SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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Philadelphia: 1909

Philadelphia: 1909

Philadelphia circa 1909. "Broad Street north from Walnut." With City Hall, William Penn and two young friends center stage. View full size.

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Below is the same view from October of 2013 (from the proper perspective unlike my initial comment, +97, further down).


This brings to mind a recent viewing of the 3rd episode of "Downton Abbey":

"Why would you want to go there? - the traffic is terrible - when I last was there there were 5 cars parked and two or three drove past in the same day" --

Tallest building

From 1901 to 1908, Philadelphia's City Hall was the tallest inhabitable building in the world and until the 1980's it was still the tallest building in the city.

Thanks for the photo Dave!

100 years later

I unwittingly took this photo again in 2009 when visiting this beautiful city. The trees seem to have grown a little bit!


Below is (almost) the same view from July of 2006.

Architectural Beauty

I am always amazed at these turn of the century photos. Unlike most of our buildings constructed today, these were done with lovely details and much architectural interest. I become very sad to learn that most of these are gone or on their way to the scrapheap. It must have been wonderful to walk the streets back then to take in the beauty of these grand buildings. Seems as we progress, the further away we stray from the details that were pretty commonplace then. Just an old soul here wanting to go back to that era for a visit.

And thanks timeandagainphoto for your pic. Its so nice to see most of the buildings still stand!

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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