremely positive for the city as a whole. This place at least proves that the NIMBYs do have SOME usefulness. Whodathunkit?