Thursday, December 4, 2014

Why You Need to Support Hidden City Philadelphia

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

              Wow, that's a pretty nice video. They should have asked me to provide narration using Monster Voice. Meh, maybe not. Look, I'm not just saying this shit because I write and do tours for these folks. Hidden City Philadelphia is the most important publication in the city right now. It documents and disseminates stories and information about all that Philadelphia-related shit that would otherwise be lost forever.
                Hidden City assembles all the... shall we say... not-so-neurotypical whackos around our city that have boatloads of knowledge about the history, people, neighborhoods, and both the natural and built environments of Philadelphia and spreads that shit around so that you, the humans, can experience the same wonder and joy that our modest and underrated city gives to them (includes me).

              I bring this up because Hidden City is now engaged in their annual campaign to raise enough scrilla to keep that shit going. Without that dough, Hidden City won't be able to bring you all the great content it throws down every week and all the great tours/events it does throughout the year. After all, these guys deserve it. They took a chance on me, GroJLart, a random anonymous bum who knows about Philadelphia shit, and let me go nuts writing and giving tours about the kind of things I like to learn about.
              Even though it sounds like a strip club Christopher Columbus opened in the Dominican Republic, Indiegogo is where you have to go to contribute to Hidden City. Click on the link above and send these folks some currency. Help bring Hidden City into 2015 and beyond!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Fill This Front: Warner Bros. Studio Store

1625 Chestnut Space 240

Where the crappy arrows are pointing

              Whoa whoa whoa wait a minute here! It has come to my attention, though not totally confirmed, that this space at the Shops at Liberty Place hasn't had a permanent lessee in 13 years!!  HOLY FUCK. If true, that's a goddamn travesty! What the fuck is going on here? From what I can tell, the last thing to occupy this space in any kind of long-term way was the goddamn WB Studios Store!
               For those of you that don't remember, the Warner Bros. Studio Store was a crappy mall store where you could by Warner Brothers-related merchandise. They started out with only a few locations in 1993, the nearest one being at the Cherry Hill Mall. They later decided to pop up in every fucking mall you could think of in the next couple of years. Even shit-ass Quaker Bridge Mall had one.
            The WB Studio Store came to Center City Philadelphia in the 1994 Christmas Shopping season. The spot they chose? Space 240 at the Shops at Liberty Place. The place did just fine... it stayed open all the way until 2001, when the franchise quit the U.S. Ever since, the spot has stayed empty as fuck save for a few seasonal spots, if my sources are correct. Not only is it empty, but the place itself is in disguise!

Its behind this crap.
And this shit on the other side of the escalator
               A person who does not know the mall very well may not notice that when coming up the escalator on the southwest side, all the windows are covered with ads for the Shops at Liberty Place and a small hallway directs you into the second floor of the mall. This used to be part of that store space! Over the years, Liberty Place has managed to stay pretty nice but the emptiness of this space sticks out like a sore thumb, no matter how much they may cover it up with bullshit. Let's try to fill this fucker once and for all!
              This space is advantageous because it has window frontage on the second floor facing both 17th and Chestnut Streets. The space itself is 12,000 square feet (when the hallway is deleted), one of the largest single spaces you can get in the whole place. It also has a large skylight on its south frontage with a balcony that looks over the southwestern entrance to the mall! Its not like this thing can't hold on to a tenant-- as noted above, it held the same one for 6 straight years!

Skylight and balcony section of the southeast side of the space.
              Do I even have to tell you how much foot traffic and transit shit passes this space!?!? Nearly limitless. On top of that, directly above this space is one building full of high-paid employees, one tower that is half rich-as-fuck residents, and another building with an expensive-ass hotel that connects directly to the same mall! What the fuck are you waiting for!?!?!?
              Unfortunately, I can't find a listing out there for this one. Even if you want it, you'll have a hard time getting it! Well, fuck that. Cushman Wakefield leases the rest of the spaces so I'm sure if you call those folks up you can make a deal. Maybe you can lease one of the two separated sides! Either way, this space needs filling. Be the hero that will FILL THIS FRONT!!!!

17th Street-facing windows. There's more facing Chestnut.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Old-Ass Building: Brown Sisters Building

115-117 South 19th Street

Photo by Michael Bixler

            You've never even noticed this building, have you? This little bitch-bastard is a block off of Rittenhouse Square and is holding in some history. Find out all about it at the Hidden City Daily!