Almost the entire block bounded by Locust, Spruce, Broad and 15th Streets
|Well this is... different.|
The similarities between this plan and the 2001-built Kimmel Center of the Performing Arts are numerous, even down to the indoor urban garden. The general plan is the same... multiple theatres of varying size surrounding a central indoor public space. The difference with this place is that it had FOUR theatres instead of two... one of those theaters being the goddamn American Academy of Music!!!!
|It would have been enormous.|
To do it, a huge swath of old buildings would need to be demolished... the Shubert Theater (now Merriam Theater), two rows of 1850's row-mansions, the Vida Building, and McGlinchey's. Only the Atlantic Building and the Westbury Building would be safe.
The Martin, Stewart, Noble, and Class firm designed this thing... it was probably no coincidence that they designed the renovations for the Academy of Music a few years earlier. I must say, for an early-60's design, its not too bad!! I usually hate the garbage built in that time period... Martin, Stewart, Noble, and Class are responsible for some especially butt-fugly examples (Myerson Hall)... but this doesn't look terrible. I wonder what material would be used for the facade and how it would have aged.
|The indoor public space.|
This proposal was obviously very dead before 1969, because a similar plan, this time including residential buildings, was proposed then. This time it was called Philadelphia Playhouse and it was directly across the street from the site for this. It makes sense that across the street is a better location, because the Hotel Walton and the Hotel Stenton had been recently demolished, opening up a huge amount of space.
|Alternate Universe Broad and Locust. Now the Doubletree Hotel and Wilma Theater.|