Street Note

Street Note:
The Architecture of Philadelphia
by Huzaifah Malik and Osman Bangura

​Re-PLACE-ing Philadelphia is building an expanded archive of cultural memory that includes multiple histories, re-place-ing the established with new narratives and understandings. Notes consider place via the street, sound, food, trees, and other portals.

In partnership with educator Joshua Block, students from Philadelphia's Science Leadership Academy are creating and publishing their Philadelphia Field Notes. Huzaifah Malik and Osman Bangura share images and reflections on the architecture of Philadelphia.



Whenever people who live in Philadelphia pass around Center City, they tend to not pay too much attention to the rich environment and the buildings that stand in where they live. People lose sight of the wondrous features that really make Philadelphia stand out as being one of the most inviting and bustling places in all of America, but when you take a look at Philadelphia from an outsider perspective, you really realize how beautiful it is. When that happens, one can realize that it is a mosaic of a mixture of historic and modern styles that reflects the city’s history itself. It would be impossible to see it all in a day or even in a week and fully grasp the city’s culturally rich milieu.

City Hall

If there’s anywhere that says Center City, City Hall definitely embodies this image in Philadelphia. Just coming here often gives me, friends, and I’m sure the people around the surrounding area thrills, as people glaze on top of the wondrous statue of William Penn on top of the City Hall Building’s tower. There is such a bustle here, that you can feel the life of the place vibrate and seem so urban. This is the one place in Philly, where geographically, it allows Philadelphia to stand out in terms of architecture. It’s an architectural treasure inside out. It took 30 years to build as it was sculpted by the Scottish sculptor named Alexander Milne. When someone looks at this building, they can assume that they’re looking at something from Europe, because the structure type is very similar. Based on a Second Empire type of modeling, it has many 17th-century Renaissance roots, which is an eclectic mix of several earlier European styles. This makes the structure dazzle and stand out as an attractive site for many Patrons both in and out of Philly.


St. Stephen's Church

The Saint Stephen’s Episcopal Church is the oldest extant building in Philadelphia in Gothic Revival style. Its style is similar to the Palace of Westminster in London near River Thames and other cathedrals in Europe. It has stained glass windows that were made in England, which reminds us of the Anglo-Saxon, or Victorian city view in several parts of Britain. When tourists come here, they see a very quiet and easy paced place of worship. This is also a targeted place of serenity where occupants who are bogged down by city life in Philly can feel an easy calm, and counterpoise. When I was with my friend here, we found we could just relax and enjoy the view of the holy building and sky.


Ben Franklin Bridge

The Ben Franklin Bridge is a very large structure, and was originally named the Delaware River Bridge. Many people pass through the Ben Franklin Bridge each year and notice its prime supportive features. With steel cables, and a resilient anchorage, people can feel safe when crossing the Bridge. Whenever I am driving with my family, and we go through the bridge, we can see all the amazing sights that the view from the bridge has to offer. Especially during the nighttime, where the bridge speckles in relation to all the surrounding, large buildings around there.


Market and 19th Street

All these structures showcase Philadelphia’s beauty as a whole, and shows Philadelphia’s rich environment with all its stone cased, and brilliant sites.



Street Notes
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