1001 Locust Street
Anyone who knows even the slightest bit of Philadelphia history knows about Horn and Hardart. In case you don't, here's a quick rundown. Horn and Hardart was an automat cafeteria restaurant with an assload of locations in Philly (we're talking like every 2 blocks) and New York.
|Still don't get it? Everything you need to know is explained in this postcard.|
In order to operate this massive chain of restaurants, a centralized plant was needed to prepare ingredients and distribute them to the myriad of locations in the Philadelphia area. This plant ended up being built at the northwest corner of 10th and Locust. The architect and official year of construction is unknown because, for some reason, no detailed records of this building seem to exist.
I happened upon it by looking at old maps and reading old news stories about union troubles that went on there in the 1950's. I could never find a picture of the building itself until I happened upon it on the ultra-kickasstic Hagley Digital Archives. That's a great fucking archive, by the way. I used it to figure out that the building must have been built in 1927. 1926 aerial photos don't have the building but this photo from 1927 shows it looking pretty new.
This ugly motherfucker only stood for just under 40 years. I can't pin down the exact demolition date but a 1964 report from the Redevelopment Authority speaks on its impending demolition. Researching this building is crazy because one mystery about it just leads to another. For example, here's a picture of it at street level in 1931, 3 weeks before the picture at the top of the article.
|Locust Street from 10th, looking west. The building in question is on the right.|
|No comment necessary.|
|It's all the way to the left. Many lost buildings in this picture.|
AND THE ANSWAH IS...
This is John McLaughlin and now you ahh reading this in my voice. This shitty building was designed by Ralph Bencker. The planks on Locust Street were to covah the construction of the subway tunnel now used by the PATCO. BYE BYE!!
*Special thanks to Bruce Laverty!