Kelly Natatorium

Philadelphia Water works was in operation from 1812-1909, then became the Philadelphia Aquarium from 1911-1962, with a portion of the defunct Aquarium being converted by the Kelly Family (Grace Kelly’s family) to a 3 lane swimming pool which was used until 1972. It currently sits vacant and abandoned, but Bradley Maule of hiddencityphila.org has a kickstarter project to bring some new life into the space, while honoring its history. (http://festival.hiddencityphila.org/projects/9)

Click the photo to view more of the history and photos of the Kelly Natatorium

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Rittenhouse Coffe Shop

Yesterday I posted this picture of an abandoned coffee shop on Rittenhouse Square (on the backside of the empty lot on the square) on my Instagram (sambrando). I randomly stumbled upon this article today (click the photo) about that coffee shop and The Warwick (built in 1885) next door. In 2003 the PPA bought the buildings, gave Warwick residents 30 days to move out, and then did nothing but let it deteriorate. Of course there were battles with preservationists, and now the Walnut Rittenhouse Associates owns the buildings, which they purchased in 2007 for $36.7 million. WRA currently owes approximately $360,000 in tax liens. Will they ever be restored…….?

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Divine Lorraine

Supposedly, the Divine Lorraine is set to be restored and renovated into condos and restaurants with construction starting sometime in the near (?) future by developer Eric Blumenfeld who purchased it this past October. It was the first racially integrated hotel in Philadelphia upon its takeover by Father Divine, who ran what today many of us would consider a cult. Click the photo to view shots of the inside taken in 2006 before the inside was completely pillaged by a developer.

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