Bounded by North Broad, 13th, Carlton, and Callowhill Streets
It wasn't just any building, either. It was a kick-ass awesome Great Wall of Icepick Neckstabs that took eight fucking years to build (1882-1890).
|1894, on the horseshit-strewn dirt road that was North Broad Street. Check out the tower that Roman used to have.|
On April 19th, 1882, A huge processional of over 600 soldiers and veterans marched up and down Broad Street from Chestnut to Bainbridge, then back up to the construction site at Callowhill. Once they arrived at the site, a fully-costumed Masonic ritual took place while the cornerstone was laid. Attendance was so high for the event that the following banquet had to be held at multiple sites. The day of celebration ended with a concert and reception at the American Academy of Music.
The building served as home to the 103rd Engineer Regiment, aka the Dandy First, which was supposedly founded by Benjamin Franklin in 1747. The building was used by the regiment occasionally but spent most of its life as the premiere venue for conventions and exhibitions. Auto shows, business expos, technology fairs, all the same kind of shit the current Convention Center holds were all held here first. Needless to say, this Fortress of Fingerbangs was much better than the coal yard that it replaced. An addition was added in 1904 to ensure slightly more kick-ass. It was designed by Architectural Shogun Warrior Charles Brooke.
|With kick-ass ensuring addition.|
|Towards the end.|
Not just any surface lot, mind you. A surface lot elevated off the ground. The old foundation of the old Armory stayed intact and the surface lot was built on pylons. In July of last year, after 3 decades, the lot started to sink and needed to be replaced. The Philly blogosphere went apeshit thinking that there might be SOMETHING developed on this lot, but it ended up just being filled in and repaved as a brand new surface parking lot. Yay.
|Here's a pic uploaded to Philadelphia Speaks by user eldondre when there was excitement over the possibility of development on this lot.|