1309 Noble Street
This beastoid is like the Art Deco sequel to the Jayne Building, the first building featured by Philaphilia. Its awesome facade is emblazoned with colorful shapes from the brief period of Native American design influence. Its location in a weirdly isolated place among major streets gives it an air of mystery. This thing KICKS ASS.
Look at that fucking tower up top. I don't what the purpose of that thing was and I don't give a shit. Its awesome! Something cool about the building that you can't see in that crappy picture above is that it has these cool-ass curved balconies running up and down on both sides.
George F. Lasher was a badass. This guy started as a crappy Notary Public as a young man and by the time of his death had a printing empire running out of the first Lasher Printing Company Building at 147 North 10th Street, along with a number of factories and commercial buildings he had built in the meantime. Plans for expansion of the printing company into a larger building had begun before his death, but it was his successor that was able finally get it built.
At the time, all kinds of printing houses and large factories were being built up North Broad Street. This was the area were the new printing monolith would go. For the design, he went to Phillip Tyre, Juggernaut of Art Deco Megatecture. Tyre had been a student of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts down the street so he knew that a cool building was supposed to look like. By 1928, the Great Castle of Callowhill was born.
Through the mid and late 20th Century, Lasher and other printing companies printed a shitload of literature of different types that got distributed all over the world. Shit, even Working Mother Magazine was being printed there. At the tail end of the century, other types of companies came in, most notably a sporting goods manufacturer.
In 1999, a Brooklyn-based realtor bought the place and sort of half-renovated it. In the mid 00's there were rumors of it being turned into loft apartments like other buildings in the appropriately-named Loft District, but that never panned out. The building ended up becoming another telecommunications carrier hotel just like the behemoth across the street. This sexy bitch finally got historically certified in 2004.
One day in the future when the Reading Viaduct becomes the best elevated park in the world (and it will), Noble Street is where the Broad Street entrance will be. A half-assed version of that park currently stands there, covered in rocks and shit. Once that park becomes a reality, hopefully someone will take the old Lasher Building and restore the fucking balls out of it. The facade is a little beat-up looking nowadays; the bold colors are peeling and chunks of concrete are falling off. Restore! Restore!!!!!!!